Pamela Anderson’s reaction to Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, which is based on the fallout from the theft of her and Tommy Lee’s honeymoon tape, will be among the things featured in her upcoming documentary Pamela, a love story.
The Netflix doc, which drops on Jan. 31 and is timed to the release of Anderson’s HarperCollins memoir Love, Pamela, will be directed by Good Night Oppy‘s Ryan White and features never-before-seen personal archival footage, photos and journal entries belonging to Anderson.
“I was very hesitant, but looking back, I feel empowered,” she told TUDUM about her decision to do the doc. “And I hope that [my story] inspires people to have a great fucking time and not worry so much.”
In a first look interview with Vanity Fair, the director and Anderson shared how the film would touch on a broad range of topics related to her life, including her memoir writing process, her starring role in Broadway’s Chicago earlier this year, her relationship with her children and her romantic history. The doc will also cover Anderson’s response to the Hulu series, which she learned was happening while filming the doc.
Anderson didn’t comment on the show while it was airing, but told Vanity Fair in an email interview that “Nobody knew the truth — even I don’t know 100 percent of what happened, but I think what is most important is to share my human feelings and how much it hurt and how it undeniably defined me moving forward — in my career and my relationships.”
White added that the documentary will explore her early days with Lee, as well as other partners like Kid Rock, and will see her watching some of her own home movies for the first time on camera.
“We have this whole archive of Tommy and Pamela falling in love, and I think our film will really humanize them,” White said. “I think they’re often seen as these larger-than-life … maybe even cartoon characters. When you watch this footage of them meeting, it’s really beautiful.”
In terms of how it will capture Anderson’s larger romantic history, White says the film will touch on all of it — including her most recent divorce, which took place during filming. “Pamela wears her heart on her sleeve — not just in relationships but in all things in her life,” the director said. “All of her husbands are a part of her story, so they’re in our film, including the most recent one. And no matter how many times it hasn’t worked out for her, she still is a hopeless romantic and looking for true love in every way.”
“I’m a romantic, and romance is tragedy,” Anderson added in an email. “I believe in fairy tales.”
Beyond Anderson’s romantic life, the doc will offer an intimate look at how Anderson’s life has been guided by her decision to focus on motherhood and her two sons, Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 24 — both of whom White says convinced her “to tell her story on her own terms.” It will also cover her eight weeks in Chicago on Broadway, a role she had turned down 10 years earlier to care for her sons. It was an experience White says opened his eyes more to her talent and resilience.
“You can’t discount Pamela. She’s been discounted her whole life and she totally pulled it off,” says White. “The film is called Pamela, a love story, and there are many love stories within it. Ultimately I think the end of the film is about her putting more of that love into herself.”
As for whether Anderson will be watching the documentary, for now, it’s a no for the actress. “The documentary I haven’t seen, and I have no intention of seeing,” she explained. “I gave full access to my archives and diaries, and I hope that through full transparency, it makes sense to somebody.”