Is Todd In 'Inventing Anna' a Real Person? Arian Moayed on Playing Anna Delvey's Lawyer

Inventing Anna features a star-studded cast telling the story of convicted con woman Anna Sorokin, who under the name Anna Delvey managed to con members of New York's elite, her friends, hotels and banks out of $275,000.

Leading the cast of Inventing Anna is Ozark's Julia Garner as Anna and starring opposite are Veep's Anna Chlumsky as Vivian, a journalist determined to break Anna's story, and Succession's Arian Moayed as Delvey's lawyer, Todd. Arian Moayed spoke to Newsweek about taking on the role of Anna's defense lawyer and his character's overall journey in Inventing Anna.

Is Todd In Inventing Anna Based on a Real Person?

Yes, Todd in Inventing Anna is based on a real person. Anna Delvey really did have a defense lawyer named Todd Spodek, who would go on to represent her during her trial in 2019.

Spodek is an NYC criminal attorney with his own criminal defense firm, The Spodek Law Group. He has 15 years of experience and also practices family and matrimonial law, alongside criminal.

According to his official bio on The Spodek Law Group website, Spodek has had recent experience in felony murder, depraved indifference murder, assault, robbery, menacing, harassment, predatory sexual assault and highly contentious divorces in the Supreme Court.

During Delvey's trial, Spodek also found himself in the spotlight due to the nature of the case and his behind-the-scenes decisions. For example, when Delvey refused to enter the courtroom in clothing provided by the Department of Correction, he hired celebrity stylist Anastasia Walker to be in charge of Anna's wardrobe.

From then on, Anna entered the courtroom in Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent and Victoria Beckham. He told GQ in an email: "It is imperative that Anna dress appropriately for the trial. Anna's style was a driving force in her business and life, and it is a part of who she is."

Speaking to Newsweek, Moayed, who is best known for playing the snake-like Stewy Hosseini in HBO's Succession, shared that he was attracted to the role of Todd Spodek as he was a "good man" who was "trying to climb up the ladder."

He shared: "Shonda [Rhimes] early on said to me he's a good guy. In the States, criminal defense attorneys have like, almost like a bad rap...and so when she said that he's a good guy that's going to represent an Anna Delvey, I really kind of, latched on to that he's a dad, he's trying to climb up the ladder."

Moayed shared that he also related to Spodek in a lot of ways, adding: "In my audition scene, which was the scene, wherein, in the pilot, where he's essentially saying, 'I was a valet for my mom to help her my mom pay for rent.' I really relate to that, I'm an immigrant, I grew up in an immigrant family and an immigrant community and I know those moments where your summer job is really to help pay rent and so that was an easy thing to latch on to and the frustrations of, especially in that last episode with Anna is very similar to dealing with a child, you know, dealing with someone that is like, 'I'm not wearing that.' It's insane. It's insane to me that happens."

He continued: "I think the journey of Todd is he sees that inside this case of Anna Delvey, he can potentially tell the world that he is a legitimate lawyer that can do a legitimate good thing by protecting someone that was thrown where the DA [District Attorney] is obviously the broker and threw the book at her and so I think his journey is of the same as Anna's in a way, climbing up the ladder to make sure that they succeed but at low cost but at what cost? It's family for Todd, for Anna Delvey it's prison, Jessica Pressler (Vivian in Inventing Anna) it's motherhood and her career you know, it's all kind of like expertly woven in."

To prepare for the role, Moayed met with the real Todd Spodek, who visited the Inventing Anna set when they were filming the final episode.

He also studied several transcripts of Spodek's previous cases. "I'm like reading the transcripts and combing through that, and you get a great sense of who he is. On the way that he says 'Objection!' when he interrupts how he's making jokes. It was cool. That's kind of how I found out about him really", Moayed explained to Newsweek.

At trial, Spodek argued that Delvey had "created a golden opportunity," saying "there's a little bit of Anna in all of us," The New York Times reported.

Seduced by Glamour

In Delvey's defense, he argued she was "easily seduced by glamour and glitz" and pretended to be wealthy to get ahead. Spodek insisted she was also planning to repay all the money she owed once she was successful with her arts foundation, ADF.

Reflecting on filming the court scenes with Julia Garner as Anna Delvey, Moayed told Newsweek: "The actual Anna Delvey, just to give you an idea of how young she was, she was doodling and drawing little stick figures and little drawings in the trial and Todd would look at that often kind of like be encouraging. You know, say 'good job'. That's their relationship, she's young, she's a kid, she was a kid.

"Those are those real elements and so much of the script kind of guided us. To be honest with you, we didn't have to do much. You have to listen to Shonda and just be real with ourselves and trust each other."

In the end, Delvey was convicted of multiple counts of attempted grand larceny, larceny in the second degree, and theft of services. On May 9, 2019, she was sentenced to four to 12 years in state prison and she was released in February 2021.

In June 2021, Spodek was still representing Anna Delvey. The Wall Street Journal reported any payments from Netflix must be paid in escrow, managed by Spodek and the Office of Victim Services (OVS).

Inventing Anna is streaming on Netflix now.

Arian Moayed  Todd Spodek Inventing Anna
Arian Moayed as Todd Spodek in Inventing Anna. Netflix