Pam & Tommy was an extremely fun ride through one of the biggest celebrity scandals of the 1990s. The show balanced comedy with depressing insights into how the release of a sex tape impacted Pamela Anderson’s mental health, and ended up garnering rave reviews.
Stars Sebastian Stan, Lily James, and Seth Rogen (who also produced the show) appeared at Deadline’s Contenders Television panel over the weekend to discuss how they approached the story and characters. Rogen plays the put-upon and increasingly desperate handyman Rand Gaulthier, whose harebrained scheme to cash in on the tape goes awry.
At the panel he expanded on how he tried to shed his usual affable on-screen personality for something darker for the Hulu series.
“I know I’m inherently likable as an actor, and I didn’t want the character to be too likable. Something that we actually tried to modulate, was how many of the things that I generally do as a performer that make me likable do I do? I don’t laugh in the movie at all. I don’t smile, really, ever. I don’t do any of the affable behaviors that I think make me someone that people feel like they know and can relate to.
It is the instinct of a lot of actors, I’ve found, to like make their characters highly redeemable in some way, or they have to like something about the character. I’m not that kind of actor – like, I liked nothing about Rand. I found him not a great person, by any means, and I found that he was not someone that I related to in any way.”
Rogen also confirmed he’d never intentionally met the real Rand Gaultier, but that they may have crossed paths inadvertently.
“Rand grows weed in Northern California, so I might have met him organically just through my day-to-day life without knowing it.”
Pam & Tommy was slightly overshadowed by Pamela Anderson publically stating her unhappiness that the show was dredging up one of the most miserable episodes in her life without her involvement. It appears that the producers attempted to contact her to get her take on the show, but she didn’t return their calls.
This leaves a faint smell of hypocrisy, as the show strongly sympathizes with Anderson’s loss of privacy and public humiliation while also making bank from doing just that.
Anderson has said she felt “violated” by the show and is preparing to “tell the real story” in a new Netflix documentary.
More on that as it emerges, but in the meantime, Pam & Tommy is available to view in full on Hulu.