Lily James and Sebastian Stan shocked the world when they finally debuted the final looks for their roles as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee for Hulu's Pam & Tommy limited series, but James reveals the work to properly capture the real-life figures was an incredibly hard task –– so much so that she almost cracked under the pressure and walked away.
"I really wanted to pull out of this a week before," she told Variety in her and Stan's joint cover story. She continued, adding that her feeling was, "'I can't do it. I can't do it.' It just felt too frightening. But I think that's a good place to work from because it keeps you growing and getting better, I hope."
Pam & Tommy focuses on the unbelievably real story behind Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's stolen, leaked sex tape. Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman also star in the short series, scheduled to premiere on Feb. 2.
The process of learning the ins and outs of becoming the Baywatch star was grueling. But, she felt the need to do Anderson justice after realizing the cruel story the actress was forced to go through."Sometimes you admire qualities in people that you feel you're lacking, or you want to be more like," James says. "And I've always felt there was this boldness to Pamela, this unashamed kind of authenticity. And even without knowing exactly what went on and the details of the tape, just who she kind of stands for, it feels so brave."
"She talks really fast, and I would watch her interviews over and over again and annotate them, learn them and parrot along with her," James continued. "I wanted to get that energy and that impulsiveness and that spirit that she has when she's in front of the camera."
Her co-star Stan, on the other hand, worried how he could possibly take on the Motley Crue drummer in an authentic fashion. He wondered what it was about him that convinced director Craig Gillespie to put his money behind him. "I don't have a single tattoo on my body," he says. "So I was like, 'What exactly is making you think that I can play this man?' But I was intrigued enough to want to see why he was calling," he told the outlet. "When you're playing somebody who's from real life, the story is there; you're a journalist at that point," he adds. "You're really researching all you can and trying to understand as best as you can."