Lily James discusses her transformation into Pamela Anderson for new Hulu series Pam & Tommy


‘I’ve never worked so hard’: Lily James reveals she felt ‘liberated’ embracing Pamela Anderson’s ‘sensuality’ for new series


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She’s starring as Pamela Anderson in new Hulu series Pam & Tommy.

And Lily James has revealed how the role is one of her most challenging and transformative to date.

The actress, 32, told PORTER that it felt ‘liberating’ playing Pamela, but explained: ‘I’ve never worked so hard. I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews.’

'I've never worked so hard': Lily James revealed she felt 'liberated' embracing Pamela Anderson's 'sensuality' for new Hulu series as she spoke with Porter magazine about the role

'I've never worked so hard': Lily James revealed she felt 'liberated' embracing Pamela Anderson's 'sensuality' for new Hulu series as she spoke with Porter magazine about the role

‘I’ve never worked so hard’: Lily James revealed she felt ‘liberated’ embracing Pamela Anderson’s ‘sensuality’ for new Hulu series as she spoke with Porter magazine about the role

‘I love that about acting; you fit into a character, and you realize you’re not as different as you might have thought. You lean in to things in yourself, and discard parts of you that aren’t useful. We were exploring a particular moment in Pamela and Tommy’s life in the ’90s, this absolute lust for love.’

Pam & Tommy chronicles the sex tape scandal which rocked Pamela and her then-husband Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee (played by Sebastian Stan) during their three year marriage. 

It comes after photos of the star in costume hit the headlines, with Lily looking like Pamela’s twin in her iconic red Baywatch swimsuit.

Lily explained that the makeup and costume took four hours every day to perfect, and came complete with a prosthetic body suit.

She explained: ‘Of course, there was the physical transformation. Slowly, our incredible team found a balance where I resembled Pamela but also felt like I could act through it.

‘I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before. And I’d really like to continue in this vein, because I felt there was something very freeing and liberating in it. There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from… disappearing.’ 

Seeing double: Lily looked the spitting image of Pamela as she slipped into a busty red swimsuit in the Pam & Tommy trailer

Seeing double: Lily looked the spitting image of Pamela as she slipped into a busty red swimsuit in the Pam & Tommy trailer

Iconic: Pamela shot to fame in Baywatch (pictured in 1992)

Iconic: Pamela shot to fame in Baywatch (pictured in 1992)

Seeing double: Lily (L) looked the spitting image of Pamela (R) as she slipped into a busty red swimsuit in the Pam & Tommy trailer

She added that she was sorry to take the costume off at the end of the day, saying: ‘I hated it… It was like being stripped of all these superpowers! I’d really enjoyed the physicality and the sensuality, even down to the long fingernails. There was just so much character to hold on to – it was really thrilling.’ 

Pam & Tommy chronicles the infamous sex tape which rocked Pamela and her then-husband Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee during their three year marriage.

Speaking about the scandal, Lily said she believes the effects are still being felt today.

She said: ‘It provoked an internet and celebrity culture that, now, I believe is just way out of hand. There is no such thing as privacy now. […] We’re constantly sharing our lives – with an audience that doesn’t really care about you. And giving away information to corporations using it for profit. I know a time before that happened, but there are young girls who have no idea. 

‘This was a trigger moment that unintentionally sparked a new time… I hope a lot has changed. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s changed quite enough.’

Dedicated: The actress, 32, revealed 'I¿ve never worked so hard. I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews'

Dedicated: The actress, 32, revealed 'I¿ve never worked so hard. I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews'

Dedicated: The actress, 32, revealed ‘I’ve never worked so hard. I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews’

She continued by discussing the prejudice Pamela faced, saying: ‘When you look back at some of her interviews from the 1990s, the misogyny is so striking. I mean, it’s changed so much, but… I think it’s more hidden now, perhaps? Anyway, there was a lot in it that I found I could relate to.

‘It felt like a challenge. And kind of essential. The shaming was so extreme. Unfortunately, that’s still the case, don’t you think? Women are held to much higher standards and attacked in ways that feel so vicious. Pamela had such wit and grace in the way that she held herself. I admire that strength.’

She went on to discuss her intentions behind the role, saying she wanted to ‘provoke a conversation’ and try and incite change through her work.

Transformation: Lily explained that the makeup and costume took four hours every day to perfect, and came complete with a prosthetic body suit

Transformation: Lily explained that the makeup and costume took four hours every day to perfect, and came complete with a prosthetic body suit

Transformation: Lily explained that the makeup and costume took four hours every day to perfect, and came complete with a prosthetic body suit

Lily said: ‘I want to provoke a conversation, and I want to be part of these attempts at change. I realize a lot of it’s incredibly sensitive and difficult. And so, as an actor, to a certain extent, what you do is make yourself very open to talk to all of that.’

Pamela, 54, and Tommy, 59, tied the knot on a beach in Mexico in 1995 after dating for just four days. At the time, Pamela’s mother hadn’t even met Tommy.

The pair would go on to welcome sons Brandon, 25, and Dylan, 24, but they divorced in 1998.

In 2015, Pam told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that she never profited from the sex tape, nor even watched it. She said: ‘I’ve never seen it. I made not one dollar. It was stolen property…

She explained: 'I¿ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before'

She explained: 'I¿ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before'

She explained: ‘I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before’

‘We made a deal to stop all the shenanigans. I was seven months pregnant with Dylan and thinking it was affecting the pregnancy with the stress and said, “I’m not going to court anymore. I’m not being deposed anymore by these horny, weird lawyer men. I don’t want to talk about my vagina anymore or my public sex — anything.”‘

Out now: To see the full interview with Lily James read PORTER

Out now: To see the full interview with Lily James read PORTER

Out now: To see the full interview with Lily James read PORTER 

The sex tape was stolen by Rand Gauthier, who is played by Seth Rogen in the show, after Tommy reportedly refused to pay for work that he had performed on their house.

When Gauthier confronted the musician about not being paid the $20,000 he was owed, Tommy pulled out a gun to scare him away.

Gauthier took his revenge by stealing the giant safe that had been kept in the couple’s garage, which mainly housed the drummer’s guns and Pamela’s jewelry, in addition to the sex tape.

Earlier this year, Pam claimed that the video wasn’t actually a sex tape, but was merely a compilation of footage of them naked on vacation, which just happened to include sex acts.

Last year, insiders claimed to The Sun that Pam thinks Pam & Tommy is ‘a joke and cheap knock-off.’

She reportedly called the show ‘God awful,’ though the series had just begun filming, and she apparently claimed she had never heard of Lily or Sebastian.

The source said Pamela had ‘no intention of watching this God awful show, absolutely not. Never.’

To see the full interview with Lily James read PORTER and/or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android 

Loved-up: Pamela, 54, and Tommy, 59, tied the knot on a beach in Mexico in 1995 after dating for just four days

Loved-up: Pamela, 54, and Tommy, 59, tied the knot on a beach in Mexico in 1995 after dating for just four days

Loved-up: Pamela, 54, and Tommy, 59, tied the knot on a beach in Mexico in 1995 after dating for just four days

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