Netflix’s Inventing Anna will bring the story of “fake heiress” Anna Delvey, not to mention her crimes of high-level fraud, to life on our TV screens this February.
Updated on 14 January: The moment we heard that one of the world’s most notorious fraudsters was being brought to our screens in Netflix’s Inventing Anna, we were excited.
Inspired by the article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” by Jessica Pressler, the 10-episode series will follow a journalist, Vivian, with a lot to prove as she begins to investigate the case of a mysterious heiress.
Anna and the reporter form a love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and the reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey?
Anna’s audacious scams already sound like something out of a far-fetched TV drama, and now, finally, the official full-length trailer unveiling Emmy-winning actor Julia Garner as the fake heiress has landed.
In the trailer, we get a closer look at Garner’s outrageous con woman, who funded a lavish lifestyle by scamming hotels, restaurants, banks and numerous friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the opening scenes, we see New York Magazine reporter, played by Anna Chlumsky, relay a story to her editors that she’s heard about a woman who’s either “a rich German heiress or flat broke”.
We also see a judge read the charges against Delvey in court. “Anna committed real white-collar felonies while posing as a socialite in an attempt to steal million of dollars,” she says, as the gavel falls.
In another scene, Vivian visits Delvey in prison for an interview, where she’s rudely judged for her outfit choices.
“What are you wearing? You look poor,” Delvey asks the reporter, before declaring that the public picture that’s being painted of her is a criminal isn’t accurate.
“Maybe it’d help if you stop thinking about me like everyone else,” she says defiantly. “Like basic, you know?”
The trailer follows a teaser that debuted in November. Set against a glitzy New York skyline, the opening voiceover asks: “Who is this person? Who the hell is Anna Delvey?”
Range Rovers, champagne, bundles of cash, designer bags and huge sunglasses: everything about Inventing Anna looks like a rich city dream, except none of it is real.
And as we watch plucky journalist Vivian (Anna Chlumsky) hot on Delvey’s heels and piecing the fraud together, we know the fallout will be even bigger than the lie itself.
“I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR YEARS ACTUALLY I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ACTUALLY COMING ALIVE !!!!!!!!!! SO SO SO EXCITED I’m obsessed with everything about this story !!!” wrote one excited fan beneath the trailer.
The trailer marks the first time we see Garner, who won an Emmy last year for her work on Ozark, bring Anna Delvey/Sorokin to life for the true crime series. “It’s been very fun playing this part, and it’s been very challenging,” Garner told BuzzFeed News of the role.
“It’s definitely a hard part. It’s very complex,” she added. “The accent is crazy, I will give you that, because she’s from Germany and Russia. It’s been a good process.” When asked if she had visited Delvey/Sorokin in jail to help her prep for the part, Garner only teased, “That question is for another time when I come back here.”
Opposite Garner stars Anna Chlumsky, who famously portrayed Amy Brookheimer in the HBO television series Veep, for which she has received a whopping six nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
She will play Vivian, aka the reporter investigating the wannabe socialite, in Inventing Anna.
Though we already know so much of the tale, the first-look images of Inventing Anna don’t give much away.
What’s interesting, though, is that we already see her at both her high-flying, silk scarf-wearing best, as well as her disheveled, mid-mugshot worst. This fall from grace looks like it’s going to be an epic one.
As reported on 20 January 2021: For a very long time, Anna Delvey was the only name on everyone’s lips. A charming German heiress with an insatiable appetite for luxury, she appeared from seemingly nowhere in 2013 and hurled herself headfirst into the NYC party scene.
Over time, Delvey became something of a society page fixture, thanks to her penchant for trendy hotels, eating at James Beard Award-winning restaurants, and endless visits to the city’s top spas and salons.
To her bevy of new friends, she was their endearingly scatty pal; indeed, she regularly had to coax them into loaning her cash and covering her bills due to her “forgetfulness” (she’d pay them back, she promised, using her €60 million trust fund).
The fake heiress
When a big exposé in New York Magazine went viral in the middle of 2018, though, the truth came out: Anna Delvey was, in fact, Anna Sorokin. There was no trust fund. And the Russian-born fraudster had conned hundreds of thousands of pounds out of hoteliers, restaurateurs, and her stunned friends alike.
Naturally, the trial became something of a media circus, with paparazzi snapping photo after photo of Delvey/Sorokin throughout. Her lawyer Todd Spodek, too, made headlines when he informed the jury that his client was basically a modern-day Frank Sinatra.
“Sinatra made a brand-new start of it in New York, just as Miss Sorokin did,” he announced during the trial at Manhattan Supreme Court.
“You have to put yourself in her shoes, the shoes of a 25-year-old German national who managed to infiltrate a world that very few of us ever see… [and] every day you hear about people risking it all for business, taking chances, taking advantages of opportunity.
“Isn’t that what Miss Sorokin did?”
Guilty as charged
Unfortunately for Sorokin, the judge did not agree with Spodek’s read of the situation. And, on 9 May 2019, the so-called “Soho grifter” was charged with grand larceny, theft of services, and larceny in the second degree.
She was fined $24,000, ordered to pay restitution of about $199,000, and given a sentence of four to 12 years in state prison.
Who else stars in Inventing Anna?
Arian Moayed as Todd Spodek
That’s right: Anna’s fast-talking lawyer will be getting a starring role in the series. And, as per Variety’s report, his working-class roots and unique relationship with Delvey/Sorokin will be explored in detail.
“Given the high-profile nature of the case and his need to earn the respect of his legal peers, Todd needs Anna just as much as she needs him,” it reads.
Spodek will be played by Arian Moayed, who currently appears in Succession.
Laverne Cox as Kacy Duke
Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox will portray Kacy Duke, celebrity trainer and life coach who soon finds herself sucked into the Anna whirlwind. In the wake of Anna’s crimes, though, Kacy finds herself becoming much, much more than just a coach to the fake heiress.
Anders Holm as Jack
Anders Holm, who is perhaps best known for co-creating and co-starring in Workaholics, will play Jack, Vivian’s husband.
Described as “supportive with a dry sense of humor”, Variety says that “Jack is in sync with his wife in ways that make them lovable even when they annoy each other.
“But Jack finds it harder and harder to be in sync with Vivian as she grows more in danger of succumbing to her obsession with Anna.”
Anna Deavere Smith as Maud
Black-ish star Anna Deavere Smith will “play Maud, who climbed to the top of her field alone as the only woman in the room,” says Variety.
“But now she’s sidelined because the idiots who run the magazine aren’t old enough to remember what a brilliant journalist she is.”
Katie Lowes as Rachel
Katie Lowes has already worked with Rhimes on Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, so it makes sense that she’s starring in this series as Rachel.
Unlike the others mentioned so far, Rachel is completely hoodwinked by Anna. Indeed, her blind worship of the fake heiress almost destroys her job, her credit, and… well, and her life.
Alexis Floyd as Neff
The Bold Type’s Alexis Floyd stars as Neff, an aspiring filmmaker who’s currently stuck working as a hotel concierge.
As such, she knows New York and its people. And she’s not about to be taken for a ride by Delvey/Sorokin…
Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney, and Jennifer Esposito will also star in Netflix’s Inventing Anna.
When will Inventing Anna be available for streaming on Netflix?
Inventing Anna will launch on Netflix on 11 February 2022.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.