Showrunners Robert Siegel and DV DeVincentis set out to uncover the story of how Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tapes were stolen with Hulu’s Pam and Tommyin which Lily James and Sebastian Stan played Anderson and Lee.
The show received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including best limited series and a nod to James, Stan and Seth Rogen, who served as executive producers of the show and played Rand Gauthier, who stole the tape and the story was first told in Amanda Chicago 2014 article by Lewis for Rolling Stoneprogram based.
“There’s a craving to discover real people and not even necessarily celebrities – though that’s one thing, it’s pre-existing perception,” says DeVincentis. CHEAP about nominations. “But people really want to see a dramatic discovery of something real, and for us – maybe more than a few [nominees] – it’s also an exploration of time and a paradigm shift in culture. “
Let’s talk about how the show came together, from the moment you selected the article on the story.
ROBERT SIEGEL Technically, we did not choose it. Dylan Sellers, one of the producers, picked it up and gave it to Point Grey, Seth Rogen’s production company. They take it to Annapurna, and then Annapurna gives it to me, and then I take it to DV – it’s like a “walk the yellow brick road” model. I immediately responded to it, and I think DV certainly responded to it in the same way. He and I have similar interests: We often do the same jobs, so it was a pleasure to finally meet him and really work with him. I would definitely be jealous if [he] have this. I wrote the test and the second episode for Annapurna, then we bought it around and Hulu really responded to it. There’s a lot of interest, but Hulu is the most enthusiastic and passionate and really gets it, and we feel they would be a great partner. Then the DV was added, and then Lily arrived pretty soon.
DV DEVINCENTIS Lily and then Sebastian are definitely on the list because when Craig [Gillespie] back, he had a pre-existing relationship with Sebastian from I, Tonya. It was a messy shot.
When Lily was cast as Pamela, were you as surprised as the audience when she transformed into Pam?
KILL DEATH CELK Part of it is so amazingly amazing. We talked about it at the time and ever since; she’s like Pamela Anderson, who’s underrated, and so is Lily for the role. There’s something very exciting about a real transformation, not only physically but also professionally. It was something Lily had never done before. It adds a lot of energy to the whole effort to have someone do it, and then the way she does it is phenomenal.
SIEGEL And Pam is so playful and light and sweet to her that I think Lily would be really great to bring – among all other qualities – into the role. I was amazed at how surprised everyone was before the casting. To me, it makes perfect sense. I just think Pam is a very amorous person and always has high expectations. When it comes to big names, you can’t ask them to read, so it’s all a leap of faith, which is very scary. And you can’t test chemistry – we didn’t… so you just have to use your imagination and predict how they’ll play it. The first day the camera started rolling, there was a pretty big knot in your stomach. Even if Sebastian and Lily are right, they might not be right together. In this case, we got lucky.
KILL DEATH CELK The first day that all of us – Rob, Craig, Lily, Sebastian and I – we were thrilled and excited. And we sat down and read through some scenes, and then we decided to get up and see how it went, and they did the scene where Tommy followed Pam out of the club when they met. first time. And we did it in Craig’s driveway, and the moment the two of them started walking and talking together, it came alive and immediately made complete sense.
Lily has said that episode six, the deposition episode, was a challenge for her. What kind of conversations with Lily to prepare for it?
KILL DEATH CELK It was a really rough time in the production schedule. It’s very, very hard and it puts a lot of pressure on Lily, and all we can do is try to reduce it as much as we can. One big thing about how we did it was to have Hannah Fidell direct that episode and have her around. It must be said that she immediately became part of the brain that believed the moment she appeared. Hannah is amazing and an important part of all of us navigating our way through those things.
What material in your research is the most important resource for the program?
KILL DEATH CELK We’ve thoroughly researched and Lily will still find things we didn’t know about that turn out to be crucial to storytelling. Lily and Sebastian are the best character defenders I’ve ever seen. Their dedication and their love for the characters is overwhelming, and it’s all there. And by the way, Sebastian, because his transformation isn’t so strong, the speciality he’s using isn’t quite as noticeable, but it’s all powerful. Especially lately, I’ve been watching some footage of Tommy Lee talking, and after hours of watching Sebastian do it, you’re like, “Oh my God, Sebastian is really there.” It’s really unbelievable.
SIEGEL For me, archive interviews, hear them talk. You can learn a lot from the video footage.
KILL DEATH CELK If you watch enough interviews with Pam, especially late-night interviews, you’ll start to see how brilliantly she handles the situation and with innate intelligence. You watch what she’s doing, and you see her struggling with it. I like to think that there’s a larger kind of goal, like she knows people are going to be sexist and gross and mean to her, but if she gets over it, she’ll talk about the things that really matter. important to her, such as animal rights and PETA. And for me, the behavior of watching how she treats really insensitive, irritable people is what has been the most instructive about that character for me in terms of research.
I know Pam and Tommy didn’t want to be on the show, but have you heard from them since their debut?
SIEGEL Sebastian has a relationship with Tommy. He contacted Sebastian during the shoot – I think he really wanted to visit the set. We think that’s probably not the best idea. After the show came out, they hung out together once during a shoot and then they hung out again last month. I don’t know if you can call them friends, but they were definitely friendly and he really enjoyed the show.
KILL DEATH CELK We’ve always tried to get in touch with him and with Pam at every stage, and even though we weren’t able to reach her, she’s always been our audience. I hope she loves it because the show is a love letter to her and her strength.
The edited interview is long and clear.
This story first appeared in the August issue of The Hollywood Reporter.