My Celebrity Life

‘It was certainly very scary’: Sebastian Stan on exploring the scandalous history of Pam and Tommy

Lily James and Sebastian Stan star in Pam and Tommy (Picture: Hulu)

It’s the sex tape that changed celebrity culture forever.

The leaked video between Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and drummer Tommy Lee was a scandal unlike any other when it was posted on the internet in 1995 after it was stolen from their garage by a disgruntled electrician after Lee threatened him with a shotgun. As you do.

It’s a wild story and now it’s the focus of a new comedic limited series on Disney Plus starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan. Or at least I think it is: the two of them completely disappear into their roles.

Was it easy channelling your inner rock star? ‘Easy is not the word I would use to describe the process,’ says Sebastian Stan, somewhat distant even over Zoom.

‘It was certainly very scary. Any time you’re playing somebody who is well-known there’s a lot for you to go out and do the research for so it’s quite a challenge. Especially coming from somebody who doesn’t have one tattoo on their body.’

Tommy Lee is a controversial figure. Renowned for his excessive lifestyle and flamboyant attitude, he was sentenced to six months in prison for assaulting Pamela Anderson, an act which caused the end of their marriage.

‘I was surprised with how much I didn’t know about him especially the way he grew up. Having a background from Europe myself [Stan was born in Romania] and learning about him coming to America from Greece,’ he explains.

‘His mum didn’t really speak English when he was growing up for the first few years of his life and I think that actually had some effect on him discovering the drums as a way of expressing himself.’

We’ve not really seen Stan play a role as debauched as this. His Tommy is frequently boozing, popping pills and one faintly ridiculous scene finds him declaring his love for Pamela to his animatronic, talking penis.

I wonder if he enjoyed tapping into his wild side? I joke that maybe we’ll hear of him trashing the odd hotel room from time-to-time. He doesn’t see the funny side.

‘There’s a whole lot more to the story than that so I hope you got something more out of it than what you’re talking about right now because they were dealing with a level of scrutiny that you and I don’t know anything about,’ he says, putting me firmly in my place.

‘I would say in the internet age we’re living in there’s a certain level of ignorance that we’ve gotten used to. People [on social media] can behave in the manner they behave without really thinking about the repercussions on the person on the other end.’

Pam and Tommy have long been synonymous with scandal (Picture: Hulu)

Ignorance or no, it does seem a strange line for him to take. Pam & Tommy is an exploitative show in its very nature. It focuses on the worst moment of Pamela Anderson’s life and plays it mostly for laughs.

The show was made without the involvement of Pamela who refused to engage with the producers or Lily James, in fact, friends close to Pam imply that the whole thing is actually quite hurtful to her.

Still far be it from me to question the integrity of the star of Captain America 1 and, er, Captain America 2. And he remains convinced the show can reframe this story away from just the scandal.

‘That was the goal of the writers and they did a really good job.’ I imagine the real Pamela Anderson might have something to say about whether the show achieves that but, hey, ignorance is bliss.

Pam & Tommy is available on Disney+ today.


Credit: Original article published here.

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