How Sebastian Stan Prepared To Play Motley Crue Icon Tommy Lee For Hulu’s Pam & Tommy

Tommy Lee is a legendary character, but there are a couple of different reasons as to why you might be familiar with him. To some, he’s a pioneering drummer whose over-the-top solos with his band Motley Crue helped keep the hair-metal genre arrive longer than many probably expected. To others, he’s an iconic party animal whose Sunset Strip exploits have fueled more than a few tell-all books. And then there are those who best know Tommy Lee for his appearance in one of the world’s most famous celebrity sex tapes, which is going to be back in the spotlight courtesy of Hulu’s eight-episode limited series Pam & Tommy.

The “Pam” in the title refers to Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee’s one-time wife and the star of the cheesy TV drama Baywatch. The couple failed to stop the release of the stolen tape, which featured the vacationing couple in numerous states of undress, and the emotional turmoil eventually split them apart. The whirlwind story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee should make for a fascinating series, especially with Lily James (Baby Driver, Cinderella) and Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya, the MCU) in the title roles. We recently sat down with Stan to talk about The 355, but I had to ask him what it was like to live in Tommy Lee’s skin, if even for a short amount of time. And he very Zen answer was:

Well, I don’t know. I will never know that. I think you’ll have to ask him that question. But I’ll say, from an acting perspective, I looked at it like this was going to be a very challenging thing. Because I don’t have a tattoo on my body, and I don’t play the drums. I had to learn to play the drums, and I had three months to do it. And I knew that three months was never going to measure up to the 25 or 35-year experience that he’s got. But you look at everything. You’re essentially kind of like a journalist. You’re looking at every interview, everything you can find and read. I read his book. Read The Dirt again. And I took these drumming lessons, and you just give it your best.

From the Pam & Tommy trailers, Sebastian Stan and Lily James nail the surface looks of their very famous counterparts. And we will have to wait for a bit to see how this preparation translates into a compelling story. Here’s the trailer:

Outside James and Stan, Pam & Tommy will feature Seth Rogen as the electrician who steals the tape from Tommy Lee’s home after he gets fired, while Nick Offerman will play the seedy partner who helps Rogen figure out how to distribute the scandalous tape on the Internet. The first three episodes of Pam & Tommy, which is directed by I, Tonya helmer Craig Gillespie, are arriving on February 2, with new episodes following each week after until all eight have aired. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.