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Inventing Anna: Alan Reed Is Fictional (But Based On A Real Lawyer)

In a case full of scintillating details, Anna Delvey always seemed like the obvious subject for a Netflix miniseries. Shonda Rhimes wasted no time getting the rights to the story of the fake German heiress, and "Inventing Anna" was born. After "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton," Rhimes knows what sells and does impressive work portraying authentic events. 

As with any television show, "Inventing Anna" can't be all-accurate all the time. Though many characters are taken from factual records, others have been altered or created, like former "ER" actor Anthony Edwards' Alan Reed. The fictional lawyer is a huge asset for Anna, who is trying to get financial backing to open an art club. Reed connects with her enough to refer her to financial institutions that would legitimize her business dealings. But after a few red flags, he becomes concerned about her intentions.

"I'm doing a lot of vouching for her and believing in her when I don't have all the information I really need because she's so charismatic," Edwards explained to Esquire about his character. "Here's this young energy that's able to manipulate and control people by telling them what they want to hear." This character resembles one of Delvey's real-life acquaintances, Andrew Lance. Like his fictional counterpart, Lance was a cog in the Anna Delvey machine. The real estate lawyer connected her with Fortress Investment Group, which was a huge stepping stone for the influence she would wield.

Andrew Lance was instrumental Anna's story

Anna Delvey would not have gotten very far without Andrew Lance. Hindsight may be 20/20, but there was a time when the con-artist was fooling everyone. When she first was interested in getting financial backing for her business venture, she contacted Lance. He was the person that Delvey would need for credibility to get a loan. She immediately took a liking to him because he didn't treat her like male lawyers had in the past.

"He knows how to talk to women," Delvey explained to New York Magazine. "And he would explain to me the right amount, without being patronizing." Lance supported her to find financial backing and would be available whenever she needed. "He was there all the time. He would answer in the middle of the night, or when he was in Turks and Caicos for Christmas." Lance would go on to pass her on to different financial institutions and fight for her when they became suspicious. 

These details make Anthony Edwards' "Inventing Anna" character clearer. Though the facts of the story remain the same, it isn't hard to see why Lance was absent from the narrative. Before "Inventing Anna" was optioned, the lawyer had no comment for the New York Magazine story. With so many details peddled for the masses, it might be best to stay off the radar in print and on screen.