Margarita Vladimirovna Levieva (Russian: Маргари́та Влади́мировна Леви́ева) is an American actress. Born in the Soviet Union, she was a competitive gymnast before going on to star in the films The Invisible, Adventureland, and Spread. On television, she is known for her role as Amanda Clarke on Revenge, Gina Zanetakos on The Blacklist and most recently as Abigail “Abby” Parker opposite James Franco on the HBO series The Deuce.
Levieva was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). She is from a Russian-Jewish family, and is the daughter of Irina Levieva, the President of Ostrov Realty Group. At the age of three, she began training in rhythmic gymnastics. When she was 11, Levieva’s mother moved her and her twin brother to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in New York City.
She continued to train in rhythmic gymnastics for a few more years after emigrating to the United States and achieved success regionally but did not compete at the U.S. Championships; she did not then hold U.S. citizenship and her family were undocumented immigrants at the time. She attended high school in Secaucus, New Jersey. Levieva received her bachelor’s degree in economics at NYU and worked as a fashion buyer. Her continuing interest in acting led her to be accepted into the Meisner Training Program at the William Esper Studio.
From 2011 to 2013, Levieva appeared on the ABC drama series Revenge in the recurring role of the original Emily Thorne, who agreed to switch identities with Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp). In 2012, it was announced she would join the second season of HBO’s Luck in the recurring role of Sarah Israel. However, the series was canceled after its first season. In 2016, Levieva also appeared as Yana in an episode of the animated TV series We Bare Bears.
In 2017, Levieva started appearing in a main role on HBO series The Deuce as Abigail “Abby” Parker, an adventurous college student who strikes up a relationship with Vincent (James Franco), the lead character on the show. The second season debuted in September 2018. The show was renewed for a third and final season.