Is Vivian Kent a real journalist? Anna Chlumsky on ‘Compelling’ Role in ‘Inventing Anna’

The story of one of New York’s most notorious crooks has finally made it to the small screen. Invent Anna on Netflix tells the story of Anna Sorokin who, as Anna Delvey, posed as a German heiress with a $60 million trust fund.

Between 2013 and 2017, Delvey managed to scam members of New York’s elite out of thousands of dollars to help build his failing arts foundation, the Anna Delvey Foundation.

Delvey’s incredibly true story is told through the eyes of journalist Vivian Kent (played by Anna Chlumsky) who reports the story, and via flashbacks to Delvey’s glory days when she had New York in the palm of her hand. his hands.

Audiences want to know everything about the show, including what’s fact and what’s fiction. Is Vivian Kent a real journalist and why was she dropped Bloomberg? Newsweek has everything you need to know.

Is Vivian Kent a real journalist?

No, Vivian Kent in Invent Anna is not a real journalist. However, the character is loosely based on the very real journalist, Jessica Pressler.

Working at new York magazine, Pressler fought to cover Anna Delvey’s story after spotting a small newspaper clipping about her upcoming trial. After weeks of research, including interviews with Delvey before her trial in 2019, Pressler published the article “How Anna Delvey Fooled New York’s Partygoers.”

In his 45,000-word feature, Pressler included interviews with Delvey’s former friends, business associates and loved ones. Going through the article, readers would learn how Delvey managed to scam the New York elite and their friends out of thousands of dollars.

Pressler’s article later served as the basis for Netflix Invent Anna, produced by Shondaland, and Pressler herself is a producer on the series.

Veepis Anna Chlumsky, who plays Vivian in Invent Anna, revealed how she worked very closely with Pressler’s written work to prepare for the role.

Talk to Newsweek, Chlumsky said: “Jessica and I know each other, she’s credited as our show’s producer, she gave her blessing to every part of our show. My character is a fictionalized version of that role, so I don’t have had to match exactly so the first kind of decision was what to borrow and what not and so what I would say is I worked very, very closely with his word writing, I worked very closely with his notes.

“I went through them, I just drank them. They were like, my vitamins, I read all his articles, I felt like playing someone who expresses himself so well and so clearly in his own voice, that really the written word was giving me the most grounding that I needed. So that was my path.

Chlumsky continued, “I enjoyed her brain, really, really. I like her curiosity and the way she doesn’t let go of an idea. I like playing characters who think they’ve put it all together and based on that. what you see in the story [Inventing Anna]. They don’t really know how they present themselves, they betray themselves and I really enjoyed that. Because I think it’s a very human experience.”

She also shared what drew her to the role of Vivian, describing Invent Anna as a “convincing” tale.

Chlumsky said: “One of the things that really appealed to me is that I think we’ve all seen a lot of shows, and really, really good shows, where the journalist is our way of connecting. to an audience because it learns the information that the audience is.

“I think there’s a lot of shows that so far end there, and they don’t need to continue, and that’s fine, but for us, we don’t end there, we let’s actually look at what it’s like to develop a relationship with a subject when you’re a journalist, and that relationship itself The asker and the questioner, you know, that’s something that I really hadn’t seen teased of the way we did it in this program and I’m just, I’m fascinated by that.

“I think when we explore relationships, just, like romantically or just in a family way, I think we ignore the fact that we’re all in relationships with each other all the time. And so that’s really captivating to explore, explore a sanctioned but very intimate working relationship, in this case, and it’s not just work, it’s all gray area and I thought that was just a convincing attack. “

Anna Chlumsky as Vivian Kent (R) in Inventing Anna and the real Jessica Pressler (L) who inspired Vivian’s character.
Netflix/Getty

Why was Vivian Kent removed from Bloomberg?

In Invent AnnaVivian’s pursuit of her Anna Delvey story is turned upside down when her past catches up with her.

Early in her career, Vivian wrote an article on “Reasons to Love New York,” where she profiled a teenager named Donovan Lamb who allegedly made over $70 million on the stock market. She also interviewed her friends and family to find out the full story.

However, shortly after the article was published, Lamb revealed that the story was false and accused Vivian of pushing him to tell a false story to make it newsworthy. As a result, Vivian’s journalistic integrity was always questioned and she always felt she had something to prove. In Invent Anna, Vivian tells Delvey’s attorney, Todd (played by Arian Moayed), that she lost a job at Bloomberg Therefore.

To make matters worse for Vivian, Lamb was appearing on a fictional show called America was investigated, a series that explores questionable journalism. Vivian was encouraged by her editors to appear on the show to tell her side of the story, but she refused.

Although Vivian is a fictional character, her story is based on real events. Pressler, on whom Vivian is based, wrote an article in 2014 for New York magazine titled “Reasons to Love New York” and she really portrayed a 17-year-old Stuyvesant high school student named Mohammed Islam, who claimed to have a net worth of $72 million from stock trading.

However, after Pressler’s article was published, Islam admitted to the New York Observer that the whole story was false, prompting heavy criticism of Pressler.

Like Vivian in Invent AnnaPressler was also set to join Bloomberg News’ investigative unit, but ended up staying at new York magazine after his article on Islam.

The original article now has an editor’s note header containing an apology to readers. “As part of the research process, the magazine sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant, where Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement evidencing an eight-digit bank account.

“After the article was published, people questioned the $72 million figure in the title, which was written by editors based on the supposed figure. The title was changed. But in an interview with the New York Observer Last night Islam now says its whole story was made up. A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified. We have been duped. Our fact-checking process was clearly inadequate; we take full responsibility and should have known better. new York apologizes to our readers,” the note read.

Things went well for Pressler staying at new York magazine. His 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” was nominated for a National Magazine Award, and was later made into a feature film titled Hustlers in 2019, with Jennifer Lopez, Lil Reinhart, Constance Wu and Cardi B.

And sure enough, her 2018 article “How Anna Delvey Fooled New York’s Party People” became a huge Netflix series, also starring Julia Garner and Alexis Floyd.

Invent Anna is streaming on Netflix now.