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How Julia Garner Captured Anna Delvey's Accent in Inventing Anna

'If I didn't have the accent down, then I wouldn't have a lot of the character down'

Kat Moon

Watch a few minutes of Inventing Anna and you'll instantly notice the unusual accent from Julia Garner. In the new series from Shonda Rhimes that premieres on Netflix Feb. 11, Garner plays Anna Delvey — the con artist who pretended to be a German heiress and scammed New York City's socialites. The show is based on Jessica Pressler's article "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People" in New York. In the series, the actor speaks in a peculiar way to imitate the fraudster. This accent, though odd, is central to Garner's portrayal of Delvey.

"If I didn't have the accent down, then I wouldn't have a lot of the character down," Garner says in a new behind-the-scenes clip from Netflix. She describes how she attempted to sound like Delvey — who was born in Russia and moved to Germany as a teenager before landing in New York City in 2013. "I first did a German accent," Garner explains. Then, "you bring in little elements of a Russian accent, and every word is kind of mushed together," she says. 

But the way her character speaks also shifts depending on who is with Delvey. "If she's around a bunch of Europeans, she's going to make herself sound more European," Garner says. "But if she's around her American girlfriends, she'll try to make it sound more like an American girl." 

If that sounds like a lot, you can see how close Garner came to Delvey's, whose real surname is Sorikin, real accent in this interview with 60 Minutes Australia

Inventing Anna premieres Feb. 11.