Vivian Kent from Inventing Anna is based on the real-life story of journalist Jessica Pressler. She worked as an editor at New York Magazine and produced the show as well. Donovan Lamb lies to Vivian Kent about earning over $70 million in the stock market. The role is played by actress Anna Chlumsky. Grab details of reporter Vivian Kent's article and story.
Inventing Anna is a new Netflix series that follows Anna Delvey, a.k.a. Anna Sorokin, as she rises through the ranks of New York City society as a "fake heiress". While Anna is unmistakably genuine, several aspects of her story are not.
According to the trailer, Inventing Anna is based on a true story... "except for the bits that are completely made up". There's also Vivian Kent, the Manhattan Magazine writer who followed Anna down behind her boss's back.
Was she able to figure out who Anna was? Here is all you need to know about Vivian, including her current status.
Inventing Anna's Vivian Kent is Based on Jessica Pressler, a Real Journalist
Vivian Kent, played by Anna Chlumsky (@AnnaChlumsky), is based on Jessica Pressler, a journalist. According to her LinkedIn, Pressler worked as a contributing editor at New York Magazine for 13 years, from 2007 until 2020.
Anna Sorokin was the focus of her investigation. The Netflix series was inspired by Pressler's 2018 article exposing Anna and her protracted scam.
Vivian's experiences in the series are also based on Pressler's life. "I was super pregnant while reporting that story and finished two weeks or so before I had a baby," Pressler told Vulture.
Vivian travels to Germany in search of Anna's parents when the article about her is published in the show. This is (mostly) accurate, according to Pressler: "I was hearing so many different stories about Anna, and it kept growing," she added.
Pressler, on the other hand, certainly did not try to break into anyone's home," unlike Vivian. Even the scenes when Vivian helps Anna in finding clothing to wear to her trial are based on true events.
"The first week of the trial, there was some snafu and the clothes didn’t get there, and it literally held up the trial," Pressler recalled. "This wasn’t all because of Anna’s vanity—defendants have to wear civilian clothes at trial because if they wear a prison jumpsuit it might prejudice the jury. The court has clothes they can lend, but I think that first day they did not for some reason."
Despite the fact that Vivian is a fictitious character, she is clearly based on Pressler. "There’s an emotional truth to it all, even though the details are different," Pressler said of the show.
Pressler revealed another plot before she discovered Anna. "The Hustlers at Scores," a 2015 article she wrote, exposed a network of dancers who scammed strip club guests out of thousands of dollars. Does this ring a bell? Hustlers, a 2019 film starring Julia Stiles and Jennifer Lopez, is based on Pressler's story.
Where is Jessica Pressler Today?
Jessica Pressler went on to become a special reporter for Vanity Fair after leaving New York Magazine in 2020. She's now a producer on the show Inventing Anna. Pressler recently claimed that following the publication of her article, she got hundreds of offers to adapt the subject for the film.
"I’d finished the story weeks away from having a baby, and it was just this avalanche of phone calls from everybody I’ve ever admired in the entertainment industry. You would think that that would be wonderful and a dream, but it was also a nightmare because I had to say no to all those people except for one person," she said, per Shondaland.
Pressler admitted that she wasn't expecting to be a producer on the show.
"I don’t even think that was my idea, to be totally honest. I think my agent brought it up. It didn’t mean very much to me, "she clarified. "But I do think it’s important for a writer to be attached to and a part of something that is based on their work, even if you’re not a part of the creative process. And I wasn’t involved in the day-to-day of making Inventing Anna either, but it was a revolving and open door."
She now likes tweeting about Inventing Anna and sharing behind-the-scenes details with the show's viewers.