Julia Garner is having a moment.
The 27-year-old actor has recently been met with further acclaim for her role in Ozark as Ruth Langmore – a part that’s already won her two Emmys – and she’s also headlined Shonda Rhimes’ true-crime biopic Inventing Anna.
Garner played Anna Sorokin, the con artist who defrauded the New York social elite by pretending to be the German heiress “Anna Delvey”. Early buzz for the series has focused on Garner’s performance in particular, drawing attention to her physical and vocal transformation for the role – Garner practised Sorokin’s accent extensively, watching hours of interview footage and even visiting Sorokin in prison to speak with her in person.
She’s also playing a central role in the fourth and final season of Ozark - the series is, as much as anything else, the story of Garner’s Ruth Langmore, and much of the acclaim for the series has been won by the strength of her performance.
Julia Garner plays Anna Sorokin - the con artist who assumed the identity of German heiress “Anna Delvey” - in Netflix series Inventing Anna.
Speaking about playing Sorokin, Garner said it was “the hardest accent” she’s ever had to learn, and recounted the strangeness of performing the accent to the real Sorokin when she went to visit her in prison.
Shonda Rhimes, who has written and executive produced Inventing Anna, said that Garner “approaches her roles from an intellectual place that allows for the precision and dexterity needed to delve into the mind and spirit of a character.”
It’s this, according to Rhimes, that made Garner perfect for the role: “Anna Delvey is a person who goes through many transformations to reach her goals. Given Julia’s range, we knew this was something she could deliver on.”
In Ozark, Garner plays Ruth Langmore, a member of a local crime family.
Garner has won two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Ozark, in 2019 and 2020. She’s one of only 10 people to win the award more than once, and one of only 7 to do so consecutively.
At the moment, it seems reasonably likely she’ll win again for her role in Ozark Season 4 Part 1 (and, possibly, Season 4 Part 2 – one reason why the series was split into two was so that it would be eligible in two awards seasons).
Which of her other roles should I check out next?
Garner received particular acclaim for her role in 2019 The Assistant, in which she starred as a production assistant navigating a toxic work environment. The film co-stars Matthew Macfadyen as the head of HR who turns a blind eye to Garner’s character’s complaint.
Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times suggested the film was “less a #MeToo story than a painstaking examination of the way individual slights can coalesce into a suffocating miasma of harassment”. She had specific praise for Garner’s lead performance, commending her for making “the slow draining of Jane’s soul almost visible”.
She was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role in The Assistant (but lost to Carey Mulligan, who won for her role in Promising Young Woman).
Where can I see her next?
There are persistent rumours that Garner may have been cast as a young Madonna in a biopic of the singer; though Garner has denied this, the rumours continue.
We do know, however, that Garner has been cast in Natalie Erika James’ thriller Apartment 7A, as well as an adaptation of the influential American novel You Can’t Win.
Garner – who isn’t, if you were wondering, related to Jennifer Garner – was born in 1994 in Riverdale, New York. Her mother, Tami Gingold, is currently a therapist, but was previously a comedian and starred on Israel’s equivalent to Saturday Night Live.
She married the singer Mark Foster, of Foster the People, in December 2019.