With the release of Lily James’ new series Pam & Tommy just a few weeks away, the star has been sharing all sorts of stories from the set. The Downton Abbey star describes the gig as her most challenging and refreshingly transformative role to date. But the most interesting tidbit happens to be about Pamela Anderson, who Lily James is portraying on the show.
In an interview with Net-a-Porter Lily James says she really wanted Anderson’s guidance when filming the upcoming Hulu miniseries. But when she reached out to the 54-year-old, James says she didn’t get a response. “I was really hoping that she would be involved. I wish it had been different,” she told the publication. “My sole intention was to take care of the story and to play Pamela authentically.”
Lily James added that she was very hopeful that Pamela Anderson would be in touch right up until the project started filming because she cares a lot about this series. The 32-year old says she worked really hard to ensure her performance did the Home Improvement alum justice. She read every book Anderson has written, as well as her poetry. She can also parrot along to all her interviews. The Yesterday star also said she loved being transformed into Pamela Anderson. She explained that it was a freeing and liberating experience despite how long it took. The incredible team found a balance where Lily James resembled Pamela Anderson but also felt like she could act through it. She spent about four hours in makeup each day where she was fitted with a chest plate, wig, and tan. “I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before,” James said. “There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from disappearing.”
Lily James will star opposite Marvel’s Sebastian Stan in the biographical miniseries. The story follows Pamela Anderson’s marriage to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in the mid-’90s. It also addresses the release of their infamous unauthorized sex tape which was recorded privately during their honeymoon. The Canadian native sued the video distribution company and the two parties later agreed to a confidential settlement.
Although Pamela Anderson has not yet publicly addressed the Lily James series, Tommy Lee has. When set photos of Lily James and Sebastian Stan made headlines last year, the drummer told Entertainment Tonight that he supported the Marvel star’s depiction of him. “I know Sebastian, he’s playing me. From what he’s told me, it’s a really beautiful story. I think a lot of people would think it’s about one thing, but it’s really about privacy and how things got crazy then.”
Meanwhile, Pamela Anderson’s friend Courtney Love criticized the project for focusing on a difficult part of Anderson’s life. In a post on Facebook, she described how people in her circle would watch the tape with big grins on their faces. Courtney Love found it disgusting and banned anyone in her vicinity from discussing it. “The video destroyed my friend Pamela’s life, she wrote. “My heart goes out to Pammy. And shame on Lily James whoever the f**k she is.”
Pam & Tommy is directed by Craig Gillespie from a script by Robert D. Siegel and consists of eight episodes. The series, starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan, premieres on Hulu on February 2nd.