Since images were released of Lily James in character as Pamela Anderson for her new role, anticipation has been high for Hulu’s new miniseries Pam & Tommy. The upcoming eight-episode show will be focused around the Baywatch actress and her Mötley Crüe drummer husband Tommy Lee’s whirlwind relationship, after the pair famously married in 1995, 96 hours after meeting. It will also heavily focus on the true scandal that rocked the ‘90s and became one of the first internet-breaking moments: their leaked sex tape.
Despite the show based on Anderson, the actress herself has played no part in the production, nor given her blessing for the portrayal of her younger years. Furthermore, in a now-deleted Facebook post, Anderson’s friend Courtney Love slammed the project, saying the sex tape “ruined” Anderson’s life and that revisiting it will “further [cause] her complex trauma.”
Now, James has revealed she reached out to Anderson ahead of shooting the series in hopes of having her involved in the project. However, Anderson ignored her efforts.
“I was really hopeful that she would be involved. I wish it had been different,” James told Porter. “My sole intention was to take care of the story and to play Pamela authentically.”
“I was very hopeful that we would be in touch right up until we started filming.”
James said she “cares a lot about” the series and playing Anderson fairly, which involved a lot of background prep into the 54-year-old’s life and work. “I’ve never worked so hard,” James said. “I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews.”
She added that her physical transformation into Anderson, one which is so uncanny it continues to shock fans, was also something she described as both “freeing and liberating.”
“Slowly, our incredible team found a balance where I resembled Pamela but also felt like I could act through it,” she explained. This included James being in makeup for about four hours before filming, starting at 3 a.m. and included her putting on a chest plate, wig, and tan.
“I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before,” James added. “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.”
Pam & Tommy will be released on Hulu on Feb. 2, 2022.