Lily James Reveals Why She Lost Out On 'Lots Of Jobs' After Playing Pamela Anderson

The British star was recently nominated for an Emmy for her performance in Pam & Tommy.
Lily James at the Met Gala in May
Lily James at the Met Gala in May
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Lily James has revealed the unusual reason her role in Pam & Tommy ended up costing her work.

The Mamma Mia! star recently received an Emmy nomination for portraying Pamela Anderson in the Disney+ drama about the theft and distribution of her private sex tape with then-husband Tommy Lee in the 90s.

In an interview with Gold Derby, Lily admitted that she immersed herself in the role so much that it became difficult to shake.

“I started watching interview after interview and I couldn’t help but start feeling her mannerisms,” Lily explained.

“The way she would laugh at herself or the way she would handle pressure. It just felt really intriguing to me. There was so much there to explore.”

She continued: “I had a prosthetic forehead, I had teeth, I had contact lenses, I had hair, I had boobs. It was so freeing to look in the mirror and see someone else.

“All through that four hours in the morning I would watch videos of her. She speaks really fast so I would have vocal exercises. It would take four hours for me to spiritually and physically get there.”

Lily James on the set of Pam & Tommy
Lily James on the set of Pam & Tommy
Disney/Erica Parise/Hulu via PA Media

Lily added that even now, she finds herself slipping into Pamela’s speaking voice, claiming: “I step into her face. I think I have lost lots of jobs because I keep speaking like Pamela in any audition.

“But working in that intense way and being so all-in is really the only way I want to work now. It’s so exhilarating and so rewarding.”

Pamela Anderson has so far remained completely silent about the drama, although quotes from a “source” to Entertainment Tonight suggested earlier this year that she is found the release of Pam & Tommy “very painful” and “shocking”.

Asked about the real-life Pamela’s reluctance to watch Pam & Tommy, Lily told Variety: ”It’s tricky. It’s such a big conversation and something that I still think about on a daily basis.”

Pamela Anderson pictured earlier this year
Pamela Anderson pictured earlier this year
NDZ/Star Max via Getty Images

“I still hope and pray I did her justice,” Lily also told Gold Derby. “I eventually just had to trust in knowing my instinct and my intentions were so good.

“I wanted to share a story that people maybe weren’t aware of. I wanted to look at how women are treated. I wanted to examine the awful double standard and what these violations really do to people. I felt like I was constantly walking this tightrope as an empathetic human and as someone who feels insecure.”

Lily previously claimed that her attempts to contact Pamela in the lead-up to playing her on screen went in vain.

Meanwhile, director Craig Gillespie said on the subject: “I absolutely respect any personal decision that she makes on that, and understand where she’s coming from.

“The thing that gave me comfort was I felt like we really had an opportunity to change the narrative of this story, and to show it from a perspective that people can hopefully learn and grow from.

“And I felt that we portrayed them in a very empathetic way. I thought the writers did a really nice job with that. So I felt that there was that opportunity, which was the hope.”

Pam & Tommy is available to watch in full now on Disney+.

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