Inventing Anna, the Netflix series charting the rise and fall of New York scammer Anna Delvey, has been in the works since 2018, and with filming now well under way, lead actor Julia Garner has spoken out about what it takes to play the infamous con artist.
Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin) was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conning various businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund her lavish lifestyle among Manhattan’s social elite. Her story, told by Jessica Pressler in the New York Magazinearticle, “How Anna Delvey tricked New York”, attracted widespread attention, and Netflix tasked Shonda Rhimes – known for Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder – with turning into a miniseries.
Speaking to WSJ, lead actor Garner said that in researching for the role she visited Delvey at Rikers Island prison, where she’s currently serving out her sentence. “The only thing that I didn’t expect is that Anna is really funny,” Garner said. “She’s actually hysterical. And she’s super soft-spoken and gentle. Going into any part, you can’t have too many negative thoughts because you don’t want to start with the character judging them.”
Just last month Delvey admitted she was tired of people coming to visit her in jail, saying that she simply doesn’t have the time. “All you’re achieving by coming here is wasting your time and interfering with my sleep schedule,” she said in an Instagram post on October 26, although she was mainly referring to visitors that she didn’t recognise, so Garner might get a pass.
“You can’t dislike the person you’re playing for eight, nine months,” Garner added. “That’s going to come across on the screen, and the performance isn’t going to be as good. She had her reasons why she did all the things she did.”