Pam & Tommy director Lake Bell says her own nude photo leak in 2014 led to her interest in the Hulu series about the infamous celebrity sex tape.
Pam & Tommy director Lake Bell’s own nude photo leak led to her interest in directing the series. The actress is known for her supporting roles in various romantic comedies such as What Happens in Vegas, It’s Complicated, and No Strings Attached. Bell has also been receiving attention for providing the voice of Poison Ivy in the HBO Max series Harley Quinn and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Disney+ series What If…? She has also gotten behind the camera numerous times through her career, most recently for Pam & Tommy.
The new Hulu series chronicles the tumultuous marriage between its titular couple, Baywatch star Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan), specifically during their infamous sex tape scandal. The tape was recorded privately during their honeymoon, stolen from a locked safe by disgruntled electrician Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen), and then released online without their permission in 1995. The show also stars Nick Offerman, Taylor Schilling, Pepi Sonuga, and Andrew Dice Clay. I, Tonya and Cruella helmer, Craig Gillespie, handled directing duties for the first three episodes, which premiered on February 2, then handed the reins over to Bell for episodes 4 and 7.
In a new interview with Insider, Bell opened up about about what inspired her to say yes to Pam & Tommy, revealing that it was her own “humiliating” nude photo leak that occurred in 2014 as part of mass hacking event. Years later, when Bell was approached about directing episodes of Pam & Tommy, memories of the leak came rushing back, and she knew she could finally confront the invasive experience head-on in her work. Read what she had to say below:
It was an unreal tsunami in the industry for private property being stolen by a hacking, and I was one of those people. I remember having to talk to an FBI recovering agent for a week or so about that property being stolen and it was so humiliating and for me, it was so personal. Reading through the series, I realized this is shockingly intelligent in its way of addressing exploitation while allowing for the viewer to laugh and enjoy. The disorientation that Pam Anderson felt when her stuff went viral, which wasn’t even the word at the time, I just have that knowledge. When I got hacked I went, “F–k!’ It feels gross.”
Bell was one of many celebrities who had private nude photos of themselves stolen by hackers and released online in 2014. The event now known as “Celebgate” and other names resulted in hundreds of stolen photos being posted on websites and message boards where they spread like wildfire. Other celebrities affected were Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kaley Cuoco, who have also spoken out about the immense invasion of privacy. Five offenders were later charged for the hackings and sentenced to prison time.
Released online in 1995, the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape is considered to be the mother of all celebrity nude leaks. Bell can surely relate to Pamela’s plight due to her own experience as the exploitation of celebrity women continues to this day, allowing her to deal with this issue on a more heightened level while directing the series. Since its release, Pam & Tommy has garnered praise as a nuanced exploration of the sex tape scandal. Bell’s first episode airs next week on February 9 followed another on March 2.
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