DEADLINE: Sebastian Stan certainly picks interesting and challenging projects these days. He joins me for this week’s edition of my Deadline video series The Actor’s Side where we discuss his decision to play Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee as he falls hard for Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and gets immersed in a marriage and sex-tape scandal that dominated the mid-1990s tabloid headlines.

As Stan tells me this isn’t the first time he has taken on the troubled life and times of a real person — he also talks about playing Jeff Gillooly who engineered the infamous Tonya Harding ice-skating scandal in the acclaimed film I, Tonya — but admits this one really brought out his insecurities. He said every week leading up to shooting gave him nightmares, but once they were fully into the transformation (and thanks especially to a game hair and makeup team) it became more comfortable.

Of course it is never that comfortable when you have to wear a talking prosthetic penis, get tattooed like there is no tomorrow, and be completely convincing as an iconic rocker who plays the drums. Stan pulls it all off though and describes every detail. We also get into his current film, also on Hulu, saying Fresh has its own set of challenges, but one he was eager to take on.

And you can’t talk to Sebastian Stan without getting the latest on the Winter Soldier himself aka Bucky Barnes. Stan has appeared in about nine different projects for Marvel where he plays that character, most recently the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he fills us in on whether he has any plans for more.

To watch our conversation click on the video above, and join me every Wednesday during Emmy season for another edition of The Actor’s Side.



In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast features in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy actors and creators. Join host and senior editor Vinnie Mancuso for this guide to living the creative life from those who are doing it every day.

Sebastian Stan still remembers the piece of acting school advice that followed him into every audition, meeting, and role: “Bring the day with you.”

“You’re on the subway, you’re running late,” the actor posits on his In the Envelope episode. “You’re trying to get to the audition, and then someone bumps into you and spills your coffee. You’re pissed off, but then you get to the audition, and you’re trying to make a good impression? You might as well just own the day and go in with it. At least then, you’re starting from an honest place.”

Stan has “brought his day” to every performance he’s ever touched, pouring at least some of his current circumstances into the character—no matter how unlike himself that person may be. He’s spent the last few years establishing himself as a ferocious character actor by exploring the darkest parts of his onscreen personae—whether it’s in the grimy world of undercover cops in “Destroyer” or the backwoods corruption of “The Devil All the Time.”

More recently, he paired a stint playing real-life rocker Tommy Lee on Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” with his turn as a charming man who happens to sell human meat in the stomach-churning “Fresh.” His work on all these roles, Stan says, was done “as a means of raising questions,” both about himself and the way he perceives the world. “Sometimes, uncomfortable questions,” he adds with a laugh.

But how does he bring his day to his most high-profile gig? You may have heard of it: Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is home to some of the most successful box office hits of all time. The MCU has been a constant in Stan’s career since he first appeared in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” His 11-year run has seen him reprise the role nine times and counting, most recently on Disney+’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

“It’s just a bigger version of what we started with,” he says. “[After] 10 years, you bring your life with you. When you play the character for that long, it’s inevitable. The character will grow as you’re growing. You can see that with a lot of the characters in the Marvel world—that they’ve shifted in certain ways as the actors have shifted as well.”

Has he thought about what it will mean for him both personally and artistically when—hypothetically, of course—Bucky is no longer there for him to go back to? “I have and I haven’t,” Stan says, pausing the way any MCU actor does when asked about future plans that haven’t already been thrice-confirmed.

“I think it will be weird, for sure. It is weird already,” he continues. “It’s weird every time, because every time, it could be an ending; and you treat it like an ending. It’s always going to be about: What else is there to explore with that character? That’s not to say I don’t have certain things that I’d like to explore or certain things that I’d like to see more of. I do feel like there’s a lot left there to still unpack.”

For now, Stan will continue to juggle his franchise work with an eclectic smaller-scale slate that allows him to let loose. That includes stepping into the tattooed skin of Mötley Crüe drummer Lee, an experience that challenged Stan to find the “character” in a flesh-and-blood human being. “If I went into every scene thinking of him as a real person that existed, I just would never have been able to do the job,” he says.

