The new Netflix series, Inventing Anna, tells the true story of Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, the fake heiress who swindled the New York society scene and took the city by storm following the publication of a New York Magazine exposé. Set primarily in New York City, the filming locations for Inventing Anna mix spots in New York and Los Angeles. New Yorkers love almost nothing more than a great grifter story (recall the “Hipster Grifter” of the early aughts) and it turns out, national audiences do too, with the series hitting #1 on the streaming platform over the weekend. The show tells Anna’s story in conjunction with that of a reporter, modeled after the real-life reporter Jessica Pressler, who is trying to get her story.
The trick is on all of us through, as Anna sold her story to Netflix for $320,000 while she was awaiting trial (proceeds ended up being used to pay back the people she had defrauded). Sorokin, currently in an ICE detention center where she landed after serving her criminal sentence, wrote in an essay, “nothing about seeing a fictionalized version of myself in this criminal-insane-asylum setting sounds appealing to me.”
Read on to discover some of the fabulous filming locations for Inventing Anna, and where the production crew substituted Los Angeles for New York City. We think our eagle eye readers can always spot these substitutions (an approach also used in The Morning Show).
1. New York City Criminal Court
In the first episode, you see exterior scenes outside the courthouses in Lower Manhattan, with the Manhattan Municipal Building and the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse designed by Cass Gilbert in the background. We see reporter Vivian Kent (played by Anna Chlumsky) heading into a building with a WPA-style bas relief sculpture on the facade. Vivian is hoping to hear the first hearing in the criminal case against Anna (played by Julia Garner) in Inventing Anna. This is the location of New York County Supreme Court and New York City Civil Court.
In real life, Anna was charged in New York City Criminal Court — she would have appeared at 100 Centre Street rather than at the building shown in the show. You can see the criminal court building in the series When They See Us.