Shonda Rhimes Netflix Show Inventing Anna Adds to Cast

Nearly a year after her deal with Netflix, Shonda Rhimes has procured her first series for the streaming giant, Inventing Anna.

Shonda Rhimes made a move last year that signaled a major transition when she signed an overall deal with Netflix, which would make the streaming giant into the home of future “Shondaland” projects. Now, nearly a year after the ink dried, the television visionary has selected her first project as part of said deal, adapting a recent New York Magazine article, by Jessica Pressler, titled, “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People.”

Rhimes has acquired the rights to the Anna Delvey article, and has taken up the duty of writing the Netflix television adaptation, reports Variety. The series will be called Inventing Anna.

The article depicts the factual exploits of a young woman who pulled the wool over the eyes of New York’s high society by passing herself off as a German heiress. Throughout the scheme, Delvey fully embraced the one-percenter lifestyle, managing to fund her newfound capriciously avaricious existence by conning key marks and financial institutions. Of course, the fact that we know these details kind of spoils (out of necessity,) the fact that Delvey was eventually caught and is currently incarcerated in New York’s Rikers Island prison without bond.  

Inventing Anna Cast

Deadline announced the first round of casting of leads for Inventing Anna. They include Julia Garner (Ozark) as the titular Anna Delvey, Anna Chlumsky (Veep) as the journalist who investigates her, Laverne Cox (Orange is the the New Black) as life coach Kacy Duke, Kate Lowes as Delvey follower Rachel, and Alexis Floyd as aspiring filmmaker Neff. 

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Now Netflix has announced the full cast for Inventing Anna and it features a lot of familiar faces and names. Here is a list along with character descriptions provided by Netflix.

ARIAN MOAYED (Succession) will play “TODD.”

Anna’s lawyer is a fast-talking family man with working class-roots. Given the high-profile nature of the case and his need to earn the respect of his legal peers, Todd needs Anna just as much as she needs him.

ANDERS HOLM (Workaholics) will play “JACK.”

Supportive with a dry sense of humor, Vivian’s husband Jack is in sync with his wife in ways that make them lovable even when they annoy each other. But Jack finds it harder and harder to be in sync with Vivian as she grows more in danger of succumbing to her obsession with Anna.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH (For the People) will play “MAUD.”

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Maud climbed to the top of her field alone as the only woman in the room. But now she’s sidelined because the idiots who run the magazine aren’t old enough to remember what a brilliant journalist she is. Maud’s sharp, funny, and often too blunt but her helpful, honest nature makes up for that.

JEFF PERRY (Grey’s Anatomy) will play “LOU.”

Smarter than you, kinder than most, Lou is the unofficial king of Scriberia — the group of writers at the magazine deemed too old and out of touch to do “real work” and yet too esteemed to fire. Lou’s personal life is a mess but his awards keep him warm.

TERRY KINNEY (Billions) will play “BARRY.”

A war correspondent with no war to cover, Barry is a Scriberian by choice – he’d rather wither than cover pop culture. Sarcastic, charming, with a dark sense of humor and sharp tongue, Barry has no problem saying what no one else is willing to say.

Inventing Anna Story

Inventing Anna is based on a fascinating real story detailed in a New York Magazine article. Here is the synopsis per Netflix:

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In Inventing Anna, a journalist with a lot to prove investigates the case of Anna Delvey, the Instagram-legendary German heiress who stole the hearts of New York’s social scene – and stole their money as well. But is Anna New York’s biggest con woman or is she simply the new portrait of the American dream? Anna and the reporter form a dark funny love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and our reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey? The series is inspired by the New York Magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” by Jessica Pressler, who also serves as a producer.

We’ll keep you updated on Shonda Rhimes’s Anna Delvey Netflix project as the news arrives.

Alec Bojalad is TV Editor at Den of Geek and TCA member. Read more of his stuff here. Follow him at his creatively-named Twitter handle @alecbojalad