Davis, whose real name is Neffatari Davis, worked as a paid consultant on the Netflix limited series. Today, she is living in Los Angeles and said she is focusing on herself and her film aspirations.
Here’s what you need to know:
Davis Recently Left New York & Is Living in California in 2022; She Was a Paid Consultant on ‘Inventing Anna’
Many facts about Davis’ life portrayed on ‘Inventing Anna’ are true, except, of course, for the ones that are totally made up. Davis really went to film school and today she is writing her film script, she told Vanity Fair in 2022. Like Davis says on the limited series, she grew up in a Washington, D.C. suburb. She wrote about her background and move to New York at 18 in an August 2021 Instagram post.
“I moved to New York City when I was 18 years-old. It was scary and I was a baby. I never had left PG county or even knew many people outside of my city,” she wrote. “I remember thinking…I wouldn’t make it here. I’m too green. I’m too suburban. I’m too me. But that ended up being the blessing. I always remained me.”
She wrote that she “met amazing people” and “unfriended toxic people,” without naming names.
Her post concluded:
Today makes 11 years in Gotham City and I have chose to switch coast. I’m moving to Cali next month and it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the city that made me. From starving to eating Michelin. To not having any money to being blessed with a Netflix show. Life in New York has been the greatest film I ever got to watch. I won’t make anything as good as the experiences my mind will replay forever. I love you NY. My 30s will be in California, please be good to me.
Davis told Vanity Fair “Inventing Anna” gave her a huge opportunity. She initially ignored requests from Shonda Rimes and Shondaland, because she was getting so many offers to sell the rights to her story at the time. Then, she learned the details of their offer.
Davis told Vanity Fair:
Then Shondaland and Shonda Rhimes picked me up. And they were like, ‘We want you to be the consultant.’ And Shonda was like, ‘Actually, it’s more than a consultant. I know you wanna make film. I want you to come on set. I want you to shadow directors. I want you to learn the cameras and how a production is made.’ And I was like, ‘That’s more than what was offered from anyone else.’ Everyone was just like, sell your life rights and get out of there. But Shonda nurtured my film bone.
She even told Anna Sorokin herself about the opportunity, she told Vanity Fair.
I told Anna, I was like, ‘I’ve been on set.’ She was like, ‘I’m so happy you got to go on set.’ I’m like, ‘Thank you for committing your crimes. Cause it got me on a Netflix set.’ So it worked out for me. 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.
Davis shared a screenshot from Netflix around the time she announced her LA move, asking her if she would like to use “Neff Davis” or “Neffatari Davis” on her film credits.
She decided to go with Neffatari, she wrote.
“My mama said ‘Neffatari, because that’s what I named you,'” she wrote.
Davis also got to know Alexis Floyd, who portrayed her on screen. She gave Floyd flowers on premiere night, she wrote on Instagram.
“She is phenomenal in @inventinganna and I had the pleasure to get to know her beautiful spirit over the past three years,” she wrote. She’s really good at being me. Lol.”
Davis’ Feelings for Rachel DeLoache Williams Are More Nuanced Than They Are Portrayed on the Show
Davis spoke to Vanity Fair about a mutual friend who was also portrayed on the show, Rachel DeLoache Williams. “Inventing Anna” shows Davis throwing shade at Williams. Read more about the real Rachel here.
In real life, she never talked to DeLoache after parting ways with Anna Delvey. She told Vanity Fair she was mad at Anna for scamming Rachel.
Yeah. I was like, Rachel was a slave of Vanity Fair. Why would you do that to her? And she was like, ‘Well, I didn’t tell her to put that card down.’ But I’m like, you know if you’re in Morocco and you have every one around you speaking Arabic and they’re threatening you and you know how they don’t care about women’s rights over, you’re going to feel pressured to put a card down.
Even though I don’t feel bad for Rachel, I feel bad that Rachel was in that situation. And that’s my only thing about Rachel. I just don’t know why she put that card down, but she trusted Anna.
Davis told Vanity Fair the show “dragged” Rachel, and she wasn’t sure why.
“I don’t know why the show was so rough on Rachel. . . .I don’t have a hate towards her. It’s just that I’m friends with Anna. If you’re friends with someone it’s hard to be friends with their enemy. It’s like a girl code,” Davis said.
Davis Didn’t Take Sorokin’s Scam Personally & Said She Is Building a New Life After Anna
How does Neff feel about her friend Anna Delvey? Davis told Vanity Fair she was no longer thinking about her former friend when journalist Jessica Pressler asked Davis about her, and had no idea about the scam or that Sorokin was in prison. At the time in 2018, she had left the hotel and was working as a manager at Starbucks while pursuing her film career in her rare spare time.
I was like, ‘Wait a minute, Anna? The heiress millionaire that was giving me thousands of dollars just to recommend her to, like, [Thai restaurant] Uncle Boons?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, she’s in jail.’ Then she sent me articles and I started to read them and Google her. They were like, her last name’s not even Delvey. I’m just like laughing at the time because you think you know this person, but then you realize you didn’t know this person. I was just really in shock.
So yeah, it did hurt my feelings initially. But I kind of got over it because I’m like, okay, if she had told me about that, I would’ve been obligated to not, like, f*** with her anymore. So I felt almost like, thank God, I didn’t know about it because I was really hanging with this woman.
She did visit Anna in prison several times, she told Vanity Fair. It was Davis bringing Sorokin business magazines and panties, not Pressler (whose onscreen counterpart was Vivian Kent on the show). She said she didn’t go as often as “Inventing Anna” makes it seem, and visited Sorokin three times at Rikers.
Davis compared a friendship with Anna to the ‘Saw’ movies: “You torture yourself a little bit, but you will survive,” she told Vanity Fair.
She said she thinks Sorokin has a painful past that motivated her crimes, but Sorokin would never talk about it. She thinks that mystery is the reason behind the cultural obsession with Anna Delvey.
“Death is unknown. Space is unknown. And Anna is unknown,” Davis told Vanity Fair.
She said that looking back, she saw red flags, but has told Sorokin she wishes she had used her strategic mind for good.
“I don’t have any hate towards that but I really did wish she had used that powerful mind for good. Because it’s like, she didn’t have to do it that way. She would’ve made it in New York just by being Anna,” Davis told Vanity Fair.
Davis told Vanity Fair her life has been caught up around Sorokin, and today she is focusing on her mental health and writing her film script. She is letting Anna go, she said.
I’m just doing things to separate myself [from Anna]. I’ve got so many people emailing me, like send me your script, and I’m just like, this is my baby. I finally can give birth to something of my own and just kind of shake hands with Anna and be like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna go this way and you’re gonna go that way. I still love you from a distance, but it’s time to make Neff happy.’
And I don’t feel guilty about it because being Anna’s friend put a lot of stress on my life. So on top of Botox, I need this time to just relax and decompress from the circus that’s Anna Delvey.