Lily James has proven herself as a very versatile actress, going from Lady Rose on Downton Abbey to Cinderella opposite Richard Madden to the younger version of Meryl Streep’s Mamma Mia character for the 2018 sequel. Earlier this year, she transformed herself into Pamela Anderson for the Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy, and now she has revealed a wildly different look. The actress went goth for a new ad, and she’s barely recognizable.
James – who has been nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series Emmy for her work as Pamela Anderson – went for black hair, long black gloves, and a striking black dress for a Versace ad that may have fans doing a double take or two. Take a look at her Instagram photo:
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If that photo hadn’t been posted by Lily James herself, I probably wouldn’t have realized she was the one under the black hairdo, wearing the dark lipstick, and dressed all in black to show off the Versace purse. Based on her caption, the experience of the photoshoot was a good one, and took place in Italy. I’d say that there aren’t many places better suited for somebody to channel their inner goddess!
Of course, Lily James is no stranger to sporting looks that are outside of the box of what fans might expect from her. To play Pamela Anderson, a surprising number of fake breasts were made for her to wear, and those who had their doubts about her looking the part after her casting was announced were proved wrong.
She’s not the only one in the cast with some wild costume additions, as her co-star (and fellow Emmy nominee) Sebastian Stan wore bare steel balls to play Tommy Lee. Still, James has gone from period dramas to a fairytale princess to the “surreal” experience of recreating the Baywatch icon herself, so seeing her in the Versace ad is just further proof that she can transform herself to perfectly look the part of whatever job she’s working. She may not sport this look on a regular basis, but it’s impressive all the same!
What will be even more impressive is if Lily James goes on to win an Emmy for her work on her most recent TV show, which would just cement this as an especially eventful year for her. Her Emmy nomination for Pam & Tommy was the first of her career, and only one of the nominations for the Hulu series that she co-led with Sebastian Stan.
In addition to the stars earning noms for Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor, the show itself is in the running for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series (up against Dopesick, The Dropout, Inventing Anna, and The White Lotus), and Seth Rogen has a shot at winning Outstanding Supporting Actor. The competition is stiff in all of these categories (even though Midnight Mass fans protested that the Netflix horror series was snubbed among the Limited Series nominations), so it’s not guaranteed that James or any of the others will win.
If you haven’t already, you can find Pam & Tommy streaming with a Hulu subscription now, and there are plenty of other options to check out if you want to see more of Lily James on screen.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).