Pam & Tommy, the biopic series about star-crossed (read: cooked) lovers Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee dropped on Disney+ earlier this year to thunderous applause.
The stellar cast absolutely killed it, including Sebastian Stan as Tommy, Lily James as Pamela, and Seth Rogen as disgruntled tradie Rand Gauthier.
Sebastian Stan and Lily James transform into the iconique 90s pair. (Credit: Disney+)
But stealing the show was something I never expected to see on my telly screen: a mechanical, talking penis.
In one scene, Tommy (Sebastian Stan) engages in a conversation with his junk (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas) about morality and while it may seem utterly ridiculous, it’s actually a genius and very fitting concept, when ya get to know the ways and means of Tommy Lee.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the viral scene, showrunner Rob Siegel said he decided to cast comedic actor Jason Mantzoukas as the cocky voice due to his incredible voice work on Netflix’s Big Mouth, but apparently at one point, they had other famous
faces mouths in mind.
“We batted around your [Leonardo] DiCaprios,” Seigel recalled. “Everyone came to the table with their own completely left field choices that everyone else thought was ridiculous.”
Sebastian Stan has also revealed that his Marvel co-star Chris Evans was tossed around (hehe) as a possible option.
“The guys, I think, called me at one point and were like, ‘What do you think? Do you think Chris Evans would do this with you?’” Stan explained in an interview with Awards Daily.
Ultimately Stan felt too awks asking his pal to voice his fake mechanical junk, so that never ended up happening.
“I was like, ‘I’m not calling him, OK? I can’t ask him to do this!’” Stan explained with a laugh.
The idea for the wacky-ass scene “came from Tommy Lee himself,” according to Seigel.
“In his memoir Tommyland. His penis is a character in the book,” Seigel revealed.
“Throughout the book, he has these, I presume imaginary but maybe not, exchanges between himself and his dick.”
His fellow showrunner D.V. DeVincentis then explained that those passages are intended to be “almost like Tommy’s id” rather than “a sentient organ.”
Although the series is based in reality (well, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s version of reality, anyway), “we could get away with it because he was high on ecstasy at that time,” Siegel said.
“I felt like that gave us the green light. I like to think that could have actually happened — at least, in his mind,” he added.
“It was fun to write and not terribly hard; imagining what Tommy Lee’s dick would say is pretty fertile material.”
While audiences have taken to the scene like wildfire, the lads admitted that they initially had some pushback.
“There were certainly conversations about it,” DeVincentis admitted, with Siegel adding: “There was a point where eventually it did reach some people who got a little worried, but it wasn’t the great battle that I thought it was going to be. I don’t know who sweet talked who, but there was a yes.”
Meanwhile, the biggest question on everyone’s mouth (no pun intended) was whether that was Sebastian Stan’s actual peen or a fake peen.
Here’s your answer: “That’s not actually Sebastian Stan’s dick,” Siegel said.
“If we were showing full-frontal male nudity, that would be a different issue, but it’s almost so silly that it makes it maybe less [of an issue],” he added.
“I can’t think of a more fun and cuddly way to get away with extended full-frontal male nudity. It’s a puppet, it’s like Yoda.”
Just when ya thought this wonderfully wild story couldn’t get any weirder, here it is being compared to Yoda. Wow.
“As a Star Wars fan, I’m partial to the animatronic puppet Yoda, the Frank Oz version, over the prequel’s CGI Yoda — I just prefer, as I think most people do, things that are better done practically,” Siegel said.
“From the start, we always wanted it to be an animatronic dick.
“Most of these sentences have never been uttered. But we had a guy build us an animatronic talking dick and they strapped it on Sebastian, and I hope to God we got behind-the-scenes footage of that day.”
Turns out the mechanical penis was operated via “wires running between his legs from behind, and a guy crouched on the floor with joy sticks, mechanically controlling what’s going on.”
“That animatronic guy had to look in a mirror and sort of really act with Sebastian physically, like all the gestures and the nods and looks up, and we had to actually direct that. I’ve never done anything quite like that.”
But even with all the special effects, a scene as bonkers as this never would’ve worked without a talented actor making us believe every minute.
“Sebastian is such a committed actor and I knew that he would play it from an emotional place and a sincerity to it where he really is excited and committed to this idea that he’s going to marry Pamela,” director Craig Gillespie said.
“It’s a tricky performance too because he’s also on drugs at the time, so trying to find the humanity in that against a drug-fuelled backdrop, it was a very complicated scene. And the absurdity of it, obviously. But I felt that Sebastian is so talented that I knew he’d keep the audience invested.”
He also opined that Sebastian’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe probably helped him nail the green screen work.
“With the whole green screen world of Marvel, it probably wasn’t that unfamiliar,” he said. “And he was amazing. We never had to tell Sebastian to play it straight — he knew even when having a conversation with an animatronic talking dick while high on ecstasy, you play it straight. You’d never know this was his first rodeo with a talking dick. It was effortless.”