This week, Neff (whose full first name is Neffatari) opened up to Bustle about the basis of their real-life relationship—as well as why she stood by Anna even when her double-life was exposed.
"I truly stood by her side because she was there for me when I needed her. Loyalty is loyalty," Neff explained, adding that she was first drawn to the 'German heiress' at the hotel because, "She wasn’t like our other guests and she talked about her goals a lot. As a Capricorn, I was very intrigued with what she had going on and how she would get it done at a young age."
Neff also added that she never believed Anna to be a scammer in those early days, despite what she was told: "I never saw her not being legit," she revealed.
Interestingly, Neff actually worked with closely with Inventing Anna's creator, Shonda Rhimes, which, in a way, was a full-circle parallel to her friendship with Anna, who had told her she'd help Neff go places in the film industry—a long-time dream of the then-hotel worker's.
"I was involved with the development of my character," she explained of working with Rhimes, "It was literally a dream come true. They nurtured my love for film and didn’t treat me like just a character."
As for why she's still firm friends with Anna to this day (she even publicly wished her a Happy Birthday on Instagram last month), Neff's answer is simple: "Anna is my friend and always will be. We had to get to know each other again and develop healthy boundaries. We have blocked and unblocked each other, cried, and laughed. I get her."
But when it comes to her best friend's crimes, Neff does regret some of Anna's choices, telling the publication: "I would’ve told Anna to make a GoFundMe instead of bank hopping. But she never told me about her crimes, so I guess not."
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Read more about Inventing Anna in our exclusive March cover story with Julia Garner here, or pick up a copy on stands now.