Hayley McFarland spent her childhood appearing in local productions of plays like "The Sound of Music" and made her theatrical debut with a small role in the 2006 horror film, "Ring Around the Rosie", about a young woman plagued by visions of a long-forgotten tragedy. She next appeared in two episodes of the critically-acclaimed, "Gilmore Girls" (as a hard-partying high school student), and the ensemble drama, "Fragments". The film, which was also released under the name, "Winged Creatures", followed the troubled lives of the survivors of a horrific restaurant shootout. McFarland portrayed Lori, Anne's (Dakota Fanning) traumatized best friend. Though the film fared poorly in theaters, McFarland soon landed an even more high-profile role; she played Petula, the supportive best friend of an openly gay high school student, in the first season of the award-winning cable series, "United States of Tara", about the conflicting multiple personalities of a seemingly normal housewife and mother. In 2009, McFarland landed a recurring role on the primetime drama, "Lie to Me", about a gifted psychologist (Tim Roth) who can read minute shifts in body language and facial expressions. She portrays Roth's similarly talented daughter, Emily, and was upgraded to a cast regular in the show's second season.