Taylor Schilling Interview: Pam and Tommy

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We interview Pam & Tommy star Taylor Schilling about her performance as Erica, her experience on the show, and much more.

The wild, whirlwind true-story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s marriage and infamous sex tape is coming to the small screen in the new limited series Pam & Tommy. From I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, the show has already earned a considerable amount of attention for the stunning transformations of stars Lily James and Sebastian Stan – both of whom eerily resemble their real-life counterparts. Also among the cast is Taylor Schilling, who plays Erica.

Ahead of Pam & Tommy’s release, Screen Rant spoke to Schilling about her experience on the show, playing Erica, and much more.

Related: What Pam & Tommy Should Leave Out From The True Story

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

I’m just loving this series. I have to know the first time you saw Lily and Sebastian as Pam and Tommy, how did you react? It is wild.

Taylor Schilling: It’s totally wild. The first time I saw Lily, I saw a picture of her in the hair and makeup trailer, and I thought it was Pam inspo. I thought it was an inspiration photo of Pam Anderson. I didn’t realize it was a continuity photo of Lily. Yeah, it was completely shocking and awe-inspiring. They did such a good job.

They really did. Even four episodes in, I keep forgetting that’s possibly Lily James. 

Diving into the life of Erica, where did you start?  What was the most valuable research asset for you?

Taylor Schilling: Really, one of the greatest resources is the body of work she left behind. She made over 80 films. I also learned a lot from the writers and the information they had procured. But there’s a fair amount of oral history from her colleagues at the time about who she is.

Taylor Schilling as Erica in Pam and Tommy

What was the most interesting thing that you learned about her through that?

Taylor Schilling: That she became a director. She’s an amazing woman. She started directing porn, and she was one of the first women to do that, in the late ’80s.

I grew up in the ’90s. Pam and Tommy were on every magazine cover, and I think what the show does really well is it kind of shifts the way that we look back at the way we treated celebrities. What do you hope people talk about most as a result of this series?


Taylor Schilling: I think that they come away and they’re really talking about the grace and courage Pam embodied after being the victim of this crime. She moved through the world with such bravery, to keep going through her life after she was exploited in this way. The most frustrating part was that the information wasn’t available and people really. The narrative was that she had something to do with it versus being like I said, the victim of a pretty serious crime, a pretty serious burglary. So it’s kind of like an ode to Pam.

Next: Pam & Tommy True Story: Who Is Seth Rogen’s Character, Rand Gauthier

Pam & Tommy premieres February 2 on Hulu.

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