Let's Talk About 1 Of Inventing Anna's Most Interesting Characters
Nora Radford is an enigma.
Anna Delvey’s scandalous story of fabulous scams boils down to one big question: Just how did this woman finagle her way into the most elite social circles in New York City? Even after years of articles and court hearings, that’s still largely a mystery, but Netflix’s Inventing Anna created its own answer in the form of Nora Radford. Anna’s mentor figure ushers her into the realm of socialites and CEOs, but is Nora Radford from Inventing Anna real, or just a way for the show to try to connect the dots? Like the rest of the show, Nora is somewhat based in truth, but with several creative liberties taken.
On Inventing Anna, Nora is probably the most pivotal character in setting Anna up for success. After Anna arrives in New York and befriends her stylist buddy Val, he invites her to live with him and Nora, the wealthy socialite who’s taken Val in. Before long, Anna is able to convince Nora to help her kickstart the Anna Delvey Foundation, her vision for an elite social club filled with modern art. It’s thanks to Nora’s various powerful connections that Anna is finally able to secure her dream team in creating ADF, but she repays her mentor by sticking her with hundreds of thousands of dollars in shopping charges before fleeing her house.
Other characters in Inventing Anna, like Anna’s friends, Neff and Rachel, are explicitly named in the New York Magazine 2018 profile of Delvey on which the series is based, while others like Chase, Alan, Kacy, and Val are referenced either by a different name or no name at all. Nora, however, doesn’t seem to appear in the article at all. There’s no mention of a mentor figure who took Anna in and helped connect her with her wealthy friends.
However, there is a small clue elsewhere: A piece on Julia Garner’s process in channeling Delvey from Netflix Queue reported that Delvey stole the credit card information of a former mentor and racked up over $40,000 in shopping receipts. That’s really the only info there is on what may be a real-life version of Nora. Aside from that, it appears she’s mainly an invention of the show. At least she helps to provide an answer to the question of Delvey’s inexplicable upward mobility, even if it may not be what actually happened IRL.