‘Pam & Tommy’ — A series about the sex tape that shook the 90s

Pam & Tommy
Lily James plays Pamela Anderson and Sebastian Stan plays Tommy Lee in “Pam & Tommy.”
Erin Simkin/Hulu

By Carolina Cerda Maira, MWN

In the 1990s, Pamela Anderson was a huge celebrity. She starred in the Baywatch series and appeared in tabloids thanks to her whirlwind romance with Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. But in 1997, the media attention took a radical and destructive turn. Why? A XXX video of their honeymoon was leaked and shattered the actress’ career. The series “Pam & Tommy,” now available on Hulu, tells the story of how the tape was watched around the world.

In eight episodes, Lily James plays Anderson, while Sebastian Stan plays the musician. Meanwhile, Seth Rogen plays Rand, the carpenter who steals the tape and markets it alongside the XXX film director known as Uncle Miltie (Nick Offerman), and Taylor Schilling is Erica Boyer, a porn actress and wife of Rand Gauthier.

Pictured are Seth Rogen (right) as Rand and Nick Offerman as Uncle Miltie in Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy.”Kelsey McNeal/Hulu

Schilling and Offerman spoke to several media outlets about the series. For the “Orange Is the New Black” star, what made the original video so captivating is that “it wasn’t pornography, it wasn’t acting, it was romantic: it was two people very much in love.” 

Meanwhile, the “Parks and Recreation” actor told Metro that he “really enjoyed seeing all the characters humanized, including mine, who was a piece of crap.”

“Everyone in this series listens to angels and demons on their shoulders with different levels of effectiveness. Miltie listens to the devil too much,” added Offerman. “It’s a lottery ticket, it means getting rich quick. And we know that getting rich quick is never a good idea.”

“In my humble opinion, by playing a sex worker, Erica illustrates what consent looks like,” Shilling explained before stating that there was an assumption about Anderson. “Since she appears in a bathing suit in ‘Baywatch,’ we own her: she did it on purpose. But Erica makes it clear to Rand that this is rape because there is no consent.”

Taylor Schilling plays Erica Boyer, a porn actress and wife of Rand Gauthier.Kelsey McNeal/Hulu

As she told Metro, Schilling’s doing the series confirmed to her that “no one understood that Pam and Tommy were the victims of a home invasion crime, that they made no money from this and that many of Pam’s dreams were postponed because of it.” 

Offerman believes the value of the story show the level of insanity of what happened.

“When I was reading it, I thought ‘People are going to go crazy when they learn the truth,’ but then the story continues and shifts to Pamela’s point of view and how she was victimized. It becomes an issue about justice and setting the record straight. We, as a society, destroyed this woman’s career and destroyed her life by cynically assuming that ‘She was in Playboy, so surely she must not be an innocent victim.'” 

That said, the actress thinks that since the video was leaked, our society has changed: “I think the idea of consent is now part of popular culture and the collective conversation.” 

She commented: “Storytelling is a very useful way to assimilate new information.”

As to whether the series helps Anderson’s redemption, Schilling assured: “The series is a tribute to Pamela, her courage and bravery in the face of misogyny and structural sexism (…) For me, it’s a love letter to her bravery.”

Offerman added: “I hope the universe is able to compensate her in some way.”

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