Jul
03

Press/Video: Hulu’s FYC “Clips + Conversation” Event For Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy”Panel (w/ Screen Captures)

Hulu has released the video panel for their FYC event featuring ‘Pam and Tommy’. You can view the photos of the event here. You can click below to watch the entire FYC Panel and also view the screen captures in the gallery.

Jun
27

Press/Video: Lily James and Sebastian Stan Found Playing Real-Life ‘Pam & Tommy’ Addictive (w/ Screen Captures)

Indie Wire – The actors discuss with IndieWire the challenges of portraying real people as well as the first moment they saw each other in costume as the ’90s icons.

Lily James and Sebastian Stan were nervous. The anxiety began with the mountains of research they faced in an effort to learn everything about Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee for Hulu’s limited series “Pam & Tommy.” They also learned that they enjoyed the pressure.

“I genuinely feel that fear is a good thing,” Stan said in an IndieWire Awards Spotlight conversation with James. “If we can figure out a way to have a healthy relationship with it, it’s sort of a weird awakening feeling [because] it really does feel like you’re on your toes.”

James noted that her nerves came from fear of “failure; not having the ability to do what’s demanded for this,” she said. “To not be able to capture any essence or any traits and really be believable as this real person that you genuinely want to inhabit.”

Happily, the two earned rave reviews for their performances as the larger-than-life ‘90s stars on the series that followed their happy, rapid courtship — followed by the relationship’s deterioration after a disgruntled worker stole private sex tape from their home. The show is at its best when it zooms out to show the beginnings of concepts like public figures’ right to privacy and the all-consuming internet.

“In the TV show, we were the [constants],” James said. “And with these amazing directors that came in… I felt this great sort of power that we had in that it was ours, we’ve taken on these roles. There was an adrenaline to that. And it [felt] out of control at the best of times in the acting, but in control in this ownership of this thing. That was addictive.”

So addictive, in fact, that the duo remained deeply connected to their characters. Stan and James noted they would check in with each other regularly during emotionally difficult scenes, and also became quite the on-set defenders of Lee and Anderson’s one-time love.

Production would say, “‘we’re moving forward into the show, we need to show how the relationship is getting [negatively] affected by all these things,’” Stan explained. “We’re like, ‘I know, but they really loved each other!’”

“It’s weird,” Stan said later. “You can feel nostalgic about it and then suddenly I’ll have to remind myself, ‘That’s not your life, bro.’ Let them have their life back.”

Note: The complete video interview is at the IndieWire link above. I’ve added screen captures to the gallery.

Jun
27

Press: Behind the Whirlwind Romance of ‘Pam & Tommy,’ There’s a Longstanding Creative Partnership

Indie Wire – Behind the Whirlwind Romance of ‘Pam & Tommy,’ There’s a Longstanding Creative Partnership

Australian director Craig Gillespie creates an energy in his images that brings the emotional undercurrent of his characters to life. He invites you into their space to wash in their feelings without saying too much. It’s the result of close collaboration with key department heads, a dynamic that editor Tatiana Riegel was first introduced to on 2007’s “Lars and the Real Girl.” “Craig is remarkably collaborative and secure in his own feelings and ideas to not insist upon them but he allows people to interpret them where he can then say yes or no,” she told IndieWire.

Riegel said their efforts have blossomed over the course of projects like “I, Tonya” (for which she earned an Oscar nomination), “Cruella,” “The United States of Tara” in part, because even though they “are very different people, the yin and yang of it works pretty well.” Gillespie has grown fond of how effortlessly the editor navigates outside the box. “We did our first assembly of ‘Lars’ and there was an interview scene between Ryan [Gosling] and Patricia Clarkson [who plays a therapist] that I thought was too long,” he said. “Tatiana said, ‘Maybe it’s in the wrong place.’ So we pulled out the scene cards and rearranged the whole second half of the film and that scene never got shorter. Since then, we’ve never settled on the structure of the script and we’ll always think about moving something around or tightening.

