Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier in Pam and Tommy

Everything To Know About Seth Rogen's Character From Pam & Tommy

Yes, he's based on a real person.

by Ani Bundel
Erica Parise/Hulu

The new Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy purports to tell the true story of one of the most famous viral videos of all time — Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s intimate home movie recorded in 1995. As one might expect, it featured a whole lot of graphic footage of them doing what couples usually do in the midst of a whirlwind romance, except they were famous people. Lee kept it in a safe — which, according to the series, was stolen by a carpenter who was angry about being fired. So, was Rand Gauthier from Pam & Tommy a real person? Let’s discuss the truth behind the series.

Warning: Spoilers for Pam & Tommy Episodes 1 through 3 follow. First, here’s what the series portrays: The opening episode began with Tommy Lee being a jerk to the crew renovating his house. When asked about the details of his requests, Lee proclaimed money was no object, but then fired the workers when the asked him to actually pay. One of them, a mullethead named Rand Gauthier, plotted revenge after Lee held them at gunpoint, and he used his knowledge of the house to break in. His primary objective was a safe out in the garage, which he later discovered contained the tape.

Gauthier decided to sell the tape. As a former pornography performer, he knew a guy in the industry who might help, Miltie. But no studio would touch the stolen tape. It wasn’t until Gauthier searched the World Wide Web looking for a toilet part for his ex that he had his idea: The web is free and anonymous. The two can sell the full tape directly to consumers without anyone knowing who they are.

But is that really what happened? The show’s credits say the series is based on a Rolling Stone story from 2014, Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape. The article is partly based on interviews with the real-life Gauthier. His description of what happened and his choices are faithfully recreated in the show’s opening episodes.

So who was this guy? Gauthier was the son of Dick Gautier, a Broadway actor famous for starring in the original Bye Bye Birdie. Unable to achieve the same success as his father, he hung around Los Angeles, a studio rat in the small world of pornography, earning his right to hang around by being a handyman and occasionally starring in scenes. When he tired of that, he went to vocational school to become an electrician, which eventually led to working on the contract to renovate Lee’s mansion.

When he landed the tape, he thought this would make him his fortune. (According to the article, Gauthier thought the video was “cute” and, this being a time before celebrities did reality shows, a very unusual glimpse of the rich and famous lifestyle.) But in the end, he wound up deep in debt to the mobster who funded him.

However, that’s all in the past now. According to his professional website, Gauthier’s still working in California as an electrician and is a small business owner. He doesn’t appear to be making money off the series, either. Like Pamela Anderson, Gauthier did not respond to outreach by anyone to consult on or talk about the show.

Pam & Tommy continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu.