‘Pam and Tommy’ Talking-Penis Scene Got ‘Pushback’ From Hulu
Pam & Tommy co-showrunner Robert Siegel reported that the scene in which Tommy Lee has a conversation with his penis was the subject of “pushback” from Hulu, which airs the series in February.
The moment takes place in the second episode after Lee and Pamela Anderson have spent their first night together. The Motley Crue drummer is concerned he might be falling in love and talks it through with his member – an animatronic construction that required four people to operate. While it is an unusual scene, it tends to feel within the boundaries of the series, which offers a sympathetic look at two people trying to develop a relationship under the world-media spotlight.
“There was gentle pushback because you’ve got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you,” Siegel told Variety in a recent interview. “But Hulu was extremely supportive.” He noted that it wasn't his idea, because Lee himself wrote about talking to his penis in his memoir Tommyland. “As much as I’d like to take credit for that, I was simply adapting a chapter from his memoir.” But, he added, “I think it might be a first.”
Shooting the scene was an “awkward” experience for director Craig Gillespie. “You’ve got four puppeteers working with an animatronic penis,” he said. “And then how much is too much, and do you start to lose his emotional torment of what’s going on? Hopefully, it works.”
Sebastian Stan, who plays Lee, admitted he faced issues with how to portray the moment and keep it within the realms of a certain kind of reality. “By the end of it, I treated it like it was an intimate buddy conversation that one might have when they’re falling in love,” he said.