February 22, 2022 In Rhimes, Shonda

Shonda Rhimes offered Inventing Anna’s Neff Davis involvement in production and not just money to win her life rights

Lainey

Posted by Lainey
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Dear Gossips, 

Have you finished Inventing Anna yet? Since the series, created by Shonda Rhimes, premiered on Netflix last week, there’s been all kinds of debate about whether or not content about scammers only glorifies scammers. We can talk more about the show once most people have finished but for now, did you hear about Neff? 

Neff, played by Alexis Floyd, is an aspiring filmmaker who became friends with Anna Sorokin when she was staying at the hotel 11 Howard, which was changed to 12 George on the series. She was a consultant on Inventing Anna, she now lives in LA, and she’s working on getting her own projects off the ground. That’s what Shonda pitched to her. 

Neff tells Vanity Fair that there were so many people trying to secure her life rights after Jessica Pressler’s article about Anna was published in New York. Shonda didn’t just come through with cash though; she offered Neff opportunities: 

“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.”

Anna went to prison and when she released, Immigration and Customs Enforcement have held her in custody and are considering deporting her. Neff meanwhile …

“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. You know what I mean?”

Neff says that Shonda nags her through the comments on her Instagram page about finishing her script. For all the calls that Neff has been getting, I hope the same is true for Alexis Floyd. Inventing Anna is by far her biggest role to date – and she was terrific. More opportunity should be on the way for her too. 

Yours in gossip,

Lainey

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