Lily James Calls Her Hours-Long Pamela Anderson Transformation 'Freeing and Liberating'

“There was just so much character to hold on to — it was really thrilling,” said Lily James of morphing into the iconic Baywatch actress for Hulu’s highly anticipated Pam & Tommy series

Lily James
Photo: courtesy porter

Lily James is opening up about transforming into Pamela Anderson for the upcoming Hulu mini-series Pam & Tommy.

"I've never worked so hard," James, 32, said in a cover story for Net-a-Porter's Porter that was published on Monday. "I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews."

In addition to her intensive prep work for her starring role in the highly anticipated eight-episode limited series, which is slated to hit the streaming service on Feb. 2, James' physical transformation into Anderson is something she said was both "freeing and liberating."

lily james
hulu; getty

"Slowly, our incredible team found a balance where I resembled Pamela but also felt like I could act through it," the Cinderella actress shared, noting that she would be in makeup for about four hours starting at 3 a.m., putting on a chest plate, wig, and tan.

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Lily James
courtesy porter

"I've never done anything where I look very different from myself before. And I'd really like to continue in this vein, because I felt there was something very freeing and liberating in it," she continued. "There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from… disappearing."

The Downton Abbey star even joked that she "hated" returning to her normal, everyday self after shooting.

"It was like being stripped of all these superpowers!" she explained to the publication. "I'd really enjoyed the physicality and the sensuality, even down to the long fingernails. There was just so much character to hold on to — it was really thrilling."

RELATED VIDEO: Courtney Love Slams Lily James and Pam & Tommy Series: 'My Heart Goes Out to' Pamela Anderson

In addition to James starring as Anderson, the series also features Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee, Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier, and Nick Offerman as Uncle Miltie.

Pam & Tommy follows the love story of one of Hollywood's most notorious couples — who tied the knot in a beach wedding just four days after meeting — as well as their infamous sex tape and the scandal that followed.

"Having lived through that time in our culture, it seemed like a good moment to reexamine what happened to Pam and Tommy in 1995 through a 2022 lens," producer Sue Naegle explained to PEOPLE of why Anderson and Lee's story remains relevant today.

Added Naegle: "There was so much happening with the birth of the internet and this tape really shaped celebrity culture and the invasive paparazzi we know today. The story has so many moving parts, it needed to be told in a series."

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