Lily James gets candid about her role as Pamela Anderson on the upcoming series, “Pam & Tommy.”
The English actress, 32, shared some personal realizations during her cover story for Net-a-Porter’s “Porter” that was published on Monday, January 10.
Getting Into The Role
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She said she has “never worked so hard” while portraying the “Baywatch” star, 54.
“I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews,” James added.
She also mentioned the hours-long transformation where her “team found a balance where I resembled Pamela but also felt like I could act through it.”
Loving The Change
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The “Cinderella” star said that she had to be at the makeup chair by 3:30 a.m. — putting on the wig, plus the chest plate, and had herself tanned to look like Anderson. While it’s time-consuming, she actually loved the change.
“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,” James said.
She continued, “There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from… disappearing.”
When asked about returning to herself, the Surrey native said she “hated it,” adding, “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.”
During the chat, James also revealed that she reached out to Anderson regarding the series.
“I was very hopeful that we would be in touch right up until we started filming,” she said.
“Pam & Tommy” has been a topic of discussion online, as it was produced without Anderson’s involvement.
“I was really hopeful that she would be involved. I wish it had been different,” James noted.
She added, “My sole intention was to take care of the story and to play Pamela authentically.”
Criticized For The Portrayal
Anderson’s longtime friend, Courtney Love, criticized James and the series in May last year, as reported by Vanity Fair.
“When Pam / tommy sex tape was out / myself [Hole drummer Patty Schemel] @pattyschemel and [Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur] @xmadmx were making a record,” Love wrote on her since-deleted Facebook post.
She continued, “And the lone women in many recording studios in la. Where all / ALL! The staff engineers/producers/owners / were watching the sex tape with huge schadenfreude . . Guffaws, It was disgusting. I banned anyone discussing it. . It destroyed my friend Pamela’s life. Utterly.”
Love also shared that she was asked to approve the use of her December 1994 Rolling Stone cover for “Pam & Tommy.”
“I said ‘fuck no.’ shocked,” she wrote,” adding, “My heart goes out to Pammy. And shame on lily James whoever the fuck she is.”
The series follows the love story of Anderson and her ex-husband Tommy Lee. The two, regarded as one of Hollywood’s most notorious couples, had a beach wedding just four days after they met. Their infamous sex tape and the scandal that followed made their story even more significant.
“Pam & Tommy” starts airing on February 2, 2022, on Hulu.