- Inventing Anna -What Happened To Anna's Best Friend Neff? 'Inventing Anna' Shines A Light On The Grifter's BFF
If Anna Delvey made one real friend during her time scamming her way to the top of New York's social strata it was Neffatari "Neff" Davis. That reality is reflected in Inventing Anna, Shonda Rhimes' adaptation of Jessica Pressler's 2018 New York Magazine article "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People." On the show, Neff defends Anna even after her fraudulent behavior catches up with her. The real-life Davis reacted in much the same way, and today the aspiring filmmaker is still committed to seeing Delvey's story told fairly — and making her own Hollywood dreams come true.
Just like on the show, Davis met Delvey when she strolled into the 11 Howard hotel and started slipping the staff $100 tips. Soon, the two women became friends, with Delvey inviting Davis to lavish parties and buying her clothes. But like all of the fake heiress' relationships, their friendship was still transactional. For her part, Davis had to pay her new pal back with her undivided attention.
In a 2018 interview with Paper, the filmmaker explained, "I feel like we're like Thelma and Louise. People are like, 'Well, both of you guys didn't steal' but it's like 'No, she stole from me, she stole my time.' And when people are like, 'Oh my god you moocher, you're so thirsty,' I'm like, 'Screw that, because they didn't have to deal with Anna for months.' For every day of my life for 8 hours a day, this girl sat across my desk."
Since the publication of Pressler's article, Davis has played in an instrumental role in ensuring Delvey's story and her own were faithfully told in Inventing Anna. The filmmaker served as a consultant on the series, and made herself available to her onscreen counterpart Alexis Floyd to answer any and all questions she had about what makes her tick. "One of the first things I did was have dinner with her," Floyd said of Davis in a recent Forbes interview. "We spent three-and-a-half hours together that first night. She was almost on call for me, even if I had questions in the middle of the night."
Davis' involvement in the series is reflected on her Instagram feed where she posted a photo of herself and Floyd together just hours before Inventing Anna premiered on Netflix. "With the release of Inventing Anna at midnight, I just wanted to give flowers to “NEFF” @alexisgfloyd," she wrote. "She is phenomenal in @inventinganna and I had the pleasure to get to know her beautiful spirit over the past three years. She’s really good at being me. Lol
I can’t wait for the world to see your talent and I am so happy for you. @shondaland did what had to be done when casting you. You truly ate this role up."
With Delvey currently in an ICE detention center after serving three years of her prison sentence and being let out on parole for good behavior, it's unclear whether she and Davis are still friends. Wherever their relationship stands, Davis still considers Delvey to be the "Thelma to her Louise" according to her January Instagram tribute to her pal. As she told Paper back in 2018, she and the fake heiress were always destined to be a part of each other's lives. "I'm going to help tell the story correctly, and I'm going to be a film director someday, and you know what you can add to this article? That it was fate," she said.
Now that she's ensured the wild, but true story of her one-time best friend was given its dues on Netflix, it likely won't be long before Davis makes her own directorial debut. If Inventing Anna taught me anything, it's that no one is going to stop the former concierge from following her dreams.
Image: David Giesbrecht/Netflix