Lily James dug into everything Pamela Anderson to prepare for her role in the upcoming Hulu series Pam & Tommy, but what she didn’t do was talk to the woman herself.
In a new interview, James told Net-a-Porter’s porter magazine she did try.
“And I was hopeful that we would keep in touch until we started filming,” James said of the former Baywatch star.
In addition, James explained that she had also hoped to have more than a casual conversation with Anderson. She actually wanted her to be involved in the project, which focuses on the romance of Anderson and the Mötley Crüe rocker and, after a band on which they had sex stolen and leaked, becomes an utter scandal.
“I wish it had been different”, the former Downton Abbey said actress. “My only intention was to take care of the story and play Pamela authentically.”
Even without Anderson’s help, James took a pretty deep dive.
“I’ve never worked so hard,” James said. “I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can participate in all her interviews. And then 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 get through it.”
It took four hours of makeup and other prep for her to become the iconic blonde.
“I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself. And I’d love to continue in this vein, because I felt there was something very liberating and liberating in it,” James said. “That’s where courage came from. A courage that came from … disappearing.’
So much so that she didn’t want to stop playing the part.
“I hated it,” she said, becoming herself again. “It was like being stripped of all these superpowers! I really enjoyed the physicality and the sensuality, even down to the long fingernails. There was so much character to hold on to – it was really exciting.”
The English actress said it was important to take another look at what happened in the scandal.
“The shaming was so extreme. Sadly it still is, don’t you think?” asked James. “Women are held to much higher standards and attacked in ways that feel so mean. Pamela had such humor and grace in the way she held herself. I admire that strength.”