Category: Press

Jun
15

Press: Lily James and Sebastian Stan find a real relationship at the heart of ‘Pam & Tommy’

LA Times – Lily James and Sebastian Stan find a real relationship at the heart of ‘Pam & Tommy’

Lily James knew of Pamela Anderson only as “the icon from ‘Baywatch’ and Playboy.” Sebastian Stan knew something of Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee‘s reputation for debauchery. But when James and Stan got working on the limited series “Pam & Tommy,” which turns on the infamous sex tape stolen from the couple, the two actors found themselves struck by … innocence.

“There was a certain innocence to them that was in the script,” Stan says, “a lot of it in that initial, comet-like meeting that happened between them that led to three, four days in Mexico and, suddenly, a wedding. There was this instant pull, and it lasted for them. We were both conscious of trying to find that authentic kind of primal attraction, being protective of that and conveying that in the best way we possibly could.”

That high-speed collision of Anderson and Lee is depicted in the second episode. As presented by showrunner and writer Robert Siegel, director Craig Gillespie and the whole creative team, (especially cinematographer Paula Huidobro of “CODA,” editor Tatiana S. Riegel, who worked with Gillespie on “I, Tonya,” and the all-in hair-and-makeup department led by Barry Lee Moe, David Williams and Jason Collins), it’s a wild ride of two people falling head over heels in love — with a not-inconsiderable boost from mind-altering substances. The series doesn’t shy from portraying the couple’s explosive sexuality. It has loads of fun doing so. But as the poet sang, “Only true love can leave beauty innocent.”

Stan says, “We would meet at Craig’s house and he’d be like, ‘We’re gonna do this and all these push-ins, and these are gonna be the songs …’ When I watch that episode, I almost feel like I’m high.”

“High on love, high on drugs, high on everything,” agrees James from a separate Zoom screen. “It felt like them against the world, which felt so intoxicating to watch, and I think even more upsetting to see the world banging down their door.”

The actors’ transformations into the famous couple went viral before the show ever aired, but the stars solemnly attest to their determination to honor Anderson and Lee — and especially their relationship — despite the outsize personalities in the series and its crazy events. Seriously, four days knowing each other, then a beach wedding.

James laughs: “There’s no sense in falling in love!”

The Brit best known for “Downton Abbey” and “Cinderella” clearly enjoys the absurd. When the notion of her in the role came up, she thought, “‘Whoa, me? Pamela Anderson? That’s completely insane.’ I was just shocked I would be in anyone’s mind when it came to casting, and I was hungry for that.”

When she started researching, she was overwhelmed by the abundance of material. But when she found early Anderson interviews, “It would be like gold dust. Although she’d already ridden to huge fame, it’s that word Sebastian used: ‘innocence.’ The newness of her career, of ambition, of a relationship, of love — love feels so important for her energy. I began to see real anchors of behavior, mannerisms and physicality.

“We were working through the script in the garden. Craig was like, ‘Let’s just get it on its feet.’ We went out to his driveway and acted out the scene with the car outside the club — we were looking like Lily and Sebastian, so it was kind of weird without the whole —” she waves her hands to indicate makeup and costumes — “but there was something so playful … ‘This is cool, this is gonna come alive.’ ”

She looks down, smiling at the memory.

Stan says the scene in which the two actors felt most connected involved a bedroom fight — James cheers in assent as he invokes their nickname for it, “ ‘The John Cassavetes Scene’ in Episode 5.”

She interjects, “This is what I was going to say!”

“We were like, ‘It’s good in a oner!’ We had this wide shot,” he says, still enthused. “ ‘You could just keep it as a oner!’ ” he says of wanting a long, uninterrupted shot.

James shares his enthusiasm. “We were texting the showrunner this shot of the monitor: ‘Do this whole fight in this one wide shot!’ It was so physical,” she says. “It went from 1 to 100, like fights do.”

But in all the excitement, James emphasizes they were “really trying to explore that personal relationship to understand how deeply painful and unforgivable it was to rob that [tape] from them. To steal something so private.”

Stan echoes what a violation it was for a thief to expose their most intimate moments to the world.

“People just assumed they did [it on purpose]: Everybody has a sex tape, blah blah blah. But that was never the intention. Buried underneath all that, it’s two human beings who wanted to have a family. I feel like no one really thought of that,” he says.

“We just wanted to get to the human beings,” he adds. “We make a lot of projections on people — they were loud in certain ways, they were on top — but deep down, they just wanted to have a family and have some normalcy. That’s all they were trying to do.”

Jun
15

Press: How Sebastian Stan Traded Marvel Mania for a Hard-Rock Life in ‘Pam & Tommy’

The Wrap – The actor has received some of the best reviews of his career for portraying Motley Crüe’s Tommy Lee in the Hulu miniseries.

This story about Sebastian Stan first appeared in The Limited Series/Movies issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

Even in the carefully tended superhero universe where Sebastian Stan resided for quite some time as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in various Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, the actor still got to play a distinctly dark duality. It’s a characteristic that has marked many of Stan’s best-known roles, such as figure-skating schemer Jeff Gillooly in “I, Tonya” and his recent turn as a human butcher in the thriller “Fresh”. But the prospect of playing Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee was a whole different jam.

