Anna Sorokin, better known as Anna Delvey, the ‘fake heiress’, elaborately conned the New York elite and defrauded businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars before she was apprehended by authorities in 2019.
Now, actress Julia Garner, who is set to play Sorokin in the new Shonda Rhimes Netflix adaptation of the scandal titled Inventing Anna, has spoken about what she’s learnt about the elusive figure and what it was like meeting her in prison.
Talking to the Wall Street Journal, Garner revealed that in preparing for her role, she even visited the 29-year-old conwoman at Rikers Island, where she’s currently serving a four-to-12 year sentence for grand larceny, second-degree larceny and theft of services..
“The only thing that I didn’t expect is that Anna is really funny,” she noted. “She’s actually hysterical. And she’s super soft-spoken and gentle.”
She also opened up about how she wanted to get to know Sorokin, free from judgement of her crimes. “Going into any part, you can’t have too many negative thoughts because you don’t want to [go into] a character judging them,” she explained. “You can’t dislike the person you’re going to play for eight, nine months.”
The 26-year-old also tried to empathise with Sorokin and see things from her point of view, “She had her reasons for why she did all the things she did,” she said.
Sorokin recently made a public plea on Instagram for ‘fans’ to stop visiting her in prison.
Writing that she was “kind of busy” and was “not in dire need of company”, she urged strange visitors to stop showing up, even saying, “If I want to talk to you, be assured that I will find a way to get back to you.”
Earlier this year, it was reported that she may be released as early as February next year. Her lawyer, Todd Spodek, told the New York Post: “Anna has paid her debt to society handsomely, and I hope society repays the favour.”
The fake heiress, who was originally from Moscow, Russia, moved to New York City in 2013, where she began telling people that she was a German heiress and subsequently leveraged a fake fortune to gain substantial loans.
Naturally, after her fraudulent lavish lifestyle was exposed in an article by The Cut, Hollywood was all too eager to jump at the chance of a screen adaptation.
Shonda Rhimes, the genius behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, is producing the 10-part miniseries for Netflix, Inventing Anna.
For more details on who has been cast, the release date and what the series will include, head here.