Everything You Need to Know About Mia Goth!

Actress Mia Goth had a career breakthrough moment this year as the leading star in Ti West’s horrors X and Pearl. With their third film MaXXXine in pre-production, we’re taking a look at everything you should know to catch up on the rising star, who has held her own in supporting roles for nearly a decade!

Born Mia Gypsy Mello de Silva Goth in Southwark, London, the 29-year-old actress had a Canadian father, originally from Nova Scotia, and a Brazilian mother. Moving around, she spent five years of her early life in Brazil but then moved back to the UK. Later at 10, she briefly moved to her father’s native home in Canada. However, she spent much of her childhood life in England — where she still lives today; splitting her time between there and Los Angeles. She didn’t grow up being raised as a child star, though had creative maternal grandparents, with grandfather American artist Lee Jaffe and Brazilian actress Maria Gladys.

Goth was discovered at age 14 at London’s Underage Festival, not for acting, but rather for modeling by fashion photographer Gemma Booth. She signed Goth for Storm Model Management, allowing her to appear in Vogue and Miu Miu advertisements. In an interview talking about when they first met, Booth said Goth had an immediate camera presence, exuding confidence and knowing what to do. 


She started auditioning for films at the age of 16, finally landing her first role in 2013’s Nymphomaniac after finishing sixth form — the final two years of England’s secondary education system. She played the role of the character P alongside Willem Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg in the movie’s segment “The Gun.” The erotic film met much controversy, created by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, who is famous for his provocative and vulnerably graphic films, such as Melancholia (2011) and Anti-Christ (2009). Goth’s character is the 15-year-old protege taken on maternally and sexually by the sex addict protagonist Joe (Gainsbourg). She was just 20 at the time of its debut. The rookie fell deep into the character’s emotional state, allowing for the various sex scenes to come naturally for her, especially since she trusted her costars and von Trier. Talking about her first on set film experience to The Guardian, she said she’s “drawn to roles where someone has to struggle or fight. That’s more interesting to me. I feel that sometimes with [other] female roles, real feelings are diminished.”

That same year, Goth also starred as Sophie Campbell for three episodes of the British-French crime drama The Tunnel and was in the “Haunted Love” music video for Nashville duo Future Unlimited. It was directed by her then boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf. The disturbing visuals for the dreamy electronic song would foreshadow Goth’s future career in horror aesthetic movies.

In 2014, she appeared as simply The Girl in Stephen Fingleton’s 16 minute short film Magpie, alongside Martin McCann as The Trickster and Olivia Williams as The Woman. It’s a thriller about a guy who tests his strict self-preservation rules when he runs into two strangers while living in the woods. The short served as a precursor for Fingleton’s 2015 post-apocalypse feature film The Survivalist, which still stars Goth and McCann, but replaces Williams’ character with Olwen Fouere’s similar role. Goth plays Milja, who in the midst of a diminishing population and little food with everyone out for themselves, she embarks on a relationship with McCann’s lead character. The actress is someone who devotes herself to the craft of acting, preparing for her role in The Survivalist by sleeping outside for the duration of shooting, not showering or shaving, and following the cast with a starvation diet 10 weeks prior to filming. In an interview with The Guardian, she said she liked the duality of playing Milja’s character, who simultaneously struggles with becoming a grown woman while dealing with the gruesome nature of the deteriorating world. She found a middle ground of a more “realistic, honest approach” to being a “strong and independent woman.” The role won her a nomination for 2015’s British Independent Film Awards for Most Promising Newcomer. 

MAGPIE from The Fyzz Facility on Vimeo.

Also in 2015, she played Meg Weathers in Everest, a biographical survival adventure film directed by Baltasar Kormakur based on the real-life events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Goth’s role is the daughter of Josh Brolin’s leading role as Beck Weathers, the real-life American doctor and mountain climber. She was also in the episode “A Lesson in Love” of the British TV series Wallander as the character Hanna Hjelmqvist.