The simpatico relationship gives Riegel the “courage to try things” she might otherwise be conservative about with someone new, a trust that continued into the first trio of episodes of “Pam & Tommy,” Hulu’s limited series about how the infamous Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape found its way onto the web.

Creator Robert Siegel based “Pam & Tommy” on a 2014 Rolling Stone article that details how the “Baywatch” star and Mötley Crüe drummer first met, and the “karma” that led to their private life being exposed. After stripping away the public persona and glamor of these two famous icons – portrayed convincingly well by Lily James and Sebastian Stan — “Pam & Tommy” depicts a couple unequivocally supporting each other while falling deeper in love — until it collapses.

“The tone was incredibly clear to me and that’s something I always look for when searching for something to work on,” Gillespie said. “If I can visualize it while I’m reading [the script], half the job is done.”
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Jun
27

Press: Drum Practice, Penis Puppets, and Fake Nipples: How Sebastian Stan Transformed Into Tommy Lee

Vanity Fair – For the Hulu limited series Pam & Tommy, becoming the notorious bad boy drummer required serious dedication both inside and out.

There are many ways to be an icon—but being recognized entirely by your chest is probably a unique one. That’s the pantheon that Tommy Lee is in, at least based on the experience of Pam & Tommy makeup head David Williams, who went nipple-ring shopping in preparation for transforming Sebastian Stan into the famed drummer and tabloid fixture.

“I usually don’t disclose what I’m doing when I go in, but I had pictures of Tommy Lee’s chest,” says Williams of his visit to the Los Angeles piercing parlor Body Electric. “The guy says, ‘Oh, you’re working with Tommy Lee?’ And I was like, ‘By just his chest?!’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I can see with the tattoos.’ Tommy Lee’s tattoos are very identifiable.”

Those tattoos were painstakingly recreated and on constant display in the Hulu streaming series, in which Stan costars alongside Lily James as Pamela Anderson. Thirty-something of them, transferred onto Stan’s body by multiple people simultaneously (“not unlike the Crackerjack tattoos you used to get as a kid,” special makeup effects supervisor Jason Collins says.)

The nipple ring, too, ended up being an illusion, though Stan says he briefly considered just going for the real thing. “And then actually, I saw a video of [Lee] actually talking about piercing your nipples and how apparently it’s like one of the most painful things you can do,” Stan says. “[I thought], Oh, yeah, like that’s probably going to be more traumatic than helpful, like, no.”

Which meant fake nipples—silicone prosthetics, rings included, that when attached to Stan’s body alongside the tattoos transformed him into “dirty boy” Tommy Lee, as Williams put it. The show takes place at the height of Lee’s rock and roll all night and party every day fame, tracking the era of Lee and Anderson’s whirlwind romance and marriage, as well as the stolen sex tape and its fallout. The show speculates on the private moments of Anderson and Lee’s relationships, treating them as sympathetic victims of a life-changing crime.

Though Stan used fewer prosthetics than his costar James, he physically transformed himself for the role, shedding the Marvel bulk from his role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to become the gaunter, frequently shirtless Lee. “For a few months I just wasn’t really eating much,” Stan says. “And when we had those shirtless scenes I was sometimes not drinking a lot of water.” As Collins puts it, “Tommy didn’t like to wear a lot of clothes in the show.”

But even with a shirt on, Stan kept the prosthetic nipples in place—just one of many indications of how seriously he and the crew took his immersion in the role. Stan listened to endless interviews and videos and read Lee’s biography, Tommyland, describing him as “very passionate and intense,” a kinetic force. “He’s always moving,” Stan continues. “And there’s just music kind of always playing in his head.”
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Jun
27

Press: ‘Pam & Tommy’ Editor Reflects on Scene That Was a “Pivotal Turning Point”

Hollywood Reporter – ‘Pam & Tommy’ Editor Reflects on Scene That Was a “Pivotal Turning Point”

Talking about reteaming with her I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie on Pam & Tommy, Oscar-nominated editor Tatiana S. Riegel describes the stories Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, and that of Tonya Harding, as “misunderstood.”

