While filming Pam & Tommy, Lily James had the first day out of nightmare. The actress opened up in a recent interview about the very first scene she filmed, which turned out to be one of the most significant moments for her portrayal of Pamela Anderson.
“The point of it is to shock and surprise the audience, like, ‘Were you underestimating me? Well, here we go’. It’s such a slam-dunk, mic-drop moment. It really shifts everything, and I do like how the writers made it like a Trojan horse.”
Pamela meets with her new publicist to discuss the marketing strategy for her film Barb Wire. While the conversation begins lightheartedly, it immediately takes a dramatic turn as Pamela explains why Jane Fonda is her professional role model. It’s the first time spectators witness the actress’s fiery drive bubbling under the hood.
“You think of it as one thing, and then it becomes something else. The publicist — who I think is supposed to be the audience — is sort of patronizing her, and so then she comes out with this big speech and you understand her depth and intelligence and her commitment and passion and what matters to her. It’s just such a cool moment.”
Lily James admitted that filming that particular scene first added an incredible amount of pressure on her. “I’d only been dressed in the character like three times. And then suddenly, I was doing this huge monologue. I was so nervous. I was just thrown into the deep end, and it was pretty terrifying.”
She further stated that as she focused on the emotion and message of Pamela’s monologue, she felt less scared and more inspired.
“I just think that what she’s saying matters so much. Every actor — more so actresses, I think — faces this thing of being boxed in and typecast and ‘you can only be this one thing,’ especially when it comes to your sexuality, how that’s weaponized and demanded of us, but then put down. Everything in the scene was just exactly what I wanted to be exploring and talking about. It’s so powerful.”
Pam and Tommy is currently streaming on Hulu.