Goth also landed the acting gig of Hannah von Reichmerl in 2016’s A Cure for Wellness, directed by Gore Verbinski. Actor Dane DeHaan’s Wall Street executive character travels to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO from a mysterious wellness center, which is where Goth comes into play, dosing herself with an unknown fluid from a small blue bottle. Goth was 21 while filming her role in the curiosity-sparking, mind-bending film, which piqued her interest because of the connection she felt as a transition from girlhood to womanhood, finding parallels from her own life that resonated with the power that comes with “owning who you are as a woman.” Within the same interview with Knox News, she could finally have previous work to compare A Cure for Wellness to, saying that similarly to Nymphomaniac, she felt safe and empowered on Gore’s set, standing still behind every scene she filmed because it served the story to be told. She was asked about the appeal of doing horror movies back in the 2017 interview, causing an interesting response to reflect on now, looking back on her career. “It’s not necessarily the genre that I’m going towards, or creepy movies,” Goth said. “It’s the character, the director, the script and the cast. It just so happens that right now it’s these pretty creepy movies. It doesn’t mean I’m against doing anything else.”


via Gfycat

Then, in the 2017 English-language Spanish film Marrowbone, Goth starred as Jane Marrowbone in another psychological horror drama. She’s the only daughter and one of four siblings in the family: older brother Jack is played by George MacKay, Billy is played by Charlie Heaton, and youngest brother Sam is played by Matthew Stagg. Anya Taylor-Joy also stars as their friend Allie, as the family explores a sinister presence in their rural Maine home following their mother’s death. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Goth described that filming internationally in Spain forced the cast to become closer much faster, relying on each other for a lot and relaying the on-screen siblings to real life, remaining close even after filming. “What you see in the film in terms of the family being created, and the friendship with Allie, that’s all very genuine,” Goth said in the article. The two actresses’ friendship would continue on, causing an on-screen reunion with 2020’s Emma

Before that, Goth earned herself a few more filmography credits, notably for Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 remake of the original Italian film Suspiria. The supernatural horror had Goth in a supporting role as Sara Simms, a student at a Berlin dance academy, alongside Chloe Grace Moretz and Elena Fokina. Dakota Johnson is an American who enrolls in the school, which is run by a coven of witches, led by Tilda Swinton. As part of the spectacular female-led talent of the cast, she won the ensemble Robert Altman Award at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards for the movie. Coming from a modeling background, Goth noted how important fashion is as a part of her work in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, stating that her past collaborations with big brands instilled an “appreciation for fashion” within her. “It can be incredibly effective both in your personal life as well as in building a character — sometimes literally stepping into a new pair of shoes helps you figure out who it is you are playing,” the actress said. Suspiria in particular had a lot of memorable looks — like the draped red cords the dancers perform in — as costume designer Guilia Piersanti drew inspiration from fashion history, making Goth wish she could take home some looks for her own personal wardrobe. 

Also in 2018, Goth had a supporting role as Boyse in A24’s mysterious sci-fi High Life, directed by Claire Denis and starring Robert Pattinson. A group of criminals is sent off on a space expedition toward a black hole while participating in science experiments, leaving Pattinson’s character isolated with a baby, which is slowly uncovered as the movie goes on.

In 2019, she was in Guadagnino’s 35-minute short film The Staggering Girl, as a young Sofia Moretti, whose older version is played by Marthe Keller. Julianne Moore, KiKi Layne, Kyle MacLachlan, and Alba Rohrwacher also star.


