Julia Garner

As Inventing Anna lands on Netflix, take a look back at Julia Garner’s best roles, from Ozark to Dirty John

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As Netflix’s hotly anticipated series Inventing Anna arrives on our TV screens, we take a look back at Julia Garner’s most memorable roles to date.

As well as being a beloved fan favourite in Ozark, Julia Garner is returning to our TV screens today with another standout transformation. 

Playing the titular role in the Netflix series Inventing Anna, Garner will embody the “fake Instagram heiress” considered to be one of the world’s most notorious fraudsters, who swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York socialites before being convicted of grand larceny and theft.

As Inventing Anna lands today, it’s important to note that this is not her first memorable role – Garner’s decorated career already includes many strong female leads, all played to perfection.

The 28-year-old has appeared in various brilliant titles and has been put forward for multiple awards, including an Emmy win and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series.

She is also the confirmed lead of Paramount’s Apartment 7A, so we have lots to look forward to from the star this year.

If you’re yet to experience the wonders of Garner’s range, allow us to do the hard work for you as we’ve handpicked some of her best roles ready for you to bingewatch ahead of Inventing Anna.

Ruth in Ozark

The breakout actor received praise from critics and fans alike for her role in Ozark, winning two primetime Emmy awards for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series.

Crime drama Ozark follows the Byrde family, who move to the Ozarks in an extraordinary turn from their mundane suburban life. What ensues is a family effort to run a dangerous money-laundering scheme, which initially only involved father Marty (played by Jason Bateman) but soon places the family in immediate danger.

While the Byrde family are certainly the central focus of this Netflix series, ask any Ozark fan who their favourite character is and you’ll be hard pressed not to hear Ruth Langmore (Garner) crop up. Her witty, fierce character is only young in the series but no job is too small for Ruth – including being the manager of a strip club, then a casino – and Garner excels at bringing the no-nonsense character to life.

The strength of the show is “down to the women at the heart of it”, according to Stylist’s Morgan Cormack, and that includes Garner displaying the emotion, power and resilience of such an important character. 

As part one of season four has just been released on Netflix, fans are excited to see Garner back in the role that, arguably, brought her to many people’s attention.

Terra Newell in Dirty John

In a perhaps more glamorous turn from her role in Ozark, Garner continued to show she’s a force to be reckoned with another Netflix role – this time as Terra Newell in Dirty John

The true crime series is based on the investigative podcast of the same name and is truly a wild ride. It tells the real-life story of Debra Newell (Connie Britton) who thinks she’s found the love of her life but in reality, has been duped by a master conman intent on tearing her away from her family and stealing her money in the process.

Debra’s youngest daughter Terra is played by Garner in the Netflix series and as well as being a kind-hearted, more understanding antidote to her older sister, is also the one that really starts piecing together who John (Eric Bana) actually is. 

Garner is excellent in her portrayal as the softly-spoken Californian and if you haven’t watched it yet, you’re in for a shocking treat of a final episode where Garner really comes into her own.

Kimberly Breland in The Americans

Julia Garner The Americans
Julia Garner stars as Kimberly Breland in FX's The Americans.

Before joining the main cast of Ozark in 2017, Garner actually had a recurring role on FX’s hit series The Americans. The complex Cold War drama follows two Russian spies, who are married to each other, have children and pose as Americans while residing in Washington DC. All in order to spy on the American government.

Garner appeared from the third season, all the way through to series six (which is now available to stream on Disney+) as Kimberly Breland, a 15-year-old girl who embarks on a relationship with the (much older) Philip Jennings. The twist being, though, that Jennings is actually a KGB agent who is using Breland as an unsuspecting asset.

Speaking about the decision to cast a young Garner in the role, showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg revealed to Variety:

“The truth is as soon as we brought Julia in it felt right. One thing I think Julia was able to bring to it is there’s a sense of a character struggling with damage. 

“You can look at the intrinsic heebie-jeebies of the older man and underage girl part of the story, but part of what really makes it resonate is this is a girl who has been damaged by several things over the course of her life.”

Maddy in Modern Love

If, like us, you love a series that embodies all the nuances of love, you’ll have likely ploughed through each episode of Modern Love in no time.

The anthology series follows different people in different life situations but all with the overarching theme of love at its core. Garner’s episode is sufficiently creepy but honestly, it’s a testament to her skill as an actor.

Her episode is entitled So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right? hints at the crux of what unfolds but as well as unpacking her own paternal issues, it really does a good job of unpacking father-based problems that many people face everyday and Garner’s stellar acting does a grand job of showcasing that.

Jane in The Assistant

The Assistant saw Garner take a leading role, playing Jane, a recent graduate, who finds a dream job as an assistant to a hungry entertainment mogul.

As Jane goes through each day, she becomes aware of abuse in her workplace and challenges the people around her, including her human resources department, in what is truly a stunning and impassioned performance.

Sage in Grandma 

Grandma sees Garner play a down-to-earth granddaughter who falls pregnant and lands on her eccentric Grandma Elle for funds.

It stars Lily Tomlin (Grace And Frankie) and Judy Greer (13 Going On 30) as both Garner and Tomlin unearth secrets about Elle in their adventure to find the money.

Rose in We Are What We Are 

In this film, Garner plays a member of the Parker family – a family of cannibals who attempt to hide it, but face an impending problem when they realise someone is on to them. Intense drama builds, but we also see true darkness and deception from Garner here.

The film is the English adaptation of an original Spanish movie that was released in 2010.

Rachel in Electrick Children 

This indie film sees Garner explore another dark role, which she nails accordingly. Playing a sister who is allegedly raped by her brother and impregnated, Garner excels in this movie and shows us that she can inhabit complex characters very, very well.

The film, directed by Rebecca Thomas, was inspired by the Virgin Mary and is focused on a Mormon community.

Rola in Everything Beautiful Is Far Away

Garner’s determined side flourishes in Everything Beautiful Is Far Away as she searches for a mythical lake, but encounters a strange man with a sentient robot.

Set in a desert landscape, directors Andrea Sisson and Pete Ohns have captured a sci-film film that oozes originality but Garner captivates us as risky character.

Inventing Anna

Inventing Anna is inspired by a truly wild real-life tale, making Garner’s performance even more important. The Emmy award-winning actor swindles New York society by pretending to be a rich German heiress.

Anna Delvey reaches lofty heights through her Instagram-rich lifestyle and, from the looks of the trailer, is perfectly portrayed by Julia Garner. 

We’re patiently counting down the days till release – 11 February can not come soon enough. 

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Images: Getty/Netflix

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