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There’s no doubt Pamela Anderson is a beauty icon. She defined what it meant to be a bombshell blonde in the ’90s. Many of her most iconic looks became big trends, such as thin brows and voluminous hair. So when Lily James set out to transform herself into the Baywatch actress for Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, she and her team wanted to do it justice. “Nobody wanted to take the shortcut or compromise on anything,” Jason Collins, special makeup effects designer told USA Today. “It’s one of those rare projects where everybody is firing on all cylinders and lightning strikes.”
The team includes makeup department head David Williams, hair department head Barry Lee Moe and costume designer Kameron Lennox. They worked together to give James a prosthetic forehead (yes, forehead!) to push her hairline back a little and let them start from scratch on her brows. Gone were James’ naturally full eyebrows and in their place were Anderson’s pencil-thin ones.
Of course, her forehead wasn’t the only prosthetic James wore. She had to emulate Anderson’s iconic 34DD breasts. Collins said the breasts James wore were sculpted “three or four times to get them perfect. It’s more than just the way they look. It’s how the whole appliance moves,” he told USA Today. She also wore faux teeth to fake Anderson’s Hollywood smile, which pushed her lips out a bit for a perfect pout, too.
The team considered dyeing James’ naturally brunette hair but decided the upkeep would be too much. So they went with four different blonde wigs. Each was custom-made after looking over 30 different blonde hues. Anderson is known for dyeing her hair at home so they really had to nail the exact blonde. Finally, James wore blue contacts to hide her brown eyes.
The rest was done with the power of makeup to sculpt and highlight James so she could become the beauty icon without It looking like a character. We’d say they nailed it. Pam & Tommy is streaming now on Hulu.