Lily James is on the cover of Net A Porter’s digital magazine this month—is it more accurate to say that she is the face of the digital magazine? There is no “cover”—to promote the upcoming Pam & Tommy series on Hulu. The interview, conducted by Eva Wiseman, touches on James’s shift from good-girl roles like Cinderella and Lady Rose on Downton Abbey, to playing one of the 1990s’ most famous sexpots, and it glances sideways at James’s brush with tabloid gossip last year, when she was photographed with her married co-star, Dominic West. (And also whatever the hell that was with Chris Evans, which got completely buried by the West story.) I wish this profile dug more into that connection, because I don’t think it’s a total coincidence that James goes through all that in 2021 and then elects to play one of the most famous victims of privacy invasion ever, but in keeping with most celebrity profiles, there is only a brief mention of the thing everyone is thinking about.
And I get it, 100%, if James doesn’t want to dig into that. Just like I get it, 100%, if Pamela Anderson doesn’t want to revisit that time in her life by way of connecting with James about the limited series based on Anderson’s life. According to James, she reached out to Anderson, but got no response: “I was really hopeful that she would be involved. I wish it had been different. […] I was very hopeful that we would be in touch right up until we started filming.”
I just wish we were at a place where women could have honest, on the record conversations about these things and not fear backlash or public shaming. Obviously, we’re not there, which is why James skims past the topic of Dominic West in the interview. It has to be mentioned, because everyone will be thinking about it, but she moves on with a brief, “…there was a lot I found I could relate to.”
Maybe she’s not the most fascinating celebrity interview, but James’s sincerity and how much she cares about portraying Pamela Anderson as a woman who was victimized and slut-shamed in a truly horrifying way is palpable. The number of people who think Anderson and Tommy Lee released their sex tape themselves is shocking! I thought everyone knew it was stolen, but since I’ve written about the trailer a couple of times, I have learned this is not the case. The heist is kooky in and of itself, but I hope people realize that Anderson and Lee had that tape LOCKED IN A GODDAMN HUGE STEEL SAFE INSIDE THEIR GATED HOME. They had NO intention of their honeymoon tape EVER seeing the light of day. Pam & Tommy drops on February 2, and I look forward to seeing Lily James’s performance and, hopefully, a reckoning and reclaiming of Pamela Anderson in pop culture.
Also attached - Pamela Anderson out for dinner in Malibu the other day.