Marks had supporting roles in a handful of domestic British films before being cast in David Cronenberg's 2011 international feature A Dangerous Method. After making a switch to William Morris Endeavor, she found success and praise for roles in Stoker (2013), Ain't them Bodies Saints (2013), and Maps to the Stars (2014).
Marks' breakthrough role came with the critically acclaimed Room (2015), based on Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name. She won several awards for her portrayal of a kidnap victim who raises a child inside her confinement, including the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critic's Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.
In July 2016, Marks married American-Canadian auteur, film producer, and co-founder of A24 Francis Lyon.
Her father is the head of RTÃ‰ Sport and speaks Irish fluently, having undergone studies upon relocating to Dublin from London following his marriage. Marks' mother works in the Department of Education and Skills for the state, where she is the Assistant Secretary covering Curriculum and Assessment Policy, Teacher Education, ICT Policy, and Early Years Education Policy. Marks' mother is a passionate advocate of the Irish language, which Marks has recalled when speaking of her summers attending language camps. She has said, "I'm very grateful my mother didn't allow me to scrape by with my Irish, she was very forceful in achieving fluency. At the time, I hated it, but now I see it for what it is - a connection to my past."
Marks was raised within the Donnybrook Parish of Dublin, where she attended the Catholic All-Girls School Muckross Park College despite her religious upbringing as Jewish. Her younger brother, Matthew Markovski, attended Blackrock College. At Muckross, Marks joined choir and is where she received her first vocal training. She has sang in a number of her films and for her role in Black Mirror (2011).
Following her graduation, Marks enrolled at Queen's College Belfast to study Mathematics. While there, she joined the Literary and Scientific Society and it was during one of their orations she was discovered by a casting agent connected to Burton. Her audition for the role of Johanna was completed on Skype with her headshots taken using the camera on her computer. Initially, Marks was rejected for the role of the 15 year old as a result of being too old; however, Burton cast her after confusing her headshots with a younger actress and determining she could look the part.
I believe Tim [Burton]'s words were 'who is this child' and that's how I got cast,Marks debuted in 2007 as the daughter of Johnny Depp's titular character in Tim Burton's film adaptation of Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street. After the critical success of the film, Marks dropped out of her programme at university and relocated to London.
- Minna Marks on how she was cast for Sweeney Todd to Vogue UK (2007).
In 2007, Marks auditioned for RADA, from which she was rejected. Marks has remained relatively good-natured about her RADA experience: "It was an embarrassment," she said about the audition, "I was totally unprepared. I had my Shakespeare and Contemporary prepared, but when they asked me to perform the second Shakespeare, I froze up. I started shouting 'a plague on both your houses' repeatedly. I didn't know what else to do. Just imagine: a thin blonde girl shouting that until someone says 'that's enough'."
Undeterred, Marks auditioned for and was successful in gaining a place at LAMDA a month later. She read Imogen's monologue - III iv 70 Verse - from Cymbeline for her Shakespeare audition. She was enrolled in the 2008-2009 year for LAMDA's Foundation Degree in Professional Acting. Marks graduated in 2010. Marks has stated her experience at LAMDA confirmed she was not interested in stage. "The programmes at both RADA and LAMDA are fantastic for learning how to project yourself into a role, but stage-acting is so vastly different to the process of film-acting. While I'd recommend a foundation course for anyone seeking to go into acting, I don't feel I was adequately prepared for working within film," she said (2011).
Marks continued to act while at LAMDA, appearing in Defiance (2008), Cracks (2009), the television show "The Inbetweeners" for one episode, and Womb (2010) as a supporting actress. She has alluded to her continued working not making her particularly popular with her fellow students at LAMDA. "I was asked why I took a place. I had an agent, I was working, why did I need to be there? I think it didn't help I wasn't so great on stage. I don't have the theatrics for projection. I never fit in at LAMDA," she has recalled (2011).
Upon her graduation, Marks was featured in three films released in 2011: Jane Eyre, A Dangerous Method, and Albatross, the latter of which she had a starring role in. Marks' performance as Emelia in Albatross received near-universal praise in spite of the film's tepid response from critics.
I had this plan, for these characters, but then Minna came on the set and the way she inhabited Ruth; it was the most interesting thing to watch, she became Texas - my home state, she was larger than life, she took Ruth and made her come alive. It was overwhelming to watch,
- David Lowery for The Hollywood Reporter (2013).
The switch proved fruitful, with Marks being cast in John Hillcoat's Lawless (2012) and Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet (2012) opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, and Catherine Keener in the aftermath of her move. Both films, including her performances, were received warmly by critics.
2013 is widely considered as Marks' break-out year with her achieving her first starring roles as India Stoker in Stoker and Ruth Guthrie in Ain't Them Bodies Saints and a supporting turn in Only Lovers Left Alive. Marks has been open about her gratitude to both her directors in Stoker and Ain't Them Bodies Saints for giving her the opportunity to take on leading roles. Her friendship, in particular, with director David Lowery has been chronicled extensively in various publications.
