Lily James 'Can't Wait' to Watch Pamela Anderson Tell Her Story on Netflix (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
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After portraying Pamela Anderson in the acclaimed Hulu series, Pam & Tommy, Lily James is excited to see her real-life counterpart tell her story in the upcoming documentary for Netflix.
“I cant wait to watch it and learn more,” James tells ET’s Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner while walking the red carpet at the 94th Academy Awards, where she’ll be presenting. “I mean, of course, we could only do our best based on all the information we had. So, for her to be able to tell her story, it is so important and so I'll be watching along with the rest of, you know, the world and eager to see what she says and hear what it is all about.”
First announced in March, “the film, which has been in the making for several years, will feature the pop culture icon setting the record straight as she looks back on her professional path and her personal journey," Netflix said about the project directed by Ryan White, promising that it will offer “an intimate portrait” of Anderson’s life.
While speaking with ET, Anderson explained why now is the right time for the documentary. “My kids really wanted me to do this,” she shared. “I just finished writing my memoir and that’ll be out in eight months or so, and now the Netflix documentary is following me around.”
The news of the project came amid the Hulu series’ limited, eight-part run in March. Created by Robert Seigel, Pam & Tommy is based on Amanda Chicago Lewis’ Rolling Stone article, “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World's Most Infamous Sex Tape,” and recounts the events leading up to and following the release of the couple’s personal sex tape, which was stolen from their home by handyman Rand Gauthier.
In addition to James as Anderson, the series stars Sebastian Stan as Lee and Seth Rogen as Gauthier.
Prior to its debut in February, ET reported that a source said the “series has been very painful for Pamela Anderson and for anyone that loves her.”
“It is shocking that this series is allowed to happen without her approval. Pamela has no regrets about her life, but the only thing she would probably erase is this burglary. She feels so violated to this day,” the source said, adding, “It brings back a very painful time for her. Tommy feels fine about the series coming out and is excited to see it. He still doesn’t understand how this incident impacts Pamela differently from himself.”
However, James did not take her portrayal of Anderson, and the trauma that she went through, lightly. While speaking to ET, she said, “It’s always such a huge responsibility to play someone, a real person, particularly with Pam. She’s such an icon.”
“I really love her, and I wanted to try and do her justice and try and capture her spirit and really explore what happened at that time and how she was treated and how things have changed, or not changed,” James continued.
Meanwhile, at the Oscars, the actress explained why she feels so lucky working today. “What's so cool about being an actor is you get to do these, like, polar opposites,” she says of getting to transform from one role to the next. “I mean, I had brown, frizzy hair and no makeup and then suddenly I was transformed after four hours of this incredible hair and makeup team and I feel so lucky. It's so great, it's like playing make believe the whole time.”