In episode two of the show, out on Disney in the UK on 2 February, Tommy (played by Stan), wonders whether he’s falling in love with Pamela (Lily James), and discusses his feelings in a heart-to-heart talk with his penis.
The scene is inspired by a passage in Lee’s memoir Tommyland. In the series, the penis is voiced by actor Jason Mantzoukas.
“As much as I’d like to take credit for that, I was simply adapting a chapter from the memoir,” writer Siegel told Variety.
“I think it might be a first [for television]. There was gentle pushback, because you’ve got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you. But Hulu was extremely supportive.”
Director Craig Gillespie described shooting the scene as “just awkward”. He told the publication: “You’ve got four puppeteers working with an animatronic penis. And then, how much is too much, and do you start to lose his emotional torment of what’s going on? Hopefully it works.”
Stan said he tried to approach talking to the penis like he would any other co-star. “By the end of it, I treated it like it was an intimate buddy conversation that one might have when they’re falling in love.”
While Anderson is yet to comment on Pam & Tommy, the show was criticised last year by her friend Courtney Love, who accused it of exploiting a “disgusting” invasion of privacy that “destroyed my friend Pamela’s life”.
“My heart goes out to Pammy further causing her complex trauma. And shame on lily James whoever the f*** she is,” Love wrote.