How Lily James and Sebastian Stan filmed Pam & Tommy sex scenes

‘Sweaty’ silicon breast plates, four hours in makeup and an animatronic penis: How Lily James and Sebastian Stan were able to replicate Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex scenes

The first three episodes of Pam & Tommy were released on Wednesday to a lukewarm reception, with some critics praising the nostalgia while others lambasted the inconsistent tone.

One aspect that united critics, however, was Lily James and Sebastian Stan’s individual performances, with viewers blown away by not just their acting skills but the incredible physical transformations they underwent. 

The eight-part Hulu and Disney+ miniseries charts Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s high profile romance after their honeymoon sex tape was stolen and leaked to the public in 1995.

How Lily James transformed into busty bombshell Pamela Anderson: Actress relied on ‘sweaty’ silicon breast plates and FOUR hours in makeup while Sebastian Stan used an animatronic penis for Tommy Lee sex scenes

With the incident such an iconic moment in pop culture history, both Lily, 32, and Sebastian, 39, admitted they were ‘terrified’ to take on the roles – and prior to series stills being released, the internet was awash with doubt over whether the straight-laced pair would be able to take on the roles of the wild couple. 

Yet following extensive time working with the hair and makeup department – as well as a slew of prosthetics – the duo convincingly transformed themselves into the Nineties ‘It’ couple. 

With the miniseries featuring plenty of nudity and sex scenes, there was nowhere for Lily and Sebastian to hide when it came to replicating the star’s famous figures – resulting in the duo requiring plenty of cosmetic enhancements. 

Now, MailOnline takes a look at just how the duo transformed themselves into Pamela and Tommy’s lookalikes. 


Wow: While the pair have been praised for their incredible transformation, there was initially doubt over whether the duo could take on the roles (Pamela and Tommy pictured right in 2005)

Lily James 

Body 

For Baywatch babe Pamela, her 34DD bust is just as well known as her acting skills, with English rose Lily forced to apply a prosthetic breast plate in order to boost her 32B bra size. 

Special makeup effects designer Jason Collins was tasked with making the fake bust look as real as possible, revealing that it was made out of gel-filled silicone that gave it the appearance and movement of natural skin. 

Jason told Harper’s Bazaar that he would blend the prosthetic just past Lily’s clavicle and an inch past her breast line to secure it properly and revealed that a new breast plate was required daily, estimating they made their way through 50 prosthetics. 


Boosted: English rose Lily (pictured left in 2017) was forced to apply a prosthetic breast plate in order to boost her 32B bra size to Pamela’s famous 34DDs 

Discussing the prosthetic, Lily said: ‘The breast piece was amazing. You would never, never know it wasn’t me. It was shocking.’

Yet despite the realistic nature of the item, practical reasons meant that Lily filmed several of her scenes without it. 

She explained: ‘Because it took so long to put on, I didn’t wear it as much as I wanted to. We sort of cheated with my own boobs and figured out outfits and stuff to camouflage or hide and faked the illusion they’re bigger.’

She added: ‘It would be boiling hot — I got really sweaty and my boobs were coming off – I’m English, it’s too hot!’

Looking good: The makeup designer blended the prosthetic just past Lily’s clavicle and an inch past her breast line to secure it properly

Lily also worked on overhauling her figure in a natural sense as well, working with a personal trainer for six months prior to filming in order to mimic Pamela’s slight physique. 

She told Entertainment Weekly: ‘He worked me so hard and I got really fit. I lost a ton of weight.’

‘It was really wonderful to feel like that, to feel so in my own body. It was really tough though, but it was rewarding.’

Lily revealed that her training didn’t ease up during filming either, explaining: ‘He would make me do all my work and reading my script on a running machine. 

‘And I did boxing with a really cool guy in LA, which I love too, being physically strong like I could literally beat someone up.’ 

Trim: Lily also worked on overhauling her figure in a natural sense as well, working with a personal trainer for six months prior to filming in order to mimic Pamela’s slight physique

Hair 

With Pamela being the ultimate blonde bombshell, it was vital Lily worked with the best hair stylists in order to hide away her naturally brunette locks.  

