How does one portray someone pretending to be someone else?
Just ask Julia Garner, whose take on faux German heiress Anna Delvey (née Sorokin) is at the center of the highly anticipated Netflix series, “Inventing Anna,” premiering February 11. “She’s actually really sweet. She’s very gentle,” Garner explained in a Town and Country cover story of the convicted con artist. “But then her voice gets less soft-spoken when she wants something.”
And that voice is just as jarring as Delvey’s story: a convoluted and carefully constructed mix of Russian, German, British, and American inflections to make Delvey appear more…regal. Delvey found her footing in the elite world of Manhattan high-rollers, before being found guilty on eight charges of fraud and grand larceny in 2019.
“She’s like, ‘Please, let me hear it,'” Garner remembered of Delvey begging to hear her take on the infamous accent. “It got very meta.”
Garner called Delvey’s voice “the hardest accent I’ll ever do,” especially coming off her unique “tongue” in “Ozark.”
“Anna’s tongue is kind of flat. It almost feels heavy and fat,” Garner explained. “I completely had to change how I moved my tongue in three weeks.”
“Inventing Anna” executive producer Shonda Rhimes noted that Garner “spent a lot of time perfecting [the accent], and ultimately I think it was one of the biggest pieces in helping embody this character.”
Garner even admitted that she began sleep-talking in the “Inventing Anna” voice. “My husband [Mark Foster] was like, ‘This has gotten out of control,'” Garner joked.
And Garner is certain Delvey will be tuning in to the 10-episode Netflix series based on her life. “People don’t necessarily have to agree with what she did, but I want to help people try to understand why she did it,” Garner concluded. “I’m curious what Anna’s going to think about me portraying her. They for sure have Netflix in jail.”