Shock scene of episode 2 of the series Pam & Tommy, the discussion between Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and his penis does not come out of nowhere and was very prepared upstream.
Currently available on Disney+ in France, the Pam & Tommy series looks back on the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sextape scandal in the 1990s. And one scene is already making an impression: the conversation between the Mötley Crüe drummer, played by Sebastian Stan, and his penis after spending his first night with the model and actress played by Lily James.
This surprising, funny and almost moving scene is adapted from a passage from the autobiographical book tommyland by Tommy Lee published in 2005, as Sebastian Stan reminds us at variety :
“If you read Tommy’s book, or watch one of the interviews he did when the book came out, he talks very openly about his penis being a character in the book. And, obviously, Rob and [son collègue producteur exécutif D.V. [DeVincentis] read the book and wrote the scripts and kept that in mind.”
In this passage, the musician, completely drugged, discusses with his penis his feelings for Pamela Anderson and thinks that she is the right one. This conversation gave him ideas since the couple married a few days later in Mexico.
Between fantasy and emotion
To achieve this scene, one of a kind and supported by Hulu, the original broadcaster, the teams used a prosthesis, puppeteers and special effects, but were also able to count on the involvement of Sebastian Stan. Writer and executive producer DV DeVincentis praised the actor’s performance:
“He was really a soldier on that one. Imagine yourself naked as an actor with this prosthetic on you, with invisible on-camera wires coming out of it, below you and behind you. And there has a guy on the ground with flip-flops and he controls the tackle remotely like it’s a drone. It’s kind of wild.”
Indeed, this scene is not content with being a full frontal of the actor who launches into a monologue, the penis moves and responds to Tommy Lee. So we had to be able to show that on the screen. And filming this sequence was a real challenge according to director Craig Gillespie:
“It was just awkward. You have four puppeteers working with a mechanical penis. There’s already that and then you have to find the right voice that doesn’t take us offstage. And then you have to dose so as not to go too much away and not lose the emotional aspect of the scene and the commitment of Tommy. So there were all those considerations to take into account. And hopefully that works out.”
This was all possible thanks to the encouragement of the managers at Hulu and a good team working on the special effects, as executive producer Sue Naegle points out:
“They were so supportive of us all the time and I think they had it in their mind to let us tell the story in the most unique way possible. And that’s what we did. I mean Rob [Siegel, le showrunner] really latched onto that story in Tommy’s book and was very determined to find a way to bring that.
I think you have to have a variety of tones. The truth is that [Pam et Tommy] have had [une] incredible amount of happiness, they were on top of the world, madly in love. And I think you have to capture the happiness in order to really understand what was then lost. So having Tommy talk to his penis is one of them. These are his own words in his book. So that’s his relationship with his penis.”