Lily James: Misogyny is so vicious in celeb culture

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  • Lily James
    Lily James
    English actress
  • Pamela Anderson
    Pamela Anderson
    Canadian-American actress and model
 (Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A​-PORTER.COM)
(Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A​-PORTER.COM)

Lily James has spoken about misogyny in celebrity culture, suggesting women in the public eye are held to “much higher standards” and are “viciously attacked” if they are seen to be stepping out of line.

The actress, 32, known for her roles as Lady Rose in Downton Abbey and Cinderella in the 2015 remake, is starring as Pamela Anderson in her latest project.

She plays the Baywatch star in new miniseries Pam & Tommy, which details the marriage of Anderson and musician Tommy Lee and the infamous sex tape of them that was stolen and leaked. It is released in the UK on Disney+ on February 2.

 (Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)
(Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)

James said Anderson suffered “extreme” shaming following the release of the tape. Speaking about the role, she told Porter magazine: “It felt like a challenge. And kind of essential. The shaming was so extreme.

“Unfortunately, that’s still the case... Women are held to much higher standards and attacked in ways that feel so vicious. Pamela had such wit and grace in the way that she held herself. I admire that strength.”

 (Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)
(Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)

Speaking about the misogyny that Anderson faced, James added: “When you look back at some of her interviews from the Nineties, the misogyny is so striking.

“It’s changed so much, but… I think it’s more hidden now, perhaps. There was a lot in it that I found I could relate to.”

She admitted she was not sure if she would be able to bring Anderson to life. “I’ve never worked so hard. I read the books [Anderson] has written, I read her poetry, I can parrot along to all her interviews,” she said.

 (Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)
(Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)

James underwent an extreme physical transformation in order to closely resemble the actress. She said of the process: “I’ve never done anything where I look very different from myself before.

 (Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)
(Sebastian Sabal-Bruce/PORTER/NET-A-PORTER.COM)

“I’d really like to continue in this vein because I felt there was something very liberating in it. There was a bravery that came from that. A courage that came from… disappearing.”

To see the full interview, read Porter at net-a-porter.com. Or download the Net-a-Porter app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Search for Net-a-Porter on the App Store and Google Play

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