TV & Movies

The Inventing Anna Morocco Episode Raised The Stakes For Katie Lowes

The actor doesn’t plan on meeting the real Anna anytime soon.

Katie Lowes plays one of the real people on 'Inventing Anna,' Rachel. Photo via Netflix
Nicole Rivelli/Netflix

There’s no shortage of drama in Inventing Anna, Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix series about Anna Sorokin and her real-life NYC scam spree. But even in a limited series that includes unreliable narrators, courtroom confrontations, and a stolen plane (sort of), one of the most suspenseful moments comes via a luxurious Moroccan getaway gone wrong. It sounds harmless enough — many a friend group has been tested by way smaller trips — but if you’ve already streamed the series, you know that Episode 6, “Friends in Low Places,” takes disastrous vacations to a new level.

Katie Lowes’ character, Rachel, who is based on writer and photographer Rachel DeLoache Williams, is forced to sacrifice her Vanity Fair credit card (and a casual $62,000) when her ostensibly very rich friend Anna is unable to pay for their resort stay and excursions in Morocco. While Rachel and her travel companion-turned-boyfriend, Noah, try to workshop creative payment solutions to avoid getting arrested, Anna isn’t much of a help — keeping her head down and “emailing with [her] bank” every time the issue of funds comes up.

As Lowes told Vulture in a Feb. 18 interview, filming in Morocco helped make the trip that much more accessible — and terrifying, too.

“Morocco is where Rachel became real to me,” she said. “I stepped into that hotel in all of its grandeur and lavishness and the sights and the smells and feels of Marrakesh. And feeling like a girl in a foreign country who hadn’t had a lot of experience traveling, who felt afraid, who felt like she was gonna get locked up abroad or they were gonna call the police on her — the stakes got very real for me [as Rachel].”

The Scandal star said she stayed in the country for three weeks and even got to spend time with staff who really went through the whole Anna Delvey (er, Sorokin) drama IRL. “I was in the room that cost like $20,000 a night or whatever where it actually went down,” she said.

Lowes, who has “no interest in meeting the real Anna,” acknowledged that the actual Rachel probably isn’t that much of a “people pleaser,” or that “naïve” — and Williams, for her part, has criticized Inventing Anna for being a “dangerous distortion” of fact. Ultimately, though, Lowes’ performance — dramatic flair and all — helped cement the power of Anna as a very scary scammer.