“Thank you for committing your crimes. Cause it got me on a Netflix set.” – real-life Neff Davis, Vanity Fair interview
With 196 million hours between February 14 and 20, on top of 77 million hours from the week it was released on February 11, Inventing Anna is the most-watched English language Netflix series. (via Deadline) The reviews are on the roof and people on the internet can’t stop talking about it already. Most viewers are curious about the real-life people that the series is based on.
If you’ve watched the series, you may know Neffatari “Neff” Davis (played by actress Alexis Floyd), Anna Delvey’s dearest friend.
The Netflix series has sparked a lot of conversations on the internet, including how the makers played Neff “dirty”. “the person really done dirty by inventing anna is neff, she’s so cool and they made her seem super desperate and ofc nobody likes to see black girls smile so she’s getting irl hate for something a character said in a show” one of the Twitter opinions reads.
But it seems like (real-life) Neff is doing just fine. Thank you very much.
On Feb. 22, Neff addressed her haters on Instagram. “I’ve been getting this a lot and I just want to make it clear one time,” Neff posted a lengthy explainer on the social media platform.
“Inventing Anna didn’t do me ‘dirty.’ It’s a show — not my biography.” she wrote.
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“I’m blessed to be tanning on a Tuesday living in LA eating lobster pizza from Berri’s,” Neff continued. “That’s because of Inventing Anna and Shonda. They not only gave me my first film credit on the biggest digital platform ever; they made sure I was paid a nice coin.”
In fact, Neff, who’s an aspiring filmmaker and former film student, got to work closely with Inventing Anna’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, “I got paid very well. Shonda mentors me. Not only was I able to quit Starbucks and not have to work and just be a creative and relax in LA, but I was able to be a part of a film set and get consulting credit. The credits in the show mean more to me than the money. Because as a film student, that’s all you care about—seeing your name and the credits. You know what I mean?” Neff shared in a very personal interview with Vanity Fair.
According to Neff, in the making of Inventing Anna, Rhimes wanted Neff to be on the set, be a consultant, “shadow the director on set” and “learn the cameras and how a production is made.” Rhimes made sure to nurture the filmmaker in her.
If you have been wondering, are they still friends? Yes. They are. Neff told PAPER in an exclusive interview, “At the end of the day, yes, she did what she did, but people are not buying the story because she’s a thief; they’re buying it because she got away with it. She’s my friend, but I don’t know the Anna that everyone else does. So I guess I got a piece of Anna that no one else really saw.”
For the unversed, Inventing Anna tells the story of Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, a socialite scammer in New York City who pretended to be a German heiress between 2013 and 2017 in order to defraud the most prestigious banks, luxury hotels, and wealthy acquaintances. Created by Shonda Rhimes, the Netflix series is based on a real New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler. Emmy-winner Julia Garner plays Anna Delvey, and Anna Chlumsky plays Vivian Kent, a fictionalized version of Pressler.
Actress Alexis Floyd portrays Neff, an aspiring filmmaker who works as a concierge at the luxury New York Hotel 11 Howard concierge where Anna Delvey stayed for months. The two became friends, and Neff quickly found herself pulled into Anna’s world, with Anna lavishing her with expensive clothes, meals, clothes, and more. The only friend to stay loyal to Anna when her con-artistry came to light was Neff, and in fact, she remains so to this day.