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8 Odd Things Sebastian Stan And Lily James Did To Get Into Character For ‘Pam & Tommy’

Photo: magicinfoto / Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock/ Hulu
Lily James, Sebastian Stan, Pam & Tommy

The first three episodes of the eight-part Hulu series 'Pam & Tommy' have premiered, and fans are already blown away by Sebastian Stan and Lily James's transformations into their respective roles of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson.

The limited series chronicles the four-day romance between Anderson and Lee that led to ther abrupt wedding in 1995 while together on Cancún, Mexico.

The show also heavily focuses on the aftermath of the stolen sextape by electrician Rand Gauthier, who broke into Lee and Anderon's home and sold the tape on the internet.

The first photos of Stan and James in costume were shared back in May 2021, eliciting excitement from fans who were surprised at how much they looked like the 'Baywatch' actress and the Mötley Crüe drummer.

However, these transformations seem to have taken a lot of hard work and dedication from the actors.

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While doing press for the premiere of the series, Stan and James have shared the lengths they went through to accurately portray the most iconic people in Hollywood.

Here are 8 bizarre things Sebastian Stan and Lily James did to get into character for 'Pam & Tommy.'

1. Sebastian Stan admitted to wearing bare steel balls to play Tommy Lee.

While making an appearance on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' with costar James, Stan revealed that the one trick he did to get into character as Lee.

Per the advice of Stan's acting coach, Larry Moss, who helped Helen Hunt prepare for her role in 'As Good As It Gets,' Stan was advised to wear bare steel balls.

Apparently, Lee is known for being well endowed so Stan needed a helping hand to really step into this character.

"He told Helen Hunt, 'You need to put nickels in your shoes when you're acting so you actually know what it’s like to stand up on your feet for 12 hours,'" Stan shared. "I said, 'Larry, I need something myself.'"

"Tommy was a big man," he added. "So, anyway, I wore these bare steel balls."

2. Sebastian Stan and Lily James screamed into pillows to get their voices right.

While on Jimmy Kimmel's show to promote "Pam & Tommy," the two actors shared that they would often scream into pillows to get Anderson and Lee's voices right.

"We would actually scream into pillows in between the scenes,” Stan explained. “I was trying to get my voice raspy to sound like him, and you were doing that too."

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"So it was like you’re screaming into a pillow as well. I think everyone thought we were literally losing our minds in our trailers.”

3. Lily James spoke to her family while using Pamela Anderson's voice.

While speaking to Kimmel, James also shared that she would call her family in England while speaking in Anderson's voice.

“I would FaceTime them as Pamela and talk to them as Pamela,” she said. “But then I think the other day, my brother came around for lunch when I was at home in England."

James also shared that she would keep a photo of Anderson posing for Playboy.

"I had a picture of Pamela, a Playboy picture of her, she looks incredible. My little brother came and goes, ‘No, Lily! God, no.’ And I was, ‘No, no, it’s not me. It’s Pamela!’ And I’m worried that I ruined Pamela Anderson for him, which would be such a tragedy!”

4. Sebastian Stan and Lily James were never out of character while on set.

James revealed that she and Stan "never really saw each other outside of character" while making the series.

Stan corroborated her story while talking to Kimmel, saying, "It's true. I texted Lily early on, I said, 'Listen, I'm scared sh--less, and I'm gonna need to hold your hand, and if you want to hold mine, we're here, we're in this together.'"

"And then I didn't see her outside of Pamela until the end of the shoot," he added.

Stan said it was so intense that he didn't know what James really looked like until the project had been finished.

"It's really wild, with Lily, because the first time I saw her as herself was actually at the end of the shoot five months later," he said, "and I was like, 'Who are you?' That's when we actually formally met."

The two actors also shared how they were "terrified" to play such important people in Hollywood.

"I think we were both just terrified to play these characters," Stan said. "They're real-life people. I don't have tattoos on my body. I think we both would just, on repeat, listen to their voices and their interviews.

5. Lily James went through an intense 4-hour makeup transformation to play Pamela Anderson.

According to makeup department head David Williams, James's transformation into the "Baywatch" actress took four hours each day.

James needed more space between her eyes and her hairline, and a prosthetic forehead was also added to conceal James' natural brows.

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James also wore contact lenses to change her brown eyes to blue to closely resembled Anderson's.

A prosthetic chest made of medical-grade silicone was also provided to emulate Anderson's curves.

Special makeup effects designer Jason Collins said that the breasts James wore were sculpted "three or four times to get them perfect. It's more than just the way they look. It's how the whole appliance moves."

6. Sebastian Stan went through a long process to turn into Tommy Lee.

Like James, Stan spent about three hours to transform into Lee during most days of filming.

Most of that time was spent dedicated to replicating Lee's tattoos, with the makeup team having to take a 3-D scan of Stan's body to create the tattoos to fit his body.

They couldn't use the exact tattoos for legal reasons, so the makeup team did a variation of them that was run by the set's legal team.

Stan wore brown contacts, darkened his eyebrows along with his soul patch to match his dyed hair.

Stan was also given prosthetic nipples, which took about 45 minutes to apply, to attach Lee's nipple rings.

A prosthetic penis was also created, which Stan converses with on the show, as the real-life Lee described in his 2004 memoir "Tommyland."

7. Sebastian Stan fasted to prepare to play Tommy Lee.

Stan shared that he had to completely change his diet and fitness routine in order to slim down in order to play Lee.

"I basically did a lot of fasting and running on an empty stomach, which was really hard," Stan said in an interview with Esquire.

The actor said that he had started in January 2021 while working on another movie in Canada.

"I would try to get 20,000 steps a day and I would try to fast 16 to 18 hours," he shared.

"And then basically, I kind of went, pretty much a vegan diet, except without the carbohydrates. So I was kind of just eating salads and avocado and almond butter, basically. It was tough."

8. Lily James shares she went through an intesne fitness regime for six months for the role.

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, James shared that she trained for six months to transform into Pamela Anderson.

“I worked with this amazing trainer, Matt Bevan, who worked with Daisy Ridley as well. He worked me so hard and I got really fit. I lost a tonne of weight," James said.

"I’ve put it all back on again though, unfortunately. But I felt really athletic, which I hadn’t done for a long time and there was great confidence that came from that. I feel less self-conscious on a beach now. It was really wonderful to feel like that, to feel so in my own body. It was really tough though, but it was rewarding.”

Her fitness routine also included her multi-tasking; reading her script while running.

“He would make me do all my work and reading my script on a running machine. And I did boxing with a really cool guy in LA, which I love too, being physically strong like I could literally beat someone up”, she added.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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