Lily James explains why ‘Pam & Tommy’ tells a timely story
Pam & Tommy wrapped up yesterday on Hulu. The miniseries has been a bizarre ride through mid-’90s Los Angeles, zeroing in on how Hollywood treats women, the birth of the internet, and why it is absolutely crucial not to stiff construction workers on a bill.
Star Lily James, who underwent an incredible physical transformation in order to play Baywatch-era Pamela Anderson, has now opened up on her feelings on the show in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Speaking at an event to celebrate the finale, she said:
“I was so drawn into the scripts because they’re so unexpected; it starts in one place and ends in another. It explores our own culpability within our prejudice and our treatment of, particularly, women in the media and explores privacy and the violation of privacy. There was so much in it that was deeply surprising but then when you look at how we treated Pamela and women in these instances and you look at now and think, ‘Oh it’s still the same, we’re still doing it.’ I just felt like it was timely because we continue to treat and reduce women in the media.”
While all she said is indeed true, James’ statement about the way we continue to mistreat women in the media will raise eyebrows considering that the actual Pamela Anderson isn’t at all happy with Pam & Tommy.
The showrunners and Lily James reached out to Anderson while developing the show but never received a response. However, sources close to her have said the show’s focus on her stolen sex tape has exposed old trauma. Her friend Courtney Love has claimed that the Baywatch star still feels “violated to this day,” while another source revealed this part of her life being discussed at length is “very painful” for her, and that it’s “shocking” that Hulu would make it without her consent.
Recently, Anderson finally addressed the series with a note on her Instagram account, teasing a Netflix documentary that will “tell the real story.”
There’s a counterargument that biopics should need the approval of their subjects as if this were a rule we’d be unlikely to see the less pleasant sides of their lives. Even so, it’s a little galling to hear James praising the show for exploring a “violation of privacy” in these circumstances.
See Pam & Tommy on Hulu
Pam & Tommy is available in full on Hulu.