The Hulu miniseries “Pam & Tommy” doesn’t focus on Lee’s bad-boy image, but rather the litigation surrounding the infamous sex tape that he and wife Pamela Anderson (Lily James) made — and that ended up being a bellwether for the boon of the amateur video market. The series doesn’t shy away from showing you his goes-to-11 bluster, but it also makes room for the guy who held Anderson’s hand in the hospital during some crushing personal news and could cook up a mean, full-course Greek meal just for fun.

“I was terrified, but the themes felt very resonant and timely, and anything (where I feel) a hesitancy or fear means there’s really something to unpack,” said the Romanian-born actor, who moved to the States in the ‘90s when he was an adolescent (and the heyday of hair-metal mania was over).

“Actually, in 2006, there were auditions for (the Motley Crüe biopic) ‘The Dirt,’ and I had actually gotten an audition to play Vince Neil. That film didn’t end up getting made then, but later did elsewhere (at Netflix), but by then I was too old for it.” Eventually, “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie approached Stan about “Pam & Tommy.“ He said, ‘I think you’d be great for this,’ though I was never quite sure why he thought that.”

Stan’s wild-eyed yet empathetic portrayal of the drummer with bravado to spare has won him praise from critics. The physical transformation into Lee took up to three hours every day to ensure that the jet-black hair, multiple ear-and-nipple piercings and tattoos were just right. There was even the application of a prosthetic puppet penis (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas) to whom Lee waxes romantic about his love for Anderson. This came right out of the eyebrow-raising biography “Tommyland” by Anthony Bozza that Stan used as a guidepost. (Lee also gave the miniseries his blessing.)

“Talking to (the hair and makeup team and costume designers) is just as important as the director,” Stan said. “I like to hear what they’re thinking and their take on the scene. In this instance, they were essential, because I don’t have tattoos and I don’t wear thongs,” he added, laughing. “But that time in the chair was very helpful. I used to listen to audio of Tommy to prepare, and it was just a great time on my own.”

The actor also had to learn to wail on a drum set like Lee notoriously did. He took lessons and is still trying to keep up with it post-shoot. “Tommy said it was a great outlet for him,” Stan said. “And I’ve always looked at acting as a way to learn new things, and you’re not always given that option. It’s the same with learning stunts and doing physical training. It’s just a really exciting thing.”

Jun
14

Press: Sebastian Stan Transformed Himself Like Never Before For ‘Pam & Tommy’

The Playlist – Sebastian Stan Transformed Himself Like Never Before For ‘Pam & Tommy’

Sebastian Stan will tell you that in order to play the Winter Soldier he spent years trying to put on “weight” to match the physique of Chris Hemsworth‘s of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’ll also tell you, in his own opinion, he never truly pulled it off. He went in a significantly different direction to play legendary drummer Tommy Lee in “Pam & Tommy.” For that series, Stan spent months learning how to play the drums and used intermittent fasting and exercise to try and duplicate Lee’s skinny and lanky frame. And yes, that physical transformation was just as difficult as trying to gain all that muscle for previous projects.

“It was tough because it required such drastic changes and it was learning new things,” Stan says. “But then once we got there, once I got to April and we had that camera test, it was delayed gratification. Finally, on that day of the camera test, all the work that I’d done and all the ideas I had had about how it was going to look and what was going to happen and the physical stuff, it all clicked and made me feel like it was part of helping me to get the courage to go there. And a lot of that had to do with the tattoos and the physical was a big part of it. But once we were in costume, once we had the hair and makeup and everything else, then it was, O.K. This is more real now. Up until that point, it was 100% anxiety every day.”

The Hulu limited series also saw his co-star Lily James become unrecognizable as Lee’s one-time wife (and, arguably, love of his life), Pamela Anderson. Over the course of our interview, Stan discusses reuniting with his “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie, the infamous and outrageous scenes in the program’s second episode, how he researched Lee’s life story, and much, much more.

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Jun
13

Press/Video: Sebastian Stan (‘Pam and Tommy’) reveals trick to staying ‘at a level 10, no matter what’ while playing rock icon Tommy Lee (w/ Screen Captures)

Gold Derby — Sebastian Stan (‘Pam and Tommy’) reveals trick to staying ‘at a level 10, no matter what’ while playing rock icon Tommy Lee

“I don’t play the drums, I don’t play any instrument,” confesses Sebastian Stan during our recent chat about his role as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in the Hulu limited series “Pam and Tommy.” “I started taking drum lessons in January, about two-and-a-half months before we started. Everything about it was terrifying. It felt like big shoes to fill on every level. Personality-wise, certainly reputation-wise. Whether it was going to be believable. The idea of just going there was sort of terrifying.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

Based on the 2014 Rolling Stone article “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape” by Amanda Chicago Lewis, the Hulu series follows the turbulent marriage of actress Pamela Anderson (played by Lily James) and Lee after their honeymoon sex tape is stolen and eventually launched on the internet for millions to see.

