‘Pam & Tommy’ is an emotional, raunchy, and occasionally funny retelling of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s whirlwind romance and subsequent scandal because of a certain tape that was stolen from their safe. The series opens with a slew of hilarious and outrageous events, some of which actually happened. Episode 2 gives us a whole different kind of bizarre opening with Tommy, essayed by Sebastian Stan, having a heart-to-heart talk with his (surprisingly chatty) penis. How real is what we’re seeing? Here’s what we know about the talking penis on ‘Pam & Tommy.’
Is Tommy Lee’s Penis Real or Fake in Pam and Tommy?
No, the penis that Sebastian Stan’s character Tommy sports and talks to is not real. In the spotty yet colorful history of the mainstream onscreen depiction of male genitalia, the most popular method seems to be to use a fake stand-in. Though body doubles are sometimes used, fake or prosthetic penises have certain advantages — like being completely customizable in size and aesthetic — that often make them preferable. According to co-showrunner Robert Siegel, there was only slight pushback from Hulu initially regarding the inclusion of a talking penis on the show.
Depictions of penises onscreen seem to be getting more frequent, likely driven by memorable depictions like the one in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 film ‘Boogie Nights.’ The film closes with a shot of Mark Wahlberg’s porn star character’s prosthetic penis, which Howard Berger reportedly built by sculpting a penis out of clay over a simple wireframe. Things have come a long way since then, and even Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac‘ films digitally replace the actors’ penises with body doubles.
‘Pam & Tommy’ has as good a reason as any for including the graphic scene, considering the real Tommy Lee’s autobiography ‘Tommyland’ features an extended conversation between the Mötley Crüe drummer and his famously long penis. Thus, the scene in the Hulu series acknowledges the book while also giving the audience some surreal but nonetheless powerful insight into the titular character. Incidentally, Tommy’s fake penis is voiced by Jason Mantzoukas and actually used a pretty high-tech piece of animatronic machinery that required four people to operate.
Understandably, filming scenes with the fake talking penis (which also moves as it speaks) was apparently an “awkward” experience for director Craig Gillespie. Besides the four puppeteers simultaneously controlling the “cast member,” Gillespie also had to make the difficult call of just how far one could take the scene while still keeping the character’s emotional turmoil in focus instead of just serving up strange comedy.
The scene comes at a particularly decisive moment in the central characters’ lives. After spending a night with Pamela, an enamored Tommy informs his penis that he is finally in love even while his body part tries to convince him to continue his life of wild partying and promiscuous lovemaking. Actor Sebastian Stan also revealed that he was initially confused about how to authentically enact the scene before deciding to treat it like a conversation he was having with a close friend.
The talking penis seen in ‘Pam & Tommy’ is clearly fake and, more than looking realistic, is meant to signify a couple of different things. It calls back to Tommy Lee’s autobiography and also gives us a brief but effective feel for the rockstar’s wild history and his dilemma at the prospect of getting married and attempting to be monogamous. Funnily, the real Rand Gauthier, who is arguably responsible for the infamous sex-tape leak, said that by leaking the tape, he inadvertently helped Tommy by revealing the drummer had “one of the biggest dicks in rock ‘n’ roll.” The notoriety is clearly still there and is also proudly alluded to through Tommy’s talking, moving penis on ‘Pam & Tommy.’