She was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. While at Stanton College Preparatory School she began acting in various college, amateur and professional theatre productions. She graduated in 2001 with a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Virginia, and then studied for a MFA in Acting from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
She started her career in Broadway theatre, where she performed in various productions, including High Fidelity, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Guthrie Theater, Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare in the Park, and the world-premiere of Off-Broadway shows Romantic Poetry and Measure for Pleasure.
In 2013 she collaborated with Mark Rylance and poet Louis Jenkins on the world premiere of Nice Fish at the Guthrie Theater.
In 2016 she was cast in the Center Theatre Group's production of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced.
She continues to act on stage whenever she can, starring in world premieres of Donald Margulies' play The Country House at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse, opposite Mark Rylance in Louis Jenkins' play Nice Fish at the Guthrie Theatre, and in John Patrick Shanley's musical Romantic Poetry at Manhattan Theater Club. She is not tethered to any one genre and jumps from Shakespeare to musicals to contemporary comedy in shows on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in LA and Minneapolis. She won the Falstaff Award for best Female Performer in 2010 for her performance as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew.
She had guest roles on multiple television shows like Guiding Light (2006), Flight of the Conchords (2007), NCIS (2009), Southland (2009-2010), Ringer (2011), The Good Wife (2011), Rizzoli & Isles (2013), The Mentalist (2013-2014), How to Get Away with Murder (2016) and Castlevania (2017).
On the 30th of October 2017, she was revealed as one of the voice cast of the highly anticipated videogame, The Last of Us, Part II.
- Emily and Rob Benedict are good friends. Emily prides herself in portraying Amara as hating God, as it proves how much of a good actress she is.
- Season 11
- Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire (as The Darkness)
- The Bad Seed (as The Darkness)
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? (as The Darkness)
- The Devil in the Details (as The Darkness)
- Love Hurts (as The Darkness and Sonja's Qareen)
- Hell's Angel (as The Darkness)
- All in the Family (as The Darkness)
- We Happy Few (as The Darkness)
- Alpha and Omega (as The Darkness)