“The sex tape is the easiest thing to point the finger to, but then as you peel it apart you realize there’s all these other layers to it and there’s something extremely timely to it,” Stan says. “This celebrity obsession really started kicking up to a different level in the 90s. That has really percolated until today, including the loss of privacy and how we’re all affected by the internet and the parts that we play in it, anonymously. And the parts that the media plays, as well, shaping narratives that are not true.”

The actor says keeping up with Lee’s energy took a few tricks of his own. “He was always at a level 10, no matter what,” Stan explains. “That’s how he was written in the script and, if you look at the interviews, it almost feels like he’s always listening to a piece of music. Or he’s constantly almost at the drums even when he’s not playing. I tried [an] earpiece device that I had throughout the scenes and I would always have music playing in my head. There were some things you learn to rely on to get you there, but it is tough. It’s not you. You’re handed a life and you’re told, ‘Go fit into that somehow,’ and you don’t always know if you will or not.”

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

Jun
12

Photos: Hulu’s FYC “Clips + Conversation” Event For Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy”

Sebastian attended Hulu’s FYC “Clips + Conversation” Event For Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” today in LA. I’ve added photos of the event to the gallery. Enjoy.

Jun
12

Photos/Video: ‘Fresh’ FYC Panel Event (w/ Screen Captures & Video)

Searchlight Pictures released the video of the ‘Fresh’ FYC Event with Sebastian and Daisy Edgar-Jones. I’ve also added photos of the event. Click below to watch and also check out screencaps and photos in the gallery.

Jun
10

Press/Video: LA Times Envelope Drama Roundtable w/ Sebastian and others (including Screen Captures)

The LA Times released the video of the ‘Envelope Drama Roundtable’ interview with Sebastian among others. Click below to watch and also check out screencaps in the gallery.

Jun
10

Press/Video: ‘Actors on Actors’ with Sebastian Stan & Jennifer Aniston (w/ Screen Captures)

Variety released the video of the ‘Actors on Actors’ interview with Sebastian. Click below to watch and also check out screencaps in the gallery.

Jun
10

Press: Jennifer Aniston and Sebastian Stan Bond Over ‘Friends,’ TikTok Hurting Acting and That ‘Pam & Tommy’ Penis

Variety –Jennifer Aniston and Sebastian Stan Bond Over ‘Friends,’ TikTok Hurting Acting and That ‘Pam & Tommy’ Penis

Of course Jennifer Aniston and Sebastian Stan are bound to talk about the 1990s. Stan is receiving Emmy buzz for donning tattoos and losing weight to play Tommy Lee, the Mötley Crüe drummer, in Hulu’s limited series “Pam & Tommy” — which is set in the decade that made Aniston a star on “Friends.” Actually, as Aniston thinks about it, she could see Stan chilling on the famous coffeehouse couch on her former sitcom. But they don’t agree about one thing: Is he a Joey or a Chandler?

The time travel then moves to the early days of COVID, to discuss Aniston’s transformative turn as anchor Alex Levy on Season 2 of “The Morning Show.” In the latest arc on the Apple TV+ drama, her character jets to Italy to confront her disgraced colleague and best friend Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) — but that wasn’t always the show’s plan. By the time they finish exchanging stories on Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” presented by Apple TV+, Aniston and Stan are so comfortable, they’ve cast themselves in a dream project together.

SEBASTIAN STAN: I’m such a huge fan of yours. I have been for years, so this is very special. Where I’d love to start is with doing a show during COVID, and incorporating COVID as subject matter. How was that approaching it from the perspective of Alex?

JENNIFER ANISTON: There was obviously no COVID when we started shooting, although there were rumblings of it. It was, like, January. We had shot for about a month. All of a sudden, companies were closing and working from home. We were all saying, “What about the actors? We don’t have the luxury of social distancing. We’re in scenes together.”

STAN: Yeah.

ANISTON: And they’re like, “Screw the actors.” So we shut down. We took that time to realize that there was something missing in Season 2; it had to be completely reimagined. The same thing happened with Season 1, where we had about seven shows outlined, and the #MeToo movement happened. I feel like our show is kind of in this place where we actually deliver the news literally, as in real time.

STAN: I found in the pandemic watching the news was heartbreaking and exhausting. And sometimes it made me paranoid. Did you find that you ended up watching more news as a result?

ANISTON: Actually, the opposite. I watched more news before, because I loved morning shows. But when we started shooting, I stopped watching. It was too much. You shot “Pam & Tommy” during the pandemic as well.

STAN: We did. We started around this time last year, so the vaccines were just coming out. Everybody felt safer or a little more relief. But it was just weird because it was the ’90s every day for 12 hours.

ANISTON: Which, by the way, feels like yesterday.

STAN: I know.

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Jun
10

Press/Video: ‘In Conversation with the Cast’ & Lily James, Sebastian Stan + Taylor Schilling Discuss Baring it All on ‘Pam & Tommy’ (w/ Screen Captures)

Hulu released new videos for ‘Pam & Tommy’. There’s also a video interview from ‘Backstage’. Click below to watch and also check out screencaps in the gallery.