Lily James says she was ‘shot is**t’ and ‘a real wreck’ after living in character as Pamela Anderson while filming biographical drama Pam & Tommy.
The actress, 33, played the Baywatch star in the show, which chronicled the marriage of Pamela and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, played by Sebastian Stan.
Screen star Lily says she spoke to her own mother in Pamela’s voice and never properly left the character throughout filming, insisting the difference between her real self and Pamela is too stark.
Tough role: Lily James, 33, says she was ‘fired up’ and ‘a real wreck’ after living in character as Pamela Anderson while filming biographical drama Pam & Tommy
According to Mirror, Lily said: ‘It was such a twisted process. You just have to be patient with yourself. The hours are so long and you feel really burnt out. Your nervous system is like shot to death. I felt like a real wreck at the end of it.
‘The difference from me to her was too extreme to go back and forth. So I had to stay in the middle of no man’s land like Lily/Pamela most of the time. I wanted to slip right into her voice.
“Even when I went out to dinner and ordered from the waitress or talked to my mom on the phone, I wanted to be American. I think I’ve lost a lot of jobs because I keep talking like Pamela in every audition. ‘
Telling the story: The actress, 33, played the Baywatch star in the show, which chronicled the marriage of Pamela and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Lily pictured as Pamela in the show)
Lily was nominated in the Lead Actress category at the 2022 Emmy Awards, but was beaten by Amanda Seyfried, who won the award for her role as Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout.
Pam & Tommy tells the story of the sex tape scandal that rocked Pamela and her then-husband Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee (played by Sebastian Stan) during their three-year marriage.
The Downton Abbey star told this earlier DOORS that it felt ‘liberating’ to play 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.
Lily explained that the makeup and costume took four hours every day to perfect, and came complete with a prosthetic suit.
All Stars: Lily starred opposite Sebastian Stan, who played Tommy Lee (the couple pictured in the series)
She said: ‘Of course there was the physical transformation. Slowly our incredible team found a balance where I looked like 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 really want to continue in this spirit, because I felt that there was something very freeing and liberating in that. A bravery came from it. A courage that came from… disappearing.’
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 couple 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 did she watch it. She said: ‘I’ve never seen it. I didn’t make one dollar. It was stolen property…
Seeing double: Lily (L) saw the spitting image of Pamela (R) as she slipped into a busty red swimsuit for the series
‘We made an agreement to stop all arguing. I was seven months pregnant with Dylan and thought it was affecting the pregnancy with stress and said, “I’m not going to court anymore. I’m not going to be deposed anymore by these horny, weird lawyer men. I don’t want to talk about my vagina anymore or my public sex – whatever.”‘
The sex tape was stolen by Rand Gauthier, who is played by Seth Rogen on the show, after Tommy allegedly refused to pay for work he had done 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 stored 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 was not actually a sex tape, but was simply a collection of footage of them naked on holiday, which happened to include sex acts.
Uncanny: The new Disney+ series stars Lily and Sebastian as Pamela and Tommy (Pamela and Tommy pictured in 2005)