“I actually find them kind of similar, the two stories,” Riegel says in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Behind the Screen podcast. “Because of the length of time (since the events occurred), a lot of people either didn’t know anything about it, or had a preconception of what the stories were going to be — often a very judgmental preconception.”

“I knew there was going to be a certain emotional level to it,” Riegel adds of Gillespie being at the helm. “And it would be intriguing in addition to his comic sense, [showcasing] his ability to sort of walk back and forth between those two places in a lovely way.”

A favorite scene for Riegel, whose work with Gillespie also includes Disney’s Cruella, occurs in episode two and features newlyweds Pam (Lily James) and Tommy (Sebastian Stan) at home one night watching TV as Pam introduces her husband to The King and I. She sings “Getting to Know You” from the classic musical as the pair playfully giggle and dance around the bedroom.

“That particular scene was a real pivotal turning point, emotionally, in the story,” Riegel says. “This is a really unusual scene, to have a character like Tommy Lee watching this musical. She’s so into it. I find it to be this really sweet, vulnerable scene that they both are participating in. And I feel like that really cracks the door open for the rest of the season.”

During the conversation, Riegel also discusses her approach to film editing, including why she “avoids the set at all costs.”

“I have a lot of work to do, number one. And number two, I think [being on set] influences my perception,” Riegel says. [When] I watch the dailies … I try to hold onto … my first emotional reaction–to a take, a line, a performance, whatever it is, as whether it’s genuine or real, or made me laugh or made me cry.”

“[But] there’s a very classic thing that happens where things are hysterical on the set,” she continues. “Everybody loves it. And when it actually comes into the cutting room and you watch it in dailies, it’s not so funny anymore, or vice versa. And so everybody’s like, ‘That seemed so much funnier on the day.’ It’s not an editorial thing. It’s just a translation thing. …. It’s like watching a comedy at home alone, versus with a huge audience. It’s a different experience.”

Jun
21

Press: Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve & Adam Pearson To Star In ‘A Different Man’ For A24

Deadline – Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve & Adam Pearson To Star In ‘A Different Man’ For A24.

EXCLUSIVE: Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve and Adam Pearson are set to star in the A24 psychological thriller A Different Man from filmmaker Aaron Schimberg. A24 is financing and producing the pic, which will be written and directed by Schimberg.

The film follows Edward, an outcast who is seeking a new life and fresh start. After he undergoes facial reconstructive surgery, he becomes fixated on a man starring as him in a stage production based on his former life.

Alongside A24, Christine Vachon and Gabriel Mayers of Killer Films, Vanessa McDonnell of Grand Motel Films and Jason Reif will produce. Stan will executive produce. Production kicks off next month.

Stan is coming off rave reviews for his portrayal of Tommy Lee in the Hulu limited series Pam & Tommy. On the film side, he recently starred in the thriller Fresh for Searchlight. Reinsve’s recent credits include The Worst Person in the World and The Governess.

Stan is repped by CAA, Brookside Artist Management and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Reinsve is repped by CAA.

Jun
21

Press/Video:“We Were Able to Completely Exist and Believe That We Were These People”: ‘THR Presents’ Q&A With ‘Pam & Tommy’ Stars Lily James, Sebastian Stan (w/ Screen Captures)

Hollywood Reporter – The actors talk about their preparation to play Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in the Hulu series.

Pam & Tommy stars Lily James and Sebastian Stan were just as shocked by their transformations into Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, respectively, as the rest of the world was.

“There was a conversation about me being involved really early on, and I was incredibly surprised — dumbfounded — and I suppose that spiked my curiosity that they thought of me for the part,” James told THR Presents, powered by Vision Media. “It was a complete mind-blowing shock for everyone. The first makeup test I had … we just sort of threw some stuff on to get a sense, and at the end, I was having a full panic attack and thinking, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I’m going to let everyone down, it’s the biggest embarrassment.’ Then the journey they took with prosthetic … I had a forehead piece, teeth and eyes. And when we needed it, I wore the entire chest piece, but like, it was mind-blowing what they achieved. And the same when I looked at Sebastian, we were able to completely exist and believe that we were these people and in turn do our best shot at really trying to and convincingly inhabit them and do them justice. And it was all linked. We couldn’t do one without the other. It was really quite extraordinary.”

