Inventing the Real Anna

by John Downey '23 on May 6, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Inventing the Real Anna

The Hit Netflix Show and the Fascinating Story Behind It

Riley Coyne ’24

Anna Delvey—or, rather, Anna Sorokin—conned Wall Street businessmen, New York socialites, and billionaires, stealing their hearts as well as their money. She tricked the wealthiest of the wealthy into thinking that she was one of them, when in reality, she is a cunning scam artist who aimed to financially manipulate those around her. Sorokin claimed she would repay these wealthy men and women with money from a well-padded trust fund her father had created for her. She was able to play this part of a trust fund baby, using her unassuming character to her advantage—until it landed her in jail. 

A new Netflix original series, Inventing Anna, tells this fascinating story, with Julia Garner portraying the titular con artist. Notably, though, viewers must take this small-screen adaptation with a grain of salt: as the opening sequence of each episode clarifies, “this whole story is completely true. Except for all of the parts that are totally made up.”

If the intrigue of a true crime story wasn’t enough to capture audiences’ attention, the fact that the series is produced by screenwriter Shonda Rhimes surely captivated them. Rhimes is best known for her beloved medical drama Grey’s Anatomy

By and large, Inventing Anna is receiving positive reviews. However, some people have taken issue with Garner and her portrayal of Sorokin. Garner is a highly-regarded actress, with roles in successful projects such as Ozark, The Americans, The Assistant, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Despite her impressive credentials, certain viewers have taken to social media to express that they think her voice is “annoying” and “too high-pitched.” 

However, the real-life Sorokin is Russian and pretended to be German, so even though Garner’s accent may seem odd, it is in fact a blend of those two common accents. In a statement defending Garner from such criticism, Rhimes told T&C that “Julia [Garner] spent a lot of time perfecting Anna’s accent and ultimately, I think it was one of the biggest pieces in helping embody this character.”

With all of this recent buzz surrounding Inventing Anna and Sorokin, the popular Spotify podcast Call her Daddy decided to interview the real Sorokin. The conversation took place shortly after Sorokin’s release from prison via a video call from the ICE detention center that she is currently being held in. 

Alex Cooper, the host of Call Her Daddy, emphasized in a statement that it was difficult to conduct the interview given that Sorokin is in government custody and, as such, is only allowed a certain amount of time to talk on the phone. Cooper explained that “she had to log off and back on every fifteen minutes,” making the interview process long and tedious, but also expressed that she was determined to interview Sorokin. 

At one point in the interview, Cooper asks Sorokin if she considers herself to be a con artist. Sorokin’s response, in short, was “Absolutely not.” Sorokin also said that she is aware of the new Netflix series about her and her escapades but does not plan on watching it anytime soon.