Lily filmed her scenes on a rotation of four custom lace front wigs, each a blend of three to four different blondes to achieve Pam’s perfect platinum color. 

Hair stylist Barry Lee Moe told Harper’s that they shaded the roots of the wigs in order to add ‘depth’ and a ‘natural’ look, while each wig featured a separate custom nape piece for the updos. 


Transformed: With Pamela being the ultimate blonde bombshell, it was vital Lily worked with the best hair stylists in order to hide away her naturally brunette locks (pictured right in 2017)

So enamoured was Lily by her new blonde look, that the actress invested in a wig of her own and would wear it while running errands off the set, noting it helped with her staying in character. 

She said of her transformation: ‘I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before. And I’d really like to continue in this vein, because I felt there was something very freeing and liberating in it. 

‘There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from… disappearing.’ 

Suits you: So enamoured was Lily by her new blonde look, that the actress invested in a wig of her own and would wear it while running errands off the set

Face  

While the most obvious physical dissimilarities between Lily and Pamela may have been their figures, great care was still taken to match them facially. 

Lily explained: ‘We explored tons of different prosthetics like nose, chin, eyebrows, forehead, but in the end we stripped it back as much as possible.

‘We didn’t want there to be too much of a barrier between me and my expressions. I think they did a really great job. I was really pretty shocked by what they were able to do.’ 

Gorgeous: While the most obvious physical dissimilarities between Lily and Pamela may have been their figures, great care was still taken to match them facially

Lily had a daily forehead appliance attached to widen the distance between her brows and hair line and used lace eyebrows to match Pamela’s Nineties thin style – with Lily having her own brows bleached blonde so that they could be hidden under makeup. 

The actress also wore acrylic teeth dentures, in order to give ‘a capped-teeth feel’ as well as provide a subtle protrusion of her lips. 

Lily said of her transformation: ‘I was in the makeup chair at 3:30 a.m., and there would be this four-hour process to get me into the Pamela look.

‘Eyes, wig, teeth, there was just a whole process.’  


Seeing double: Lily’s transformation into Pamela Anderson took three to five hours every day during filming (left is Lily in costume and right Pamela in 1995)

Sebastian Stan 

Body  

Sebastian was required to go nude for many of the scenes, with a prosthetic member made from silicone and cast using a mold of his own penis so it could be sculpted and blended to fit. 

Special makeup effects designer Jason detailed the process for GQ magazine, explaining: ‘We apply the piece by having the actor saddle himself into the appliance like a sleeve. We then glue it into place and paint it with sheer washes of colour including vein work. 

‘All modesty is out the door in these scenarios and we become quick personal friends when you’re in those positions!’

Realistic: Sebastian was required to go nude for many of the scenes, with a prosthetic member made from silicone and cast using a mold of his own penis so it could be sculpted

One of the standout scenes from the series showed Sebastian talking to his penis, an adaptation from a bizarre chapter in Tommy’s memoirs, which required a separate appendage. 

Jason told Thrillist that Sebastian was fitted with an animatronic penis that was a ‘whole different sculpture’ than the other prosthetics he donned. 

While Tommy’s genitalia may have been the most delicate item to replicate, it was his numerous tattoos that proved to be the trickiest to mimic   

The team meticulously researched Tommy’s tattoos in chronological order, designed them on Photoshop and printed them on a specialized paper known as a ‘waterslide’ that they could adhere to Sebastian’s skin every couple of days – a process that would take up to two hours.    


Seeing double: While Tommy’s genitalia may have been the most delicate item to replicate, it was his numerous tattoos that proved to be the trickiest to mimic (Tommy pictured right in 1998) 

Hair 

Although hairstylist Barry crafted 25 different wigs for the characters on the show, Sebastian was the only lead star who opted not to wear one, instead growing out his own hair for the role. 

He had his hair treated with a Brazilian straightening process every six weeks in order to match his hair texture to that of the rocker.   

Even the shade of black was a cause of contention, with Barry telling Variety: ‘We didn’t want it to read as flat black hair on camera because Tommy’s hair always had light and shine in it. 

‘So we were conservative in the color process until we got to the shade we needed.’

