Lily James as Pamela Anderson
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Lily James almost gave up on playing Pamela Anderson

The actress is playing Pamela Anderson in the upcoming series “Pam & Tommy”

Pamela Anderson is an American icon. Lily James, who plays her in the series “Pam & Tommy” admitted that she considered dropping out of the show a week before they started shooting it, considering the task “frightnening.”

In an interview with Variety, Lily James discussed her experience playing Pamela Anderson and how daunting of a task it was. “I really wanted to pull out of this a week before,” she said. “It just felt too frightening. But I think that’s a good place to work from because it keeps you growing and getting better, I hope.”

Anderson is an emblematic figure, from her mannerisms, to her history in Hollywood, to simply the way she looks. James tried to capture her by immersing herself in all things Pamela, binging “Baywatch,” watching her interviews, absorbing her mannerisms, and going through an intense physical transformation. This physical change was so pronounced that James and her co-star Sebastian Stan, who plays Tommy Lee, took a minute to reacquaint themselves once they met up again post-shooting. “I barely met Sebastian out of Tommy Lee, and he barely met me out of my Pamela Anderson,” she said. “We were like, ‘Oh, hey, so that’s what you look like!’”

Despite how intimidated she was by the role, James said that she was fascinated by Anderson herself and by the challenges that that posed for her own performance. “She talks really fast, and I would watch her interviews over and over again and annotate them, learn them and parrot along with her,” she said. “I wanted to get that energy and that impulsiveness and that spirit that she has when she’s in front of the camera.”

“Pam & Tommy” follows Anderson’s and Lee’s relationship in the wake of their stolen sex tape, which became one of the biggest celebrity scandals of all time. The show plans to cover it all, from the moment they met, to their wedding 96 hours later, to all of the people involved in the making of the scandal. It premieres in Hulu on February 2nd.

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