To play the volatile musician, Stan looked for the essence of the man. He sought to create not a full-on impression, but rather an adaptation of Lee’s traits—the quirks, the manic energy, the small tics. The result is an onscreen whirlwind, but it never stopped being a cerebral exercise for Stan.

“I don’t believe in creating chaos for the purposes of [acting],” he says. “There are a lot of people who do that—create chaos on set, or chaos [with] the other people that they’re working with, in order to give the scene this tension or whatever. To me, that just reads like a very irresponsible, narcissistic, kind of self-indulgent thing. It just reads like: ‘I’m afraid, and I just want to torture everyone else because of it.’ ”

It goes back to that original piece of advice. Whether you’re playing an Avenger, a drummer, or a charismatic cannibal, you always bring a bit of your day to set—and you learn to work with it.

“You’re always thinking about the character or scene as you’re shooting it, and [the character] can come at you in different ways,” Stan says. “But the ‘you’—whoever that may be—has to be there guiding it a little bit. Otherwise, you’re just kind of a tornado.”



Other notable contenders include Tony Goldwyn, Michael Keaton, Ben Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, Jared Leto and Sebastian Stan

 

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”), Oscar Isaac (“Scenes from a Marriage”) and Sebastian Stan (“Pam and Tommy”) are among the biggest stars in contention for lead actor limited. They’ll be facing off against presumed frontrunners Michael Keaton (“Dopesick”) and Ben Foster (“The Survivor”). There are also others waiting for their moments to pounce such as Samuel L. Jackson (“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”), Colin Firth (“The Staircase”) and Sean Penn (“Gaslit”).

The Emmy eligibility period runs from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022. The deadline for entering programs for Primetime programming and uploading all entry materials is on May 12, 2022, at 6:00 PM PT.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The full television awards season calendar is linked here..




 

 

DEADLINE: For Pam & Tommy‘s Lily James and Sebastian Stan, capturing the essences of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, in the public eye and privately, while also re-creating their uber-famous images were the central challenges of the Hulu miniseries. Conversely, Seth Rogen found himself working to dial down the many mannerisms that have made him one of contemporary Hollywood’s most likable stars.

Appearing together during Deadline’s Contenders Television panel, the trio revealed the unique approaches they took to convincingly play two enduring ’90s icons in ways both recognizable and revealing, as well as the figure — largely unknown to the general public — who pushed the celebrity couple’s infamous sex tape into the pop culture stratosphere.

Stan explained that to play Lee, he incessantly consumed video and audio of the Mötley Crüe drummer from the era. “It was like an everyday routine,” he said. “I had compiled a two-hour playlist of every single interview I could find, and I was running and trying to get 20,000 steps a day [with it] just on repeat.”

Stan noted that James employed a similar routine to channel the Baywatch actress, to an even greater extreme.

“Even between shots as they were setting up, [Lily was] listening to her constantly,” he said. “It was just a nonstop thing.”

Externally, they were aided by hair and makeup teams that meticulously transformed the actors’ physiques into uncanny doppelgangers for Anderson and Lee. “All the 3 a.m. wake-ups, because he had all his tattoos and I had prosthetics,” recalled James. “It was a long process every day to sort of make that change into someone else.”

“I think we were both kind of just hanging on by thread, texting each other, going like, ‘On a scale of one to 10, how horrible are you feeling about what we’re about to do?’” admitted Stan, who said the nail-biting continued right until their first camera test in character. “We finally got to put tattoos on, try the clothes, try everything, and then I think we both had that moment where we were like, ‘I think we’re gonna be OK, maybe.’ They both required such a massive transformation, I think, for both of us.”

Deadline Contenders Television Arrivals – Day 2 Photo Gallery

Outside of the imagery familiar to the public, James explained that executive producer Craig Gillespie, who directed the first three episodes of the miniseries, pointed the actors toward finding an authentic sense of behind-the-scenes intimacy between the couple.

“Right from the word go, he really wanted this [to be] an opportunity to see them behind the camera, not when they’re displayed in an interview and being a sort of ‘on’ version – like, what were they like, intimately, privately together,” James said. “And obviously that took a huge leap of imagination, too. We can’t possibly really know, but we based on what we learned and read and watched that was the sort of where we landed.”

