Lily James Talks ‘Huge Responsibility’ of Playing Pamela Anderson in ‘Pam & Tommy’ (Exclusive)

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Lily James is looking back on her time as Pamela Anderson. ET's Lauren Zima spoke to James at the finale screening of Pam & Tommy Tuesday, where she shared what a "huge responsibility" it was to play the Baywatch star.

"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 explained.

The miniseries recounts the total real-life rollercoaster that Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, played by Sebastian Stan, experienced after their sex tape was leaked. 

From understanding what she went through during that traumatic time to mimicking her voice and nailing Anderson's signature look, James underwent a major transformation to take on the role, one that involved intensive hair and makeup, a wardrobe with spot-on throwbacks to some of Anderson's most iconic '90s looks, and a prosthetics team that truly allowed James to get lost in the character.

Lily James
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

"We just worked so hard 'cause I was like, you can't play Pamela and not like, you know, and I obviously do not look like Pamela. So, it took a lot of work, but it meant that I was able to believe myself in the role," she shared. "When I looked at Sebastian, and I know when he looked at me, it was just so exciting, because we felt so in character and we really forgot ourselves."

So much so, that the pair practically had to re-introduce themselves once they went on a press tour to promote the Hulu series.

"We only met like once, maybe twice, before we shot. and we never saw each other out of character," James explained. "So, it was kind of weird when we started doing press, we were like, 'hey,' um, hi? Nice to meet you.'"

The series has been getting a lot of buzz, especially when it comes to James' performance. When asked what awards recognition would mean to the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again actress, James said she just wants to keep "pushing forward" and keep "getting jobs."

"It's so surreal," she gushed. "It's so nice to have people watch it though, and have people respond. I'm so proud of the show, and I just want to keep sort of pushing forward and keep getting jobs."

The series finale of Pam & Tommy airs March 9 on Hulu.

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