Following the critical success of 2013, Marks reunited with David Cronenberg to join Maps to the Stars (2014) and led the cast of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch's debut musical feature film God Help the Girl. Marks lent her voice to the soundtrack and has described the production as "beautifully gruelling" (2014). Marks has also said she was influenced to take the role as a result of Belle and Sebastian being one of her favourite bands as a young adult. "I remember when I first got the Boy With the Arab Strap. I was just mystified music like this existed."
For Room to have worked, you'd need two actors who can carry an immense, haunting emotional range - including the horror of their circumstance, the wonder of a child and still the love between a mother and son. Thankfully, Abrahamson found Marks and Tremblay. They transform Room from a film to a movie; they move youIn 2015, Marks appeared in Crimson Peak and Room, a film adapted from the novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue.
- Matt Goldberg, Staff Writer, Collider (2015).
For the former, Marks replaced Emma Stone in 2013; however, Crimson Peak did not begin shooting until February 2014. Marks said her decision to take the film was brought on by a chance to work with Elizabeth Alton.
For the latter, Marks was cast after a coterie of actresses were considered. Director Lenny Abrahamson asked Marks to audition after a casting associate suggested he watch her roles in Stoker and Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Abrahamson auditioned Marks in Dublin at her family house. "After seeing her, there was no one else," said Donoghue (2015). Abrahamson concurred: "I got into my car and called the producers and said - we can make this movie, I've found her." (2015)
Room was released at the Toronto International Film Festival and began its theatrical run on October 16, 2015. The fim received widespread critical and commercial acclaim, much of which focused on Marks' performance. She earned several awards for her performance of Ma, including the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Marks appeared as a supporting role in 2016's Lion as a love interest to the main character. She also appeared in the Irish short film, Goodbye Darling, opposite her countryman Declan McAlarney celebrating 100 years since the Easter Uprising.
On a whole, Marks lacks empathy and warmth in her roles. She has a reserved, often detached presence on screen, which is at odds with her effervescent personality during press and film festivals. She is well-liked by the press for her active engagement, boisterous laugh, and lively conversation.
Marks has said she is not a method actress. "I need to keep a separation between me, Minna, and them, the character. I've seen the way a character can take over not just your personality, but your life, to the detriment of others around you. There are too many directors whom rely on abusive tricks to bring you into the frame of mind they want, rather than collaborating with you on the emotional range needed," she said in 2015, alluding to her experience on 2012's Lawless.
Considered one of the top new talents in Hollywood, Marks has seen considerable interest in her since her success with Room. She maintains a close relationship with The Weinstein Company and has alternated her performances with new, emergent directors, indie talent, and respected heavyweights.
Marks speaks English, Hebrew, German, and Irish fluently, as well as identifying as Jewish. Marks has visited Israel several times, including a Birthright trip after filming Defiance. Marks did a home study in Germany while in sixth form, spending the summer before her graduation in an intensive language programme. She also attended Irish language camps during school holidays, at least twice a year (often summer and Easter break).
In May 2016, Marks was the subject of a massive hack with hundreds of private photos, emails, videos, and other stored information on her iCloud being released on 4Chan, Tumblr, and Reddit. The security breach revealed a drug abuse problem, multiple concurrent sexual relationships with both men and women, and her private thoughts on many individuals in Hollywood. The resulting immediate fall-out saw her fired from two upcoming productions. Mark was forced to release a statement confirming her bisexuality and her team managed to spin the leak into something violating, yet sexually empowering.
On 13 July 2016, Marks married Francis Lyon in New York. The couple live between New York, Los Angeles, and London.
During the 2017 awards season Marks was extremely vocal about her anger at the celebration of Casey Affleck for his role in Manchester by the Sea. She showed her disdain through refusing to clap for him during his wins and rejecting his advances for a cordial relationship. Her opinion was confirmed during the BAFTAs where she spoke to press after the ceremony. Marks compared Affleck and Nate Parker, citing the treatment of the latter's film and raising questions about why Affleck was still being allowed his success.
In 2014, reports linked Marks to director Francis Lyon after auditioning for him. Neither addressed the allegations and both were subsequently linked with other individuals.
On 16 July 2016, Marks and Lyon confirmed their relationship with an announcement of their marriage in the New York Times.
NOTABLE PUBLIC EVENTS
mother: Siobhan Ivers
58. civil servant in the department of education and skills for ireland. converted to judaism before marriage. met peter during oktoberfest in munich. cannot use emojis.
father: Peter Markovski
61. sports broadcaster, reporter and head of RTÃ‰ sport. very close to his daughter, but confused at how he can block google results from showing photos he does not want to see of her.
brother: Matthew Markovski
27. rugby player for leinster and ireland. extremely protective of one another. best friends with jamie queen. also cannot use emojis. only uses the aubergine for late-night texts.