Anna Chlumsky, in her first major TV role since “Veep,” is one of the stars of the smash hit Netflix series “Inventing Anna.” The actress plays Vivian Kent, loosely adapted from the journalist Jessica Pressler, who wrote the high-profile story about scam artist Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey. While Julia Garner‘s performance as Sorokin has received a great deal of attention due to her unique accent, Chlumsky is the one at the heart of the Netflix limited series, with the story mostly being told from her perspective. The show gives Chlumsky the opportunity to show her range as an actress, and the Emmys might take notice.
“Inventing Anna” centers on the dynamic between the two women, as Kent conducts a series of interviews with Sorokin while the latter is imprisoned. Kent is almost like the Clarice Starling to Sorokin’s Dr. Hannibal Lecter as she tries to uncover the truth behind her subject’s enigmatic statements. Such scenes give Chlumsky a great deal of freedom to show Kent’s finesse in teasing out information from Sorokin but also show how the journalist herself is being affected by the story. While she is often the straight woman for other characters to bounce off of, her turbulent home life allows her to voice her pent-up emotions.
Chlumsky is a big Emmy favorite, racking up six consecutive nominations for her performance as the stressed chief of staff Amy Brookheimer in the HBO comedy “Veep.” During that run, she never took home Emmy gold even when her show won Best Comedy Series and costars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale collected multiple trophies. The combined factors of her past Emmy record and the buzz of “Inventing Anna” could make her a contender for this year’s awards.
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As it stands now, Chlumsky is on the outside looking into her category of Best Limited Series/Movie Actress, according to the latest Gold Derby odds. She faces the difficult task of competing with a slew of big-name stars and other awards favorites, all fighting for what will likely be only five slots. But considering “Inventing Anna’s” continued popularity, it would not be totally shocking to see Chlumsky’s odds rise as other contenders fall by the wayside, with her and Emmy magnet Garner potentially taking up two of those five slots.
Television critics are singing the praises of Chlumsky in “Inventing Anna.” Cassie Da Costa (Vanity Fair) notes that the actress brings “her usually effusive and expressive tics to a neurotic and pregnant journalist trying to rebuild her reputation after hitting a career rock bottom.” And Kristen Baldwin (Entertainment Weekly) writes, “Chlumsky brings some Amy Brookheimer energy to Vivian, an admittedly obsessive reporter who is determined to crack Anna’s code — even if it means becoming another one of the young woman’s pawns.”
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