Lily James and Sebastian Stan in

Authentically Recreated ’90s ‘Pam & Tommy’ Looks No One Ever Forgot

Organized by the IndieWire Crafts team, Craft Considerations is a platform for filmmakers to talk about recent work that we think deserves awards. In partnership with Hulu, for this edition, we take a look at how costume designer Kameron Lennox, hair department head Barry Lee Moe, makeup department head David Williams and special makeup effects designer Jason Collins brought the 90s back to life. for “Pam & Tommy”.

Hulu’s limited series “Pam & Tommy” chronicles the marriage of two of the most iconic and ubiquitous celebrities of the 90s, “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. The show is both an intimate character study and a portrait of an era, which created both inspiring opportunities and daunting challenges for the filmmakers tasked with comparing and contrasting Pam’s public and private lives, Tommy and members of their circle during the most dramatic period of their relationship. In the videos below, Costume Designer Kameron Lennox, Hair Department Head Barry Lee Moe, Makeup Department Head David Williams and Special Makeup Effects Designer Jason Collins discuss their approach to bringing Pam, Tommy to life. and the pop culture era they lived in.

“Pam & Tommy” makeup

Make-up department head David Williams saw an incredible opportunity when he first heard of “Pam & Tommy.” He was on another project when a producer called to ask if he could recommend someone take “Pam & Tommy,” and his response was quick: “I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it!'” Williams told IndieWire. “I thought the show had the potential to transform our careers and the careers of actors, because there was so much in it that people didn’t expect real possibilities.” One of those things was turning Lily James and Sebastian Stan into convincing likenesses of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, which required the help of frequent Williams collaborator Jason Collins. As the show’s special makeup effects designer, he was tasked with creating prosthetics that would alter the actors’ faces and bodies without going overboard and overwhelming the performances at the heart of the show.

“As far as what we do and what we put on the face, everything has to improve the character,” Williams said. “Nothing can distract the audience and nothing can take the actor out of his process.” To create Pam, Williams and Collins tried several approaches before landing on a forehead prosthesis. “His hairline was a huge wrench,” Collins told IndieWire. “We tried a lot of things in testing, like the noses, and found that even though those things looked good cosmetically, they were still awkward. You can’t just put a bunch of stuff on someone’s face and make them look like Pam. You have to consider their facial structure. Noticing that Lily James and Pam Anderson had similar jawlines, Collins realized she just needed a small boost and not a massive physique conversion. “One of the things that worked to our advantage was that we were turning a beautiful woman into another beautiful woman,” Williams said. “There weren’t a lot of corrections to get things out. It was always about adding the right piece or color in the right place.

The costume design of “Pam & Tommy”

Costume designer Kameron Lennox had no shortage of reference material for her two main characters, given that Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee have lived their lives in the public eye – it wasn’t hard to find photos and video footage of their popular ’90s looks. This meant increased pressure to get it right, as she knew her work would be scrutinized for adhering not just to reality but to public memories of the time. She realized that her own memory had failed to account for Anderson’s personal style. “I didn’t understand at the time that Pamela really had a sense of couture,” she told IndieWire. “She was really aware of the trends at the time and was setting the trends herself.” Although it might seem simple to the outside world, Anderson’s famous “Baywatch” swimsuit created the greatest amount of stress for Lennox. “I lost a lot of sleep because of it,” she said, noting that not only was the suit extremely specific in its design, but it had to work with the prosthetic body parts that Lily James wore. . “There were a lot of variables that weren’t in our favor when we kept her on her body, especially when she was running on the beach.”

While there was an abundance of documentation on Pam and Tommy’s journey into show business, this research material only told half the story. “When they were in public, they were dressed to be in public,” Lennox said. “There are very few private photos of them, almost none. So we tried to put together things that were popular at the time that we thought they would wear. I read Tommy’s book, ” Tommyland”, and he talks about wearing next to nothing when he was playing drums, which was all the time. He was always scantily clad because he was too hot, so we took that into consideration and we didn’t not put on layers of clothes when he hung out at home.As outlandish as some of Lee’s costumes — particularly his highly stylized flip-flops — might have been, Lennox’s main concern was to stay true to the character and the times. “It was really important for us to never make fun of [the characters]. It was never satire – it was always “What is this very real moment in this person’s life?”

Pam & Tommy’s hair

When Barry Lee Moe got the call to become head of the hair department for “Pam & Tommy,” he couldn’t believe his luck. “I immediately lost my mind,” Moe told IndieWire. “Having the opportunity to recreate one of the most iconic women in history in terms of pop culture and beauty was a dream come true.” Moe focused on well-known instances where Pam and Tommy were central to the zeitgeist; like Lennox, he knew that nailing the authenticity of those moments was vital. “‘The Tonight Show’ and ‘Baywatch’ were two key moments that we really wanted to nail,” he said. “We really wanted to showcase them.” To that end, Moe compiled as many photos as possible and constantly compared the wigs he created for Lily James with his research – the goal in scenes like the series-opening “Tonight Show” episode being to make making audiences wonder if they were watching a recreation or archival footage.

Moe took different approaches for his two main characters. “Lily was totally okay with coloring her own hair, but once we started looking at the timeline and the number of looks we were going to have to create, it became clear that it wasn’t going to be the best idea because his time would be limited. So we ended up making four wigs for him. Moe had originally planned a set of wigs for Stan as well, but Stan had already grown out his hair and wanted to live and breathe Tommy Lee. “We ended up making one. straightening treatment on his hair and then coloring it every two weeks to maintain the black Tommy look,” Moe explained, adding that the actor’s sense of involvement is essential. “It’s very easy to create looks for a show and telling the actor, ‘This is what your hair is going to look like’ without any collaboration or discussion about how it feels. But ultimately, through this collaboration, when they step on set, they will bring the most accurate and authentic representation of their character.

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