Pamela Anderson enjoyed a homecoming with the Canadian theatrical premiere of her documentary Pamela, A Love Story. The actor, activist, and model joined director/producer Ryan White and producers Brandon Thomas Lee (Anderson’s son) and Jessica Hargrave for a pink carpet screening of the Netflix documentary on February 7 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Pamela, A Love Story chronicles Anderson’s tale in her own words as she looks back on her rise to fame from a small town girl in Ladysmith, British Columbia who become a Playboy pin-up and then a global icon following her success on TV with Baywatch.
The doc also sees Anderson reflect upon the cost of fame as her whirlwind romance with Tommy Lee fuelled tabloids. Pamela lets Anderson confront the sexism she endured when a notorious sex tape with Lee was stolen from their home and circulated online. It was the first viral video and one that ultimately derailed Anderson’s career. White (Good Night Oppy) gives Anderson a redemption story of sorts. She sets the record straight and speaks to the cost of sexism and misogyny in the media as the late night hosts treat the leak as a punchline, rather than a violation of privacy.
Anderson received a standing ovation from the crowd following the screening. During the post-screening conversation moderated by critic Richard Crouse, Anderson reflected upon feeling empowered anew by the documentary. White, meanwhile, noted his initial reluctance to step behind the camera for Anderson given the fickle nature of celebrity docs, but was ultimately drawn to the star’s vulnerability. The film culminates with Anderson’s well-received turn on Broadway in Chicago and the star ended the conversation by latching onto the hopeful note the portrait finds with her return to the spotlight. At the screening, Anderson didn’t hint at what’s coming next, but welcomed the opportunity invited by her career’s wind.