James said she watched Anderson’s major interviews from the ’90s “to get her mannerisms — she talks like a million miles per hour and only stops to breathe.”

“I just tried to make it feel as personal and as spontaneous as I could, but also, having really studied and learned how she talks and moves, I trained so hard, lost tons of weight, — put it all back on — I worked with an amazing acting coach, I found her pitch on the piano,” explained James. “I really just wanted to do her justice and to try as much as I could to sort of emulate so that you feel that you catch an essence of who that person is as best as you possibly can.”

During the time of Pam & Tommy‘s release, there was a video circulating on social media that showed James doing 600 sit-ups a day to prepare for the role. However, James said that’s not quite accurate, as she did 600 sit-ups a day for another film she did called Fast Girls (2012) and not for the Hulu series.

For Stan, mimicking Tommy Lee’s drumming was the most daunting task in his preparation. “I’d never played drums at all. And I remember asking [director] Craig [Gillespie], ‘Are you gonna want to use a double or something?’ He was like, ‘uh, no.’ And so I started the drums on the weekends in Canada, trying to take weekend lessons. And then I remember, after a month, I sent him a video of me doing it and he was like, ‘yeah, it’s great. I just have to speed it up by about 100 frames, but should be OK,’” added Stan, laughing. “It was a combination of literally waking up in the morning, making coffee and running on an empty stomach and fasting for half the day, trying to get 20,000 steps to lose weight. And while I’m running, basically, I’m playing audio of every interview I’ve accumulated off of YouTube or the internet of him going all the way back to the ’80s to now, anything I could find to hear him all all over, then I’d get home, I’d watch videos.”

Stan said that he did karaoke one night and woke up to a raspy voice, which he thought perfectly encapsulated the voice he needed for Tommy Lee. “It sounds like I smoke 10,000 cigarettes. And then that manifested into screaming into a pillow to keep the raspiness and then I know Lily was doing it too. We would do four scenes and I’d be like, ‘You want the pillow?!’”

Pam & Tommy creator Robert Siegel was tasked with the challenge of making a show about two people who wanted no part in it.

“You read as much as you can,” said Siegel. “In this case, we had a lot more information about Tommy. We have, of course, Tommy’s autobiography, Tommyland, which provides a wealth of information. And then there’s court transcripts, which were really, really useful for the episode six deposition episode. And then once you’ve accumulated as much information as is out there, you just try to really do right by these people. We were always really diligent about trying to be on their side. Pam is definitively the hero of the story. We always wanted to be very clear that that this was a crime committed against them. You don’t know if they’re going to see the show, but you want to approach it as if they’re going to see the show.”

“Pam, in particular, but both of them were sort of our number one audience,” agreed D.V. DeVincentis, writer of three episodes of the show as well as executive producer. “But Pam, in particular, this was something she suffered the most from and really sort of survived in this completely self sufficient and kind of brilliant way in the way that she does. And we really wanted to show if we’re working with [telling] her whole life story, we want to at least show the way we see her and the way we still see her.”

In terms of taking creative liberty, Siegel said he stayed pretty true to the Rolling Stone article written by Amanda Chicago Lewis, which told the story of how the sex tape was stolen by a man named Rand Gauthier, played by Seth Rogen in the show. “We were pretty faithful to the article,” said Siegel. “There’s not much in the show that’s not in the article. I’m kind of proud. You’re always prepared for the possibility of making things up. A couple of things we definitely did make up, but for the most part, it’s what’s in the article.”

Added DeVincentis: “We’re not entirely certain that the the narrative that Rand Gauthier laid out in the article is necessarily true, but it’s a hell of a story.”

Note: The complete video interview is at the Hollywood Reporter link above. I’ve added screen captures to the gallery.