In playing Rand Gautheir, Rogen knew he didn’t have to summon a long-established public figure; instead, he had to downplay his own innate likability.

“I know I’m inherently likable as an actor, and I didn’t want the character to be too likable,” Rogen said. “Something that we actually tried to modulate, was how many of the things that I generally do as a performer that make me likable do I do? I don’t laugh in the movie at all. I don’t smile, really, ever. I don’t do any of the affable behaviors that I think make me someone that people feel like they know and can relate to.

“It is the instinct of a lot of actors, I’ve found, to like make their characters highly redeemable in some way, or they have to like something about the character,” he added. “I’m not that kind of actor – like, I liked nothing about Rand. I found him not a great person, by any means, and I found that he was not someone that I related to in any way.”

And like James and Stan, Rogen never met his onscreen alter ego in real life – as far as he knows. “Rand grows weed in Northern California, so I might have met him organically just through my day-to-day life without knowing it,” he laughed.



Here are the scans for Sebastian’s spread inL’Officiel Hommes magazine.

 



 

In conversation with his former costar Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan shines a light on how he gets into character both physically and mentally, from roles like rock legend Tommy Lee to a charming psychopath in Fresh.

L’Officiel: Sebastian Stan has lived many lives. From his breakout role as disgraced prep-school bad-boy Carter Baizen on Gossip Girl to Marvel’s Bucky Barnes, Stan has largely managed to fly under the radar. That is, until now. Starring as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in the hit Hulu series Pam and Tommy has planted Stan squarely in the spotlight. The miniseries, which also stars Lily James as Pamela Anderson, follows the untold story of the infamous sex tape seen ‘round the world, which was stolen and leaked during the wild early days of the Internet.

His latest role sees Stan explore the horrors of modern dating in Hulu release Fresh, where he stars alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones as Steve, a seemingly nice guy who is not at all what he seems. “The movie explores the idea of this hero complex, which fucks up all our relationships with each other; the idea that there’s a knight in shining armor that’s gonna come and save the day,” Stan says. “I’ve certainly fallen into the trap of wanting to be that strong guy who isn’t going to be vulnerable.”

Exclusively for L’OFFICIEL, Stan speaks with friend and former costar Margot Robbie about transforming himself for a role, on-set chemistry, and his favorite rom-coms.

MARGOT ROBBIE: I’m gonna start way back at the beginning, when you were conceived—no, I’m joking, not that far. We physically met during the chemistry read for I, Tonya, but I had seen your tape before. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I didn’t recognize you at all. I think you were wearing a turtleneck and you may have even grown the ‘stache. I remember being like, “Wow, this actor is so good, who is this guy? He’s going to be such a find.” And then I looked you up and I was like, “Holy shit, it’s the hot guy from Gossip Girl and those Marvel movies!” Since then, I feel like you just keep transforming. I wanted to ask you about the more physical transformation, particularly when it comes to Pam and Tommy and Fresh. Is that something you find helpful?

SEBASTIAN STAN: I feel like the physical stuff always helps us, right? Because I’m such a self-conscious person with regard to my “Sebastianisms.” Having to morph into something that’s not really you is scary, but it stops me from judging myself.

MR: Do you wanna know a Sebastianism that I’ve noticed? You cover half your face with your hand when you laugh. I love it.

SS: [Laughs.] Yeah, I do do that. That’s also my favorite emoji, by the way.

MR: But I totally get what you’re saying. I feel like the less I look like myself and the less I sound like myself, the more separate I am from the character. That being said, what drives you to make the choices that you make? Even if I hadn’t worked with you, and I didn’t know you, I know I would be a fan of yours because of the risky characters you play and the projects you sign onto with so many first or second-time directors.
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A new Hulu series starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan is a picaresque romp through the history of the stolen sex tape that changed pop culture.

NY Times: Back when 1995 was young, Pamela Anderson and her new husband, Tommy Lee, the drummer for the flashy metal combo Mötley Crüe, were on top of the world. She was starring in the TV hit “Baywatch,” and while his band was past its 1980s prime, he could still live la vida rocka in their Malibu mansion.

