Inventing Anna: All you need to know about Netflix true crime drama which stars Ozark's Julia Garner as high-society con woman

Anna Chlumsky and Julia Garner star in the remarkable tale of a real-life con artist who reinvented herself as an heiress to steal the hearts - and the money - of the in-crowd.

By Katie Archer Published: 28 March 2023 - 1.44am
Netflix Julia Garner stars in Inventing Anna

Netflix is already known for its fascinating true crime documentaries, but with Inventing Anna they go one step further by transforming the strange case of Anna Delvey into a drama series.

With a cast including Ozark star Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky and Laverne Cox, the series has had Netflix subscribers itching to see it ever since it was announced.

Here’s all we know about the plot, cast and when it will be streaming.

Is Inventing Anna based on a true story?

 Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in Inventing Anna Netflix

Yes! Drama series Inventing Anna is based on the true story of con woman Anna Sorokin (also known as Anna Delvey), who worked in New York high society.

Anna Sorokin was a Russian-born German who moved to New York in 2013 and set herself up with a fake identity as Anna Delvey, supposedly an uber-rich German heiress.

She told her new friends that her wealth totalled around $60 million, but frequently managed to get her high-society acquaintances to foot the bill for hotel stays, restaurant visits and shopping trips by claiming her money was stuck overseas or that she had forgotten her wallet.

Anna Sorokin in court Getty
The real Anna Sorokin in court

In the end, Sorokin was convicted of larceny and theft of services, was imprisoned from 2019 until February 2021, and in March was taken into custody to be deported back to Germany.

The TV series follows a journalist with a lot to prove as she begins investigating Sorokin’s crimes as she awaited trial, finding out how she managed to steal New York high society’s hearts and money.

Inspired by the New York Magazine article 'How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People' by Jessica Pressler, it sees reporter Vivian question whether Sorokin really was a con woman, or just the latest incarnation of the American Dream.

One of Anna's former friends, Rachel DeLoache Williams, has also written a book about her called 'My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York City.'

It tells the story of how, after meeting through mutual friends, Anna and Rachel became inseparable - before Rachel began to suspect that her increasingly mysterious friend was not all she seemed.

It's been described as 'Catch Me If You Can' for the Instagram generation.

Who's in the cast of Inventing Anna? 

Playing journalist Vivian is Anna Chlumsky, best known for her starring role in My Girl as a child and more recently in sitcom Veep.

Anna is played by Julia Garner, best known for playing Ruth in the Netflix series Ozark and Terra in another Netflix true crime series, Dirty John.

Katie Lowes (Scandal) plays Rachel, Alexis Floyd (The Bold Type) plays Neff, and Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black) plays Kacy. 

The cast also features Arian Moayed (Succession), Anders Holm (Workaholics), Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie), Jeff Perry (Grey’s Anatomy) and Terry Kinney (Oz).

Are the characters in Inventing Anna real?

Yes! Anna Sorokin is 100% real. Vivian is based on the journalist Jessica Pressler, who wrote the article that exposed Anna. Vivian was also behind the article that inspired the movie Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez.

Rachel Williams is also another real life character. A former friend of Anna's, she later went on to write the best-selling book My Friend Anna, based on her experiences.

Anna's personal trainer Kacy, her friend Neff, and lawyer Todd are all real. Anna's boyfriend Chase is fictionalised, but based on her real life boyfriend.

Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in Inventing Anna Netflix

Is there a trailer for Inventing Anna?

Yes, the first full-length trailer for Inventing Anna was released in January 2022, which you can watch below:

Some fans criticised Garner's accent in the trailer, but Garner has revealed that the real Anna wanted to hear her accent when she visited her in New York prison - and she was so committed to it that she even started sleep-talking in Anna's accent. 

Garner told Town & Country: “She’s like, ‘Please, let me hear it. It got very meta.”

According to the mag, Anna was born in Russia, grew up in Germany, learned British English, then mimicked American English by watching shows such as Gossip Girl.

As one fan commented on YouTube: "Initially I thought the accent was strange as it didn’t sound Russian but then I saw an interview with the real Anna and she had almost the same accent. A weird German, Russian and Valley girl hybrid. Those complaining that Julia Garner doesn’t sound Russian really need to see the real Anna’s interview."

When is Inventing Anna on Netflix?

Inventing Anna is available to watch on Netflix from Friday, February 11.

It will consist of nine, hour-long episodes.