Then, we arrive at 2020’s Emma, a period rom-com directed by Autumn de Wilde based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as the titular character, a wealthy young woman living in Regency-era England who plays matchmaker and meddles with those closest to her. Goth takes on the performance of Harriet Smith, putting aside the gore and bloodied costumes for a more pristine and polished look, which was her first time acting in a period drama. She did an interview with Wonderland Magazine about how rewarding and therapeutic the set of a period piece was, specifically calling Emma wholesome and replenishing. However, she recalled that darker material may have more challenging days, but could be equally therapeutic, calling the job of an actress the same no matter what the movie genre is. Her character’s truth came much easier to her with Taylor-Joy at her side, as Goth described that prior years of being real-life best friends prepared them for exploring scenes in different ways, saving time from getting to know one another. “We had such an understanding, rhythm and a flow to each other – it was a dance,” Goth said in the story. 

In 2021, Goth starred as Marsha in Karen Cinorre’s directorial debut Mayday. The action drama film also stars Grace Van Patten, Juliette Lewis, Soko, and Havana Rose Liu. And released early in 2022, the British animated stop-motion anthology film The House features Goth in the voice role of Mabel during its first act. Written by Enda Walsh, the story deals with themes of obsession, wealth, and the pursuit of happiness, and you can catch it streaming on Netflix.

Finally, we have Goth’s dual roles as Maxine Minx and Pearl in Ti West’s slasher horror X, and its subsequent prequel Pearl, which came out in March and September, respectively. Goth seems to nestle snugly right back into the horror atmosphere, receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. X follows a crew — starring Brittany Snow, Jenna Ortega, and rapper Kid Cudi — set out to make a porno on elderly couple Howard and Pearl’s farm, and things take a horrific turn. Goth had to go through a dramatic makeup transformation to get into old Pearl’s character, contrasting to her role as leading pornstar Max, who dotes glittery makeup and overalls with nothing underneath. The prequel was revealed to have been filmed secretly back-to-back with its predecessor, with a sneak preview first shown during X’s post-credits scene in North American theaters. Here, Goth plays a younger World War I-era Pearl, fleshing out the origin of her sex-crazed, forever young, murderous madness. For the second installment, Goth joined as a co-writer and an executive producer. She’s amazingly transformative in the brightly technicolored movie that makes the blood stand out even more, giving an insane monologue delivery towards the end and maintaining a creepy smile during the end credits that packs so much emotion in just two minutes. X earned her two nominations: Most Frightened Performance at the MTV Movie Awards and Best Actress for Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film Awards in 2022. Pearl also earned her a nomination for Best Actress at Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film Awards, as well as the win for 2022’s Sitges Film Festival. Her nominations for Sunset Circle Awards and Independent Spirit Awards are currently pending.

from Crazy GIFs via Gfycat

The second movie’s end credits also brought an announcement for the third installment of the X trilogy, distributed by A24. Goth will return as Maxine Minx in MaXXXine, which will take place where X left off in the 1980s. Much of the movie is unknown right now, but it will continue Max’s journey to becoming famous after surviving the gruesome farm attack. Also in pre-production is the crime-thriller Sweet Dreams, depicting a series of coincidences that bring ambitious criminals to an ugly end, written and directed by Carl Tibbets. Deadline describes it as a “Fargo in England story,” with the ensemble featuring Goth, Niamh Algar, Billy Howle, Aisling Bea, Paapa Essiedu, and Nick Frost.

Lastly is Infinity Pool, an upcoming film already completed, written, and directed by Brandon Cronenberg. In this sci-fi horror, Goth will star with Alexander Skarsgard as Em and James Foster, a rich couple on vacation at an all-inclusive resort, but something dangerous looms outside of the hotel. The release date is unknown, but you can be sure to expect Goth on big screens again soon!

Goth has kept most of her life private, including being secretive about her exact age and birthday. She doesn’t have any social media accounts currently, and she continues to keep her and LaBeouf’s daughter Isabel — who was born in March 2022 — away from the media.

We can’t wait to see what the actress has in store for us in the future!

About the Author

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Karissa Schaefer

Karissa Schaefer is a senior Journalism major with minors in Publishing and Psychology at Emerson College, focusing on all things entertainment. As she navigates the city of LA, she is a fall '22 intern at AfterBuzz TV and Better Together with Maria Menounos.