Lily James Says There's 'No Such Thing As Privacy Now'

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Photo credit: Tim P. Whitby - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim P. Whitby - Getty Images

Lily James portrays Canadian-American actor Pamela Anderson in a new eight-part TV series, Pam & Tommy, which explores the Baywatch star and her former husband Tommy Lee's stolen and leaked sex tape.

Ahead of the mini series' release next month, the 32-year-old British actor James has opened up about privacy and told Porter that she believes there 'is no such thing as privacy now'.

The Rebecca star, who admitted it was 'scary' portraying the sensitive issues around Anderson's private life, highlighted that instead of personal videos being stolen, in today's age: 'We’re handing them out, constantly sharing our lives – with an audience that doesn’t really care about you.

'And giving away information to corporations using it for profit. I know a time before that happened, but there are young girls who have no idea.'

She continued, noting: 'I hope a lot has changed. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s changed quite enough.'

James, who previously dated The Crown actor Matt Smith, has had to deal with intense public scrutiny over the years, including an incident involving herself and her The Pursuit of Love co-star Dominic West in Rome in 2020.

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

At the time, photos of her West seemingly being affectionate with each other were taken by paparazzi and shared by several publications around the globe.

West, who is married to landscape architect Catherine FitzGerald, was seen at lunch with James and photographed tenderly stroking her face. In one image he was seen nestling into her neck, while in another the pair were captured cruising around the Italian capital on an electric scooter.

Speaking about misogyny in the media, James reflected on how it's changed over the years and since Anderson's sex tape incident and said: 'I think it’s more hidden now, perhaps? Anyway. There was a lot in it that I found I could relate to.'

When asked about the photos of her and West in an interview with The Guardian last year, James said: 'Ach, I’m not really willing to talk about that. There is a lot to say, but not now, I’m afraid.' The interview marked the first time she publicly addressed the incident.

Photo credit: Jason Kempin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jason Kempin - Getty Images

As for West, shortly after images of him and James came to light he and his wife showed a public display of affection in front of cameras outside of their Wiltshire home and left a handwritten note outside that simply read: 'Our marriage is strong and we're very much still together. Thank you.'

When asked in her Porter interview whether she's learnt anything about to how to be a famous women today, as a result of her career so far, James said: 'I suppose that there’s a way of deflecting attention for more worthy purposes.'

Photo credit: MEGA - Getty Images
Photo credit: MEGA - Getty Images

Elsewhere she added: 'Women are held to much higher standards and attacked in ways that feel so vicious. Pamela [Anderson] had such wit and grace in the way that she held herself. I admire that strength.'

James, who's been romantically linked to American musician Michael Shuman since February of last year and, before that, was rumoured to have dated Avengers star Chris Evans, also opened up about issues around identity and vulnerability.

Photo credit: Daniele Venturelli - Getty Images
Photo credit: Daniele Venturelli - Getty Images

'Well, sometimes I feel really feisty, like I can take on anything, and other days I feel very fragile,' she explained.

As for playing Anderson in her new series, which she describes as a period of 'absolute lust for love', James explained: 'When you recreate any character, you’re taking on another person’s life without necessarily having all the information, so I really have to put huge trust in the director.

'But I want to provoke a conversation, and I want to be part of these attempts at change. I realise a lot of it’s incredibly sensitive and difficult. And so, as an actor, to a certain extent, what you do is make yourself very open to talk to all of that.'

The star continued, adding: 'My sole intention was to take care of the story and to play Pamela authentically', and mentioned she reached out to her in hopes they would be in contact up until filming for the series commenced.'

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