Messiah’s Stefania LaVie Owen Has Big Things Coming Her Way In 2020

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
If Rebecca on Netflix's Messiah looks familiar it might be because actress Stefania LaVie Owen has been working in Hollywood for the past decade. But, it's in the last few years that the world has really started paying attention to this bright young star.
In the new 10-episode series, streaming now, a Christ-like figure appears in Syria claiming he has been sent on a mission from his father. After performing miracles, the mysterious man who is called al-Masih begins to amass a following that includes Owen's Rebecca, the troubled daughter of a struggling Texas pastor (John Ortiz). Rebecca first shows up in episode 2 when she's Instagramming photos of dead birds, only to pass out after looking directly into the sun; we find out later that she experiences visions. She's looking for a way out of her small town of Dilley, Texas and wants out so bad that she hopes her dreams of someone blowing up her town are true.
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The 22-year-old actress from New Zealand has become one to watch thanks to her roles in the shortlived Sex and the City spinoff The Carrie Diaries and The Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey. “Coming from New Zealand, I never had the idea that I would be an actor or that it would be a job,” she told the New York Times in April 2019. “It was just something that I thought was really fun.”
She got her first big break at the age of 11 in 2009's Lovely Bones alongside Saoirse Ronan. In 2017, she starred alongside Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Waves) in the off-Broadway play Yen. She also appeared in the holiday horror film Krampus, the Hugh Laurie-led Hulu series Chance, and Katie Holmes' directorial debut All We Had. But it'll be hard to forget Owen after seeing her in Messiah, where she plays a young girl sorting through what it is she believes.
“I think Rebecca comes from a very conservative family because she’s raised by a pastor, or someone who runs a church, and she’s grown up in that kind of world,” Owen told Flaunt last year. “She kind of goes against all that she has grown up with and it’s kind of her struggle to become who she is in a world that sort of restrains her. Throughout the show, she’s really discovering who she is throughout the chaos that happens around her.”
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Owen compared the experience of filming the Netflix series, which also stars Michelle Monaghan, to going to summer camp. “On our days off, there would be these big thunderstorms," she told the New York Times, "so we would have to close down set and play games in a local church." When asked about her Messiah family, she told Flaunt, “We couldn’t get enough of each other. We would spend so much time outside of work and yeah, as soon as we wrapped we were still together.”
Owen, who attends the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, will next appear in the coming of age drama Paper Spiders. In it, Owen stars a young girl dealing with her mother's mental illness. It sounds like another reason to pay attention to Owens in 2020.
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