Sarah Margaret Qualley is an American actress. The daughter of actress Andie MacDowell, she trained as a ballerina in her youth. She made her acting debut in the 2013 drama film Palo Alto and gained recognition for her supporting role in the HBO drama series The Leftovers (2014–2017).
Qualley subsequently appeared in films such as The Nice Guys (2016), Death Note (2017), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), and performed a voice role in the video game Death Stranding (2019). She received critical acclaim and nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for playing Ann Reinking in the FX biographical miniseries Fosse/Verdon (2019) and the title role in the Netflix drama miniseries Maid (2021).
In 2011, at age 16, Qualley made her modeling debut during New York Fashion Week, walking for Alberta Ferretti. She modeled during Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 for Valentino and Chanel. She again walked for Chanel during their Fall/Winter 2012 show. Qualley has appeared on the covers and editorials of Evening Standard, Jolie, Teen Vogue, Paper, Elle, W, Hunger, Porter, Document Journal, AnOther, Interview, Vogue (including Vogue Russia and China), Vanity Fair, Nylon, V, The Cut, and C. She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Kenzo, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, and Celine. Qualley has also appeared in numerous campaigns for Chanel, for which is she is a house ambassador.
Qualley first appeared on screen in 2013 playing a small part in Gia Coppola's film Palo Alto. She received the part because she happened to be on set visiting her then-boyfriend, Nat Wolff. In June 2013, Qualley was cast as a series regular in the HBO television series The Leftovers. Qualley reprised her role as Jill Garvey for the subsequent second and third seasons of the HBO drama series The Leftovers in 2015 and 2017, respectively. In 2015, Qualley appeared in the short promotional film L'Américaine for American fashion label Tory Burch. In 2016, Qualley appeared as the central character in a Spike Jonze-directed commercial for KENZO World; choreographed by Ryan Heffington, Qualley improvised much of the dance routine using her training in classical ballet. Qualley next appeared in Shane Black's 2016 comedy The Nice Guys starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.
In April 2016, Qualley was announced to have joined the cast of Shawn Christensen's The Vanishing of Sidney Hall. Qualley and her sister Rainey appeared in the music video for Soko's 2017 single "Sweet Sound of Ignorance". The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, alongside another film of hers, Novitiate. In Novitiate, Qualley stars as Sister Cathleen, a young woman who begins to question her faith as she trains to be a nun. The film was released on October 27, 2017. That same year, Qualley starred in Death Note, directed by Adam Wingard.
In 2018, Qualley appeared in Donnybrook, directed by Tim Sutton and co-starring Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo. The film had its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2019, Qualley starred in the Netflix science-fiction film IO. The film was directed by Jonathan Helpert and it was released on January 18, 2019. She played Sam Walden, a teenager surviving as one of the last people on an abandoned post-cataclysmic Earth, who is racing to find a cure for her poisoned home world before the last shuttle off the planet to the distant human space colony leaves her stranded.
Also in 2019, Qualley portrayed the role of Mary Dalton in Rashid Johnson's HBO adaption of Native Son. In 2019, Qualley also portrayed actress and dancer Ann Reinking in the FX miniseries Fosse/Verdon, for which she received nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. She then appeared in Quentin Tarantino's epic comedy-drama film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), playing a member of the Manson Family named Pussycat. For the film, Qualley was nominated along with the rest of the cast for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
She also starred in Seberg (2019) opposite Kristen Stewart and Jack O'Connell. directed by Benedict Andrews. On May 29, 2019, it was revealed that Qualley would be playing "Mama" in Hideo Kojima's PlayStation 4 game Death Stranding. She also played the character of Lockne, Mama's twin sister, in the game. In 2020, Qualley starred in Wake Up, a short film directed by Olivia Wilde, and in the feature My Salinger Year, opposite Sigourney Weaver and directed by Philippe Falardeau, which had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020. In 2021, Qualley starred in the miniseries Maid based upon Stephanie Land's memoir for Netflix. For her performance she received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.
Qualley starred in psychological thriller A Head Full of Ghosts directed by Scott Cooper; and in Stars at Noon (2022) opposite Joe Alwyn directed by Claire Denis. In 2023 she executive produced and starred in the erotic thriller Sanctuary opposite Christopher Abbott.
She is set to star in the Yorgos Lanthimos directed surrealist fantasy film Poor Things starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo which will premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. She also acted in Ethan Coen's comedy road film Drive-Away Dolls alongside Geraldine Viswanathan which will be released in February 2024.