"You could have made another eight episodes, even going further into the story," Stan says of Hulu's limited series.
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday's finale of Pam & Tommy.

For Pam & Tommy, reality proved to be stranger than fiction. All throughout the eight episodes of Hulu's limited series, the show told the unbelievable true story of how Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's private sex tape was stolen from a safe in their house and sold online without their consent. And the eighth and final episode (now streaming on Hulu) detailed how the aftermath of the tape's release contributed to the end of Anderson (played by Lily James) and Lee's (played by Sebastian Stan) marriage — but many of the messier, controversial details of that particular story weren't actually shown onscreen.

While the finale featured a devastating scene in which Lee blows up at Anderson, screaming in her face, throwing the coffee table, and violently breaking things in their home, it's not until the end of the episode that a chyron reveals how bad things actually got between them in real life. The credits reveal that Anderson filed for divorce from Lee two months after his arrest from a physical fight in the couple's kitchen in which he pleaded no contest to felony spousal battery and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Pam & Tommy -- “Seattle” - Episode 108
Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

Stan is glad that the producers decided to keep that moment out of the final script because he thinks it's not essential to the specific story being told in the series. "The idea is so much bigger — it focuses on them but obviously there's much bigger implications here that we need to be thinking about that I'm not even sure we're processing yet," Stan tells EW. "And everything else that we're dealing with happened at the earlier portion of their relationship and all these other things came much later. The two of them were together, on and off, for at least seven years, if I'm not mistaken, and that's a whole other chapter that we don't see with how it pertains to the timing of this American crime."

Because the show is about the release of the tape and the impact it had on their relationship in addition to pop culture, Stan says it was the right call to keep the finale focused on that. "It's about what did it say about America and about the internet and the media and how we are very much driven in many ways for profit and consumerism — we don't stop at the repercussions of how it might impact anybody on a human level, because they're celebrities, maybe you can get away with it. But no," Stan adds. "Because now, by the way, it's not just celebrities. It is social media, Instagram and Facebook and these companies that don't take any credit for any of the damage that they're inflicting on on teenagers. I mean, teens are being bullied right now on the internet, in the same way. Everyone could be the victim of invasion of privacy."

That idea of exploring a complicated issue that affected not just one couple but also all of society as a whole and could teach people an important lesson is what excited Stan about taking on this role, despite his earlier doubts and hesitations about the project.

Pam & Tommy
Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

"The way I grew up was I learned through movies; that's how I learned English," says Stan, who was born in Romania. "When I came to America when I was 12, I lived with a family that was very close to my family and they had this massive television in their basement and like an entire wall of VHS tapes, and I watched movies. That was my education in so many ways because I didn't have my parents who were communicating to me about love and disaster and hate and pain and how we're all multifaceted with 50,000 personalities that we don't all reveal to each other. No one told me those things, I saw it in movies, so for me, at the bottom of it all, it's storytelling and that means addressing uncomfortable things. And we have to be able to bring light to those things because otherwise we don't learn. Sometimes it's escapism and other times it's an education and I think it is essential."

Even after eight episodes of Pam & Tommy, Stan thinks there is still so much more to this story that didn't fit into the season. "I think we could always have explored it more and deeper," he ays. "You could have made another eight episodes, even going further into the story. But I feel we came at it with the best intentions and we really tried, given the allotted time, to do our best with what was what was given to us as actors." Does that mean he wants to return for a second season, despite it being made as a one season limited series? "I don't know," he admits. "I'll have to think about that. I'm not sure actually, at this point."

Now that the series is streaming in full, Stan is proud to look back on how the end of the season shifts dramatically in tone to appropriately represent how the consequences of the tape's release irrevocably changed everything for Anderson and Lee. "It was always in the scripts, which all were really well written, and I repeatedly and often in an exhausting way read all eight episodes, front to back, to always keep in mind the arc and where it's going and trying to track the moments and that shift," he says. "It allowed us to explore some of the deeper questions and moments — as we can only speculate ultimately, right, because we were not there. It's impossible to fully know and understand the extent of what she was going through, especially pregnant, and some of those issues that are being tackled in the episodes. But it was important that it got to the heart of the matter."

Pam & Tommy
Credit: Erica Parise/Hulu

In addition to the scripts, Stan continuously did a ton of research throughout filming and found his greatest tool to be YouTube. "That was incredibly helpful; there's a lot of interviews with Tommy on YouTube over the years where he's spoken very openly about what happened or his side of it and how he felt and all of that was really helpful," he says. "Reading his book was a huge thing for me — actually Pamela's also featured in his book, she contributed to it as well — and that covered everything and was a very important piece of the puzzle for me. That's where, as an actor, you become kind of this investigative journalist. You're looking at everything you can find and piecing it together. Maybe one of the pros of playing a real life person is that their life essentially is out there already and so it's not about imagination so much as it is about learning as much as you can."

Bringing to life the darker, more emotional parts of Anderson and Lee's relationship required Stan and James to constantly check in with each other during filming. "With Lily, we were always on the same page, in particular in the later episodes," he says. "Every single scene we would get together and ask, 'What do we need out of this scene? What are we going for? What's essential here? What's important? What's telling the story?' And making sure nothing felt like it was reaching for something that didn't quite land or making it be bigger than it was."

After Pam & Tommy, Stan says that he and James are going to be in each other's lives forever. "We were both there for each other when we needed to be," he says. "And Seth [Rogen], of course, who I grew up on so many of his movies and who turned out to be an incredibly generous person, not only as a producer but even as an actor. It was just a really great company of people."

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