You can’t blame them for wanting to preserve some of their happiest moments — including some very naked, very sexual ones — for posterity, with the help of a Hi8 camcorder.

And then, much to the couple’s dismay, the footage got out. And got around.

Those events and their fallout are dramatized in the eight-part scripted series “Pam & Tommy,” a wild, picaresque romp through the nightclubs, palaces and porn dens of mid-90s Hollywood, which debuted Wednesday on Hulu. But the show has more on its mind than celebrity antics or period-perfect riffs on the outlandish trials and tribulations of its lead couple — although it has those, too.

The series uses the scandal — which begot fortunes, ruined lives and made the celebrity sex tape a defining artifact of the internet age — as a guide through a transitional period in American culture. It depicts a time when glam gave way to grunge and when cheap video and dial-up modems exponentially expanded the reach — and the invasiveness — of the business of sexual imagery.

“We’re still living in that today,” said D.V. DeVincentis (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”), a writer, executive producer and co-showrunner of the series. “You could argue it all comes from, if not this moment, then this period, and it’s something you’ll never get back in the bottle.”

It is hard now to grasp the scope of the affair, which has become shrouded in a mist of 1990s nostalgia.

“Obviously Pamela was so a part of everyone’s world, and even just that time in the ’90s is very sort of romanticized in my head — this wild time of crop tops and Spice Girls,” said Lily James, 32, who portrays Anderson in “Pam & Tommy.” “But we also talked about how there’s this deeper, untold story that was largely missed by the headlines.”

Seth Rogen, 39, who is among the show’s executive producers, plays Rand Gauthier, the real-life electrician who stole, duplicated and distributed the tape. Rogen recalled by phone his first awareness of the footage. “I was 13, 14 years old when it came out, so I did not know the full story by any means,” he said. “I just knew it was this thing that was floating around my social group a little bit — that was looked on as this mythical thing, like ‘Lord of the Rings’ almost.”

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Forbes: For many reasons, the theft and leaking of the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s private sex tape was a landmark moment in popular culture. From privacy to ownership rights and ethics to sexual content online, the ripples of the splash it created continue to this day.

However, Pam and Tommy isn’t just about that tape. Based on a 2014 Rolling Stone article, the Hulu miniseries stars Lily James as Baywatch star Pamela and Sebastian Stan as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and goes beyond the tape, the theft and distribution, and looks at the fallout and impact of the video being made public.

I caught up with Stan to talk about the project’s uniqueness, the reality of recreating Tommy’s legendary genitalia, and his relief at the positive reaction to the first official image from the show.

Simon Thompson: Your transformation in Pam and Tommy is incredible. What was it like the first time you saw yourself as the complete Tommy Lee?

Sebastian Stan: Lily and I had to do this camera test, and that was the first time I think we finally had all the touches; I had the tattoos, she had the wig, the whole thing. That was a big and telling day for both of us. Until that point, I would look at pictures of him over and over and think, ‘How am I going to pull this off?’ The hair and makeup team that we had were geniuses. They researched so hard, and the way they planned everything was special and specific. From every single tattoo to the amount of stubble I had, it was a conscious decision on their part to try to move us in the right direction.

Thompson: You and Lily didn’t spend a lot of time together before that because of the pandemic, right?

Stan: Even afterward, I would never see her outside of Pamela. There was no time because she would get there super early, I’d get there early, we’d go to two different places, spend three hours getting ready, and then meet and film. At that point, I would meet Pamela; I wouldn’t see Lily herself. Sometime at the end of the day, I would maybe get a glimpse of her running from the makeup into the car to go home. It wasn’t until the end of the shoot that I formally met her. I was amazed at how close to Pamela she looked and how much of her essence was there.

Thompson: As an actor, is that helpful, or is it your worst nightmare not to have that personal time and connection with the other actor?

Stan: She and I had all these scenes together, and we always needed to communicate and stay in touch about everything so that we were always on the same page. It was different, but no two projects are ever the same. We just happened to have a really good group of people on this. From the guys doing sound to our camera operator to the directing, we seemingly had the best of the best. Everybody came in and worked so hard, so it was unique in that way.

