Sebastian Stan on How He Prepared for 'Intimate' Chat with His 'Talking Penis' in 'Pam & Tommy'
The scene, which is ripped straight from the Motley Crüe drummer's memoir, features an animatronic member voiced by Jason Mantzoukas — plus, how production handled the infamous sex tape.
Already sure to be a wild ride, Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” is going to be even more out there than the tabloid fodder that was the tumultuous relationship between Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
And yet, hardcore fans of the duo — and the Motley Crüe drummer in particular — shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that there is a scene in the upcoming series that features Sebastian Stan’s Tommy talking to his own penis. It’s ripped from Tommy’s 2004 autobiography, “Tommyland.”
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Fans won’t have to wait long for the bizarre sequence, either, as it hits in the second episode, taking place early in the relationship with Tommy wondering if maybe he’s actually falling in love with this girl — and consulting with his member about it … as you do.
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This isn’t just a passive conversation, either, as not only did producers cast Jason Mantzoukas as the voice, they actually built a fully animatronic penis to really bring the scene to life.
It turns out it wasn’t just awkward conceptually, with director Craig Gillespie breaking down what it took to fully animate Tommy’s little friend. “You’ve got four puppeteers working with an animatronic penis,” he told Variety. “And then, how much is too much, and do you start to lose his emotional torment of what’s going on? Hopefully it works.”
Stan struggled a bit with the scene, too. We’d imagine trying to stay in character and focused was even more challenging than all that green-screen work he’s done as the Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At least there, he wasn’t staring at a talking penis.
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Ultimately, though, he was able to disconnect from what his scene partner was and just focus on the meaning of the moment. “By the end of it, I treated it like it was an intimate buddy conversation that one might have when they’re falling in love,” he explained.
Screenwriter Robert Siegel admitted that the scene was definitely pushing what Hulu was comfortable with “I think it might be a first [for television],” he added. “There was gentle pushback, because you’ve got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you. But Hulu was extremely supportive.”
The series will also get into the nitty gritty of the four days from when they met to when they got married and that infamous honeymoon video that would go on to break the nascent internet over and over again.
Stan’s co-star Lily James said that they were very cautious and careful about approaching that material, focusing on what’s “necessary” to progress the story, and what moments are absolutely crucial to the character and where it’s all going.
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“Then you work with the director and how you’re going to block it and the intimacy coach,” she went on. “I felt very supported in all those aspects. It was very collaborative; we really spoke through each choice of what we wanted to show.”
“It’s very choreographed, which is really important too,” she continued. “Certainly, with ‘Pam & Tommy,’ and those crazy four days, we wanted to revel in that passion and explosion of their relationship. But we also didn’t want it to feel sensational or unnecessary.”
The series will then explore the aftermath of the tape getting leaked, and the differing public reactions received by the real Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. Let’s just say that, as expected, the woman takes the brunt of the heat.
It’s hard to envision the tone of the whole project as it’s determined to offer a more nuanced exploration of the horrific media scrutiny the tape created alongside a deeper and more humane depiction of the very real people trapped in the middle of the storm — and a talking penis.
“Pam & Tommy” debuts with its first three episodes dropping Wednesday, February 2 on Hulu. Subsequent episodes will debut one per week.
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