Jun
20

Press/Video: Sebastian Stan Reveals How He Maintained Tommy Lee’s Amped Energy Levels in ‘Pam & Tommy’ (w/ Screen Captures)

Awards Daily – Sebastian Stan Reveals How He Maintained Tommy Lee’s Amped Energy Levels in ‘Pam & Tommy’

Awards Daily talks to Sebastian Stan of Pam & Tommy about that tub scene with Lily James and how he maintained Tommy’s totally-amped energy in the Hulu limited series.

One of the more underrated aspects of Sebastian Stan’s performance as Tommy Lee in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy is the level of energy he brings to any room. Not only is there the physical presence, but Tommy always seems to be yelling, demanding to be heard.

“It almost feels like he’s never not playing the drums,” says Stan. “If you look at him in concert, which is one of the reasons why he’s so great at playing the drums, he’s always moving. I actually used an ear piece for the first time in my life and I actually would have a tiny ear piece in one of my ears throughout the scenes and I would just play music, often Motley Crüe music. And it would help me be at that level of energy.”

I had a great conversation with Stan about channeling that energy, the different iterations of Tommy’s “big reveal” to Pam (Lily James), and whether he’d ever revisit this real-life character in the future. Watch the interview below!

Jun
18

Press: ‘Pam & Tommy,’ ‘Only Murders in the Building’ and ‘Russian Doll’ Editors Explain How They Cut Together Their Most Challenging Scenes

Hollywood Reporter – These series blend comedy and drama, which meant their editors had to find the right tonal balance.

Tatiana Riegel’s long collaboration with director Craig Gillespie includes I, Tonya — the dark comedy about the Tonya Harding 1990s figure skating scandal for which the editor earned an Oscar nomination — and their latest, Pam & Tommy, for which she again had to walk a fine line between humor and seriousness.

“For Craig to be attached to it, I knew there was going to be a certain emotional level to it,” she says of the Hulu limited series, which revolves around the marriage of model-actress Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and their notorious sex tape. “And it would be intriguing in addition to his comic sense, [showcasing] his ability to sort of walk back and forth between those two places in a lovely way.”

Riegel, whose work with Gillespie also spans Lars and the Real Girl (2007) and Disney’s Cruella (2021), cut the first three episodes of Pam & Tommy, which vary greatly. The first follows Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier, the man who steals valuables (and, inadvertently, the sex tape) from the couple after Lee (Sebastian Stan) stiffs him on a construction job. The second goes back in time, showing viewers how Pam (Lily James) and Tommy met, fell in love and were married. The third in the eight-episode arc picks up the narrative just after Rand had stolen the tape, and the story proceeds from there.

“Then you get into this much more emotional storyline of what’s happening to Pam — both of them — but I feel, or at least how I interpreted it, was sort of more the Pam story,” Riegel says. “A lot of it is defined by the script, and that’s the jumping-off point in terms of the broader themes of fame, how women are treated versus men and a love story that is very unusual. Those are the things that I really liked about the scripts for the first three episodes that I read, early on, and that I thought were just going to be really fun and challenging to cut.”

Finding each character’s tone was critical. She says of the first episode, “Seth Rogen is obviously known for this wonderful, great, broad, hysterical comedy, and this was a very different role for him. It was much quieter and stiller. [In the editing, I had to] find that and make sure that we didn’t drift into other things.”

She also had to navigate the arc of Stan’s Lee as he is seen in the first episode by Rand. “To make Tommy Lee as unappealing as he actually is in that first episode [took] work, because Sebastian’s fantastic and charming,” says Riegel, who also worked with Stan on I, Tonya (he played Harding’s then-husband, Jeff Gillooly). “You have to find all of those moments without making him too horrible because you want the audience to empathize with him and be into his story as well. But he’s doing dreadful things in the first episode and is really a jerk. Finding that line is just always interesting.”

In contrast, a very different side of Lee is seen in episode two, during which newlyweds Pam and Tommy are home one night watching TV and Pam introduces her husband to The King and I. She sings “Getting to Know You” from the classic musical as the pair playfully giggle and dance around the bedroom.