Thompson: There was always going to be an element of controversy around Pam and Tommy. When you got the script, who did you talk to about it and use as a sounding board to help you decide whether or not to take it on?
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VARIETY: Lily James and Sebastian Stan spent months working together on the set of Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy.” Yet when they recently reunited for a photo session it was a bit jarring to both actors.

“I barely met Sebastian out of Tommy Lee, and he barely met me out of my Pamela Anderson,” James says. “It was really surreal to do even the Variety shoot. We were like, ‘Oh, hey, so that’s what you look like!’”

That’s a testament to the amount of work James and Stan put into studying and emulating the real-life characteristics of Anderson and Lee — and just how well the production’s hair, makeup and wardrobe crews perfected their physical transformation. The look is so spot-on that when Hulu released the first photos of the “Pam & Tommy” stars in May, it quickly went viral on social media. “I was blown away,” Stan says. “The hair and makeup team deserve all the accolades that they can get.”

Of course, there’s a bit of irony to “Pam & Tommy” breaking the internet. In the series, which premieres Feb. 2, James and Stan play the “Baywatch” star and Mötley Crüe drummer as the couple meet, fall in love and then make a private recording that is ultimately stolen — becoming the first infamous viral video of a burgeoning online age.

The tape was shared and played at parties like it was contraband. Dubbed VHS copies spread across the world, as it was sold and traded on the then-brand-new World Wide Web. It later inspired a whole cottage industry of celebrity sex tapes, most of which were purposely leaked — unlike this one.

“I remember hearing about it as if it was like a Yeti,” says “Pam & Tommy” executive producer D.V. DeVincentis. “Like, you couldn’t necessarily assume it was true. It definitely had this sort of aura of a rumor, and something apocryphal. And then finally somebody put it in front of me and I saw it.”

And yet, there remain many misconceptions about what really happened, and who was really to blame. Over time, the actual story of the tape’s theft and how it victimized both Anderson and Lee — but at very different levels — has been lost to the memory of late-night punchlines and sophomoric snickering.

For the stars, producers and directors of “Pam & Tommy,” there was a sense that they were on a mission to correct that record — and in particular, perhaps find a little recompense for Anderson. “Pam & Tommy” is really three stories in one: a heist thriller retracing how the tape fell into the hands of a disgruntled construction worker; an unconventional love story about two celebrities whose relationship became more public than they ever could have imagined; and a societal critique on how the media, the justice system and the public all failed Pamela Anderson.

“It’s an important story, I think, from being able to understand what the impact of that media tornado really was,” says Stan. “For them as a couple but particularly for her as a woman. I can’t imagine what having a private home video stolen from you — how that wouldn’t impact a newlywed couple.”

“Pam & Tommy” is adapted from a 2014 Rolling Stone article by Amanda Chicago Lewis that finally told the true, although somewhat unbelievable, story of how the tape went public. Lewis managed to locate and extensively interview the man who pilfered the tape, Rand Gauthier — played in the series by Seth Rogen (who also executive produces) — and he revealed the implausible tale.

Gauthier, whose father memorably played Robin Hood in “When Things Were Rotten,” was an electrician working inside Lee’s Malibu estate until the rock star fired him and his team without pay. According to the article, when Gauthier returned to pick up his tools, Lee waved a shotgun in his face and refused to let him retrieve those items. That’s when the handyman, bent on revenge, hatched a preposterous scheme: He’d sneak onto the estate by wearing a fur rug over his back to make it look like the couple’s dog, then steal a safe hidden in their garage and drive it away in a rented U-Haul.
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DEADLINE: The story of one of the world’s first and most infamous sex tapes has released its first teaser trailer.

Pam & Tommy, a Hulu Original Limited Series, premieres on February 2, 2022. It tells the story of Baywatch starlet Pamela Anderson and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, who made a sex tape on their honeymoon. They intended to keep it private, but a disgruntled electrician stole it from their home, and soon, the whole world was watching.

The series is produced by Point Grey and Annapurna and stars Lily James, Sebastian Stan, Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman, Taylor Schilling, Andrew Dice Clay, Pepi Sonuga, Spencer Granese, and Mozhan Marnò.

Watch the teaser trailer below.