‘Pam and Tommy’: Sebastian Stan Says Becoming Mötley Crüe Drummer Tommy Lee Was ‘Scary’

Sebastian Stan might play a fearless fictional character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but playing Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in Hulu‘s Pam and Tommy was “scary” for the actor. Find out what Stan feared about his latest role in the Hulu series Pam and Tommy. Plus, what it took behind-the-scenes to become Lee and what Stan learned about Lee and Pamela Anderson in the process.

Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee shirtless wearing an apron in the Hulu series 'Pam and Tommy'
Sebastian Stan | Erica Parise/Hulu

Playing ‘the greatest drummer of all time’ in ‘Pam and Tommy’ was intimidating for Sebastian Stan

In an interview with MTV, Stan talked about what it was like becoming someone labeled “the greatest drummer of all time.” 

“It was scary,” the MCU star admitted. “I think scary is the right word.” Playing a fictional role like the Winter Soldier is one thing, but playing a person who people know worldwide for their drumming prowess is another entirely. 

Plus, Stan and Lee couldn’t be more different in their physical appearance. “When I got the call from Craig [Gillespie], I was happy because … I love working with him but I didn’t understand how he thought I would have been the guy to play [Lee].”

Stan doesn’t play any instruments or music, which he explained to Pam and Tommy director and producer Gillespie. “I think that’s the challenge as an actor sometimes,” added Stan. “You’re looking to be scared. You’re looking to learn something … looking for something that shocks you. That was probably some of the appeal there.”

It took three hours to become the fictional Tommy Lee every day 

 “I don’t have a tattoo on my body,” Stan explained to MTV. Lee may be “tattooed on [Stan’s] heart for a very, very long time,” but the actor needed tattoos to transform into a believable version of the often-shirtless drummer. 

So makeup effects designer Jason Collins, makeup department head David Williams, hair department head Barry Lee Moe, and costume designer Kameron Lennox took three hours every day of filming to turn Stan into Lee

According to the makeup department’s interview with USA Today, the tattoos took the most time to apply — about two of the total three hours. Stan had more than 30 tattoos applied to become Lee, but none of them were exact replicas for legal reasons. 

Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee in 'Pam & Tommy' Hulu series shirtless with tattoos.
Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee in ‘Pam & Tommy’ | Hulu

Stan also wore colored contacts, darkened eyebrows, and darkened hair cut to elongate his face to better resemble Lee. Like his co-star Lily James, Stan also got to wear chest prosthetics for Pam and Tommy — prosthetic nipples that took 45 minutes to apply, to be exact. This allowed the makeup team a place to affix Lee’s nipple rings. 

Sebastian Stan didn’t know Rand Gauthier stole Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson’s sex tape  

Lee and Anderson didn’t mean for their personal footage to go viral. But it did after disgruntled electrician Rand Gauthier (played by Seth Rogen in the series) stole the tape, made copies, and sold them for $59.95 each.

“Talking about it again … reiterates how much we didn’t know about it,” Stan told MTV. He estimated he was 12-years-old in 1995 when the infamous sex tape came out. “I didn’t really understand what the fallout was and how it actually happened and what it did to them — what it did to [Anderson].”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stan mentions his shock when he learned the Lee/Anderson sex tape went viral because of a robbery. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about it,” Stan explained to the outlet.

“You’d heard something about it, or you thought you knew something but the truth is, you didn’t. That’s what’s being unpacked here with the show.”

On top of that, Stan liked the Pam and Tommy script and how showrunners “humanized” Lee and Anderson. Watch Pam and Tommy on Hulu. New episodes release weekly on Wednesdays. 

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