Inventing Anna is Shonda Rhimes’ latest Netflix binge worthy hit, based on the real events surrounding not so real heiress and convicted fraudster, Anna Delvey (true name – Anna Sorokin), played by renowned actress, Julia Garner.
Jessica Pressler, played by Anna Chlumsky, was the journalist to break the Anna Delvey story in an article for New York Magazine website The Cut, titled “How Anna Delvey tricked New York’s party people”. Anna is known for having defrauded banks, hotels and associates for more than $200,000, in her supposed quest to build a social club.
Inventing Anna is a combination of fact and fiction. The foundation of the story is rooted in truth. However at the start of all episodes, the same disclaimer is creatively displayed on the screen, “This whole story is completely true. Except for all the parts that are totally made up.” This statement leaves the creative mind to believe that the show is a swirl of Anna Delvey’s string of lies mixed with colorful fictional elements.
Aspiring filmmaker and New York City hotel concierge Neff Davis controls access to the hottest restaurants, clubs, and event spaces for a few hundred hotel guests at any given time. But fake heiress, Anna Delvey maintains control over Neff every time she slides a $100 bill across her desk. Money talks in this profession, but so does power and exclusivity. In Neff’s eyes, Anna has all that and more. Throughout the show Neff found elements of realism to hang on to in creating her understanding of who Anna was, with eyes wide open. Neff’s character is played by Alexis Floyd (known for her role in The Bold Type).
Sorokin, who was calling herself Anna Delvey, was not just a serial hustler, she was a millennial too. After reading about Dakota Johnson’s fitness regime on the final two Fifty Shades of Grey films, Sorokin reached out to the trainer and life coach that the actor worked with, Kacy Duke, and became a client. Although she doesn’t look it, Duke is nearly four decades older than Sorokin. She accompanied Sorokin and her friend, former Vanity Fair staffer Rachel DeLoache Williams on their trip to Morocco (the trip is included in the show). Duke’s name was not mentioned in Pressler’s original article. The trainer spoke to Pressler, but would not to go on record, because as shown in the show, she was fearful that further affiliating herself with Sorokin would be bad for the successful business she built working with celebrity clients such as Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani,Denzel Washington and Kate Beckinsale. Kacy Dukes character is being played by the talented Laverne Cox.
In the series we see Anna steal a private jet to take her to Warren Buffet’s conference in Omaha. The New York Magazine article states that Anna did attend the conference, and she did not fly commercial. Arranged by Blade (the company named in Inventing Anna) – Anna flew private, yet delivered compensation with a forged confirmation for a wire transfer.
“I mean, I just think the show is fun and exciting and anxiety inducing. There’s moments that feel like a thriller where you’re sort of on the edge of your seat even though I knew what was going to happen. I was still like no, no, no, and I’m rooting for it not to happen. And I’m rooting for Anna to get her loan. It’s just this strange journey you go on”. – Laverne Cox
In the Inventing Anna series, we meet Rachel DeLoache Williams’ character, played by Katie Lowes (Scandal), right where she is in life. Rachel and Anna were really friends and the incidents that supposedly happened in Morocco were real to Rachel. The claims by Rachel depicted in the show were her reality.
“The cool thing about this whole show is that Shonda is treating the audience like they are really smart people, and you just got to figure it out for yourself. You have no idea who’s the antihero or who’s the villain or who’s right or wrong. It’s playing in the gray area the whole time especially with Rachel”. – Katie Lowes
Anna Sorokin was released from prison on February 11, 2021, after serving a twelve year sentence for grand larceny and theft of services. Created by Shonda Rhimes and brought to life by a brilliant team of creatives, if you haven’t already, dive into this mind-bending Shondaland series.
Netflix paid Delvey $320,000 for her life rights to the series, and she consulted on the project, according to New York Times. When asked what she’d like viewers to know beyond Inventing Anna, Delvey told the NYT, “There is definitely a lot more to my story that I’d like to share. With that in mind, I’m working on multiple projects. I’m working on a documentary project with Bunim Murray Productions in Los Angeles. I’m also working on a book about my time in jail and working on a podcast as well.” She continued, “I’m not trying to encourage people to commit crimes. I’m just trying to shed light on how I made the best out of my situation, without trying to glorify it. This is what I’m creating out of that story.”