Pam & Tommy Director Talks Sebastian Stan & Lily James’ Performances

After creating buzz online with Sebastian Stan and Lily James’ striking transformation into Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson in the first Pam & Tommy photos, director Craig Gillespie continued to hype up Stan and James’ upcoming performances, teasing how the audiences will be incredibly surprised with how they’ve brought these two iconic celebrities to life on screen.

“It’s been an incredible journey for them to do that transformation, physically with their training, but also what they’re doing as actors,” Gillespie said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s such a tall order whenever you’re taking on iconic characters in the media, and they’re going to be scrutinized a lot. And trying to take on a character like Pamela, who’s so familiar, and to be able to do what is not just an impersonation, is a daunting task for an actor. I think audiences will be incredibly surprised by just how much Lily’s [James] been able to bring that character to life as a fully formed person, as opposed to an impersonation.

“Tommy Lee has this energy and this spontaneity to him that I just haven’t seen in Sebastian’s work, necessarily, before. It’s a completely different version of anything I’m familiar with in regard to him. But innately, I felt like he could get there, and he’s done so much work, even physically transforming himself to get to that place. It’s been so much fun to do, I’ve got to say. The two of them in scenes together, I’m finding them quite electric.”

The acclaimed filmmaker also went on to confirm that he wasn’t expecting the big response that the photos had gotten when it was first released, revealing that the black-and-white photo of James and Stan somehow encapsulated Pam & Tommy‘s relationship.

“I was in the middle of shooting that day on Pam & Tommy, and every time I stepped out of the set, everybody was kind of going nuts about the response that was happening. I didn’t expect it at all,”  Gillespie said. “I actually wasn’t even sure they were dropping photographs. But they were the photographs that I had wanted them to drop, particularly that black-and-white one. I just so felt that it encapsulated their relationship, in the show as well.”

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Pam & Tommy follows the tumultuous relationship between the Motley Crüe drummer/co-founder and former Baywatch star/model, including the notorious incident in which their honeymoon sex tape was stolen and subsequently leaked to the public. Though it will be included, the story will not focus on the scandal but rather explore their relationship going back to their marriage after only 96 hours of knowing each other.

The 8-episode miniseries will star Sebastian Stan (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) as Tommy Lee and Lily James (Baby Driver) as Pamela Anderson. This marks Stan’s latest collaboration with director Craig Gillespie, following 2017’s biopic I, Tonya. 

Joining them are Seth Rogen (This is the End) as Rand, the man who stole the couple’s sex tape and sold it off, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as porn impresario Uncle Miltie, and Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) Erica, the porn star wife of Rand.

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Pam & Tommy is being directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Rob Siegel. Producers are Rogen and Evan Goldberg through their  Point Grey banner, Dave Franco, Sue Naegle, Limelight’s Dylan Sellers, and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison.


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