Once the team had perfected the colour, they set to work giving it the rock and roll edge it needed, with the goal ‘to make it look like he hadn’t shampooed it in several days, and at the same time not make it product-heavy so he could run his fingers through it.’

Such was the laborious process that it would take 45 minutes daily just to apply the hair products and style it in place.   


New look: Although there were 25 different wigs crafted for the show, Sebastian was the only lead star who opted not to wear one, instead growing out his own hair (pictured right in 2019) 

Face 

Sebastian did not require any facial prosthetics in order to transform himself into Motley Crue rocker Tommy and was instead able to rely on expertly applied makeup and a fake nose ring to nail the Nineties grunge look. 

He was quick to praise his, ‘very best hair and makeup team,’ who he said simply, ‘killed it’ for his transformation into Tommy Lee. 

He added: ‘They deserve whatever awards that are given. We couldn’t have done it without them.’  

He went on to note it was a ‘crazy process’ to really nail down the look in the costumes for these characters, noting he would spend three hours in the makeup chair. 

Pam & Tommy: The Reviews

INDEPENDENT 

Rating:

Ed Cumming writes: ‘Yet while Pam & Tommy sometimes plays it seriously, most of the time it is content to stick to the laughs. An overlong heist scene, in which Gauthier contrives to steal Lee’s safe as “karma” for unpaid wages, might have come out of another Rogen film altogether. Pineapple Express, perhaps. This isn’t really Pam & Tommy – it’s Rand. He might be a more relatable figure, but nobody ever went to Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee for relatability.

DAILY MAIL 

Rating:

Jan Moir writes: ‘There can only ever be one Pamela Anderson, but Lily James does a tremendous job of playing her in this eight-part mini-series… Pam & Tommy gets more sombre and serious as it progresses but, to be honest, it works best when it is being blackly comic – that’s if you are prepared to go along with the full frontals, the sex and the rose-tinted depictions of their deep lurve for each other… If Pam & Tommy is so committed to exposing the ‘harm’ that the sex tape scandal did to Pamela Anderson all those years ago, doesn’t this rehash simply dredge it all up again?’

THE GUARDIAN 

Rating:

Lucy Mangan writes: ‘The sight of the 90s image of Anderson, and the scandal being reconsidered in line with modern and more enlightened mores (imperfect though they still are) is a welcome one. But, this is undermined by the fact that the whole enterprise has been undertaken without her approval. Ironically, it is the very alertness and compassion of the thing that – assuming she saw the script or was given an idea of the tone – makes you think how very much she must have wanted, whatever the take on it was to be, the entire subject to be left alone’

VULTURE 

Kathryn VanArendonk writes: ‘The tone and construction of Pam & Tommy has a playfulness that makes a good match for the early days of its subjects. They seem incredibly in love and also adorably naïve, and it’s conveyed well in scenes like the one where Pam makes Tommy watch The King and I, or one particularly notable exchange between Tommy and his own animatronic c**k (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas!)…

‘The series does, however, fall into a trap that many, many shows now do too frequently, by bouncing around back and forth through time. First it’s Rand’s perspective on Tommy; then it’s Pam and Tommy’s origin story; then back to the early days of the marriage; and then later, back once again to the start of Pamela’s career…

‘It’s a frustrating narrative tic, but there is one meaningful effect for Pam & Tommy: Because it begins with Rand, it also begins with the worst of Tommy, scenes where he is emotionally horrible and physically violent to people doing their very best to please him. All the other hop-skipping time jumps are frustrating, but this choice has real weight.’

CHICAGO SUN TIMES 

Richard Roeper writes: “Pam & Tommy” keeps reminding us the couple was the victim of multiple crimes: first, the burglary of their possessions, and then the widespread distribution of that tape by a series of exploitative hustlers and criminals. Thanks to James’ empathetic performance, we feel for Pamela, who has to keep reminding people — mostly men — that there’s a huge difference between making the decision to pose nude for a magazine and being exposed in a private honeymoon tape that was never intended for public consumption… We just spend too much time on meandering subplots, and too much time enduring Tommy Lee’s increasingly insufferable antics.’

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