“That particular scene was a real pivotal turning point, emotionally, in the story,” Riegel says. “This is a really unusual scene, to have a character like Tommy Lee watching this musical. She’s so into it. I find it to be this really sweet, vulnerable scene that they both are participating in. And I feel like that really cracks the door open for the rest of the season.”

It was also a tough scene to cut, she adds. “They’re moving all over this room, and musically, you’re having to follow along with the specific song and create the fun, the movement, the emotion, the relationship, the vulnerability, all of those things happening all at once.”

Jun
18

Press: Why ‘Pam and Tommy’ Used Sebastian Stan’s Vocals Instead of Tommy Lee’s for Motley Crue Covers

Variety – Why ‘Pam and Tommy’ Used Sebastian Stan’s Vocals Instead of Tommy Lee’s for Motley Crue Covers

In the finale of Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy,” based on the vastly different experiences of Pamela Anderson Lee and Tommy Lee during their sex tape scandal, Lee’s group Mötley Crüe performs a promotional gig in a Tower Records parking lot, pinned to their “Generation Swine” album. The song they perform is “Crüe-by-numbers,” even if you can’t quite place it. A Shazam tap reveals the song is actually “She Says Yeah Yeah,” and the singers are Sebastian Stan (who plays Lee), Sam Meader and Zack Gold, not Mötley Crüe.

In fact, there aren’t any Mötley Crüe songs in the series, partly due to financial constraints, according to Amanda Krieg Thomas, the show’s music supervisor. Mainly, however, she notes that it never felt like there was a need for one — with the exception of the one scene.

“The team wanted to wait until production was done before going down any Mötley Crüe roads,” says Krieg Thomas. “The financial component pointed us to the idea of, ‘What if we did something original in the style of the music they were making in that era?’”

Stan’s drum coach, Isaac Carpenter wrote, recorded and produced “She Says Yeah Yeah,” as well as played all the instruments on the song, barring the shredding lead guitar. Says Krieg Thomas, “[Carpenter] said, ‘I know this era. I know that music. I can nail it.’ And he did.”

Musician and producer Devin Bronson (Avril Lavigne, Krewella) recorded the lead guitar parts, as well as played hand double for the close shots. Chris Mann, who plays Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars, learned the instrument just for the medium and wide shots.

Krieg Thomas reached out to Adam Anders, executive music producer for “Glee” to see if he knew someone who sounded like the band’s Vince Neil. Anders then pointed her to Scottish-born vocalist Storm Gardner, the Crüe singer’s vocal doppelgänger. “We also had Sofia Toufa who toured with Mötley Crüe, helping them with stage movement and choreography,” says Krieg Thomas. “She coached the guys on how the band performs, what Vince would do, what Nikki Sixx would do, how he holds his bass and how he looks when he’s doing it. It was cool to watch her. It added that level of authenticity to the performance.”

Krieg Thomas was given free reign on the needle drops of Craig Gillespie’s show. There were no restrictions on genre or period — or how many songs Krieg Thomas sent over.

“When I read the script, it felt very stylized,” she says. “There were a few scripted songs, but not tons of them. Some of them were ’90s songs, like La Bouche’s ‘Be My Lover,’ and some of them were older, like Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You.’ I pulled 20 songs for [Gillespie] and said, ‘This is what eclectic means to me.’ He said, ‘This is great. Send me more.’ I sent 400 songs in the first week. Those hundreds of songs went in the bank for the editors. We started seeing the cuts, and I did not anticipate 20 songs in each episode. It’s such a specific way to use songs to tell a story.

There were some selections pinned to Pam, that Krieg Thomas was insistent on including. Among these are Captain & Tennille’s “Feel Like a Man,” used when she is descending into a hotel lobby full of “schlumpy” men, and Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” which plays during Pam’s first Playboy photoshoot. The idea was to subvert the type of music the viewer might associate with her.

These are moments where it’s important to showcase Pam and who she is, as well as who she has to put on display for the world,” says Krieg Thomas. “It’s not necessarily always from her perspective, but to communicate with the world, and how we, the audience, are supposed to feel about her and be with her in these moments, using music.”