Everyone knows the whirlwind love story of Baywatch star and Playboy model Pamela Anderson, and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. The blonde bombshell and bad boy musician dominated headlines from the second they met and married just a few days later. Whether your loved them or hated them, you couldn’t escape them as their unmistakable faces were splashed across every magazine, from Rolling Stone to grocery store tabloids.
Although the couple were divorced just a few years after their sudden nuptials, they had two children while they were still hitched: Brandon Thomas Lee and Dylan Jagger Lee. But these brothers certainly aren’t in diapers on their mother’s hip anymore. Try not to feel old, but both sons are in their 20s — how did the time go by so fast?
So what’s it like growing up with such notorious parents? Do the boys shun the spotlight or do they embrace it? And are they chips off of the block or do they march to the beat of their own drum? Here’s the scoop on both Brandon and Dylan Lee, who’ve grown up to be quite handsome.
A tumultuous start
Brandon and Dylan’s earliest days couldn’t have been the easiest. For one, the family was constantly under a microscope, unable to escape the paparazzi, or as Tommy Lee called it in Rolling Stone, the "lynch mob." More disruptive for the young boys, however, might have been the fighting between parents Pamela and Tommy.
"[Pamela] screamed at me, I screamed back at her, and, pretty soon, the kids started screaming," Lee recounted, describing one incident. "Dylan was crying in his crib, and I could hear Brandon in his bedroom, bawling." That doesn’t sound like the healthiest environment. The couple later divorced, and Lee did prison time for spousal abuse, according to People magazine.
But it wasn’t all fighting and drama for the brothers. In fact, Dylan shared one particularly fond memories in an interview with W magazine. "When I was six… my mom made snow come to Malibu, and my whole backyard had snow all over it," he recalled. Of course, all of his friends were impressed, too, as they’d never seen snow before.
"They had a few fist fights over their mom"
In addition to a non-stop press presence and dad’s antics, Brandon and Dylan had to deal with other tribulations when they were boys. According to an interview Pamela Anderson gave Entertainment Tonight, when the brothers were growing up, "they were teased, and made fun of, and had a few fist fights over their mom," she noted. That’s likely because Pamela was such a high-profile sex symbol. Sounds like their peers may have been just as bad as the paparazzi!
Fortunately, the boys have matured to the point where they’re not only comfortable with whatever their mom does, but also supportive. In fact, Pamela recalled that Brandon said, "We’re older, we’re not embarrassed anymore of you. You know, we think you’re great." It’s awesome that they were able to come to this point, despite whatever harassment they had previously faced. That’s how you do it, boys!
Boarding school boys
Plenty of celeb kids spend their entire childhood and teenage years in Malibu, growing up in the famous Hollywood bubble. But that wasn’t the case for Pamela Anderson’s sons Brandon and Dylan, who went to boarding school for five years in a remote part of British Columbia, Canada, according to Nylon magazine — which was their mom’s idea. And at first, Dylan wasn’t happy about it. "When I left, I was kicking and screaming. I hid from her for three hours before my plane ride," he revealed. "Now I think it was so good for me to get out of L.A., because you can get lost." Good job, mama.
So while the Jenners were breaking out and Will Smith’s kids were starting to steal the spotlight, the Lee brothers were away from it all, according to The Daily Front Row. "The fact we were gone kind of made us outcasts," Dylan shared in an interview. "We were our own little random team, which I think is really cool." Sounds like their time in school helped them get closer as brothers, too.
Becoming their own men
It can be hard to establish yourself as an independent person if you have a celeb parent — or in this case, parents. But the Lee boys have their heads square on their shoulders when it comes to being their own men. "I’m a completely different person with a completely different mindset and a completely different set of skills," Brandon shared in an interview with Da Man magazine. As for the biggest lesson he’s learned from his parents’ careers? "Honestly, the only one is just to be myself," he added. So you won’t find him sitting idly by in their shadow.
Dylan’s also done due diligence when it comes to shoring up his solid foundation. "My upbringing has given me motivation to work extra hard to reach my goals," he shared in an interview with CR Fashion Book. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t faced challenges, though. "Sometimes it can feel like you’re in the background and only known as so and so’s son, but my parents instilled me with a strong sense of self, so I know I can make my own mark."
Killing it on the runway
What to do when you’re the child of mega-celebs and you inherited model good looks? Why model, of course, and both of the Lee brothers do it — and do it well. In fact, Brandon has walked the runway for Dolce & Gabbana several times, something he really enjoys. "Walking for Dolce & Gabbana was one of the most spectacular experiences," he shared in an interview with Da Man. "Stefano and Domenico are icons, and it was such an honor to be involved with showcasing that collection." He’s on a first name basis with them and everything!
Dylan’s no slouch on the runway either, as he was hand-picked by Hedi Slimane (!) to model for Saint Laurent. "I was just a surfer kid who liked going to the beach in swim trunks — I didn’t really have a fashion sense," he recalled in an interview with The Daily Front Row. But that changed quickly. "Someone reached out to my agency for a casting he was holding, and as soon as I got there, he kicked everyone else out," he continued. He’s clearly got the look.
Will Brandon follow in mom Pamela Anderson’s footsteps?
Being creative is definitely in the Lee family’s DNA. So it’s no surprise that Brandon, a self-professed "cinephile," has caught the acting bug. "I love film," he professed in an interview with Da Man. "It’s a cure-all. It inspires emotion and gives birth to so much motivation." He really has an appreciation for the artform.
Additionally, Brandon’s been involved with theater for some time now, dating all the way back to his high school years. It was there where one of his teachers pulled him aside after seeing him perform, and told him that he should pursue acting as his calling. "That was one of the things that finally pushed me to try to make it into a profession," he revealed to D’Scene Magazine. "I always loved it, and I always wanted to have people watch me and feel something."
So what’s he done so far? According to Entertainment Tonight, you can spot him in the short film Inherent Greed and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser with Chrissy Metz and Shannon Purser. Who knows what’s next for the budding thespian!
Dylan’s musical aspirations
Ask Dylan about his favorite thing in the world, and he’ll no doubt answer: music. And he doesn’t just listen to it, either — he’s working on creating it constantly. "If I’m in for the night, I’m writing music. I’m either playing the piano, playing the guitar or producing on my computer," he shared in an interview with W magazine. "That’s usually my night everyday. Music, music, music!" Boy is committed!
So what are his goals, and why is he so intense about them? "As of right now I am working really hard to become a music producer/DJ. That is my dream and I want it to become a reality," he continued. He cited The Chainsmokers, Jack ü (Skrillex and Diplo), Dillon Francis, and Zedd as inspirations. And of course, his father played a role. "I wouldn’t say he pushed me to be in music, but he’s been really influential," he admitted to Fashion Week Daily. Having access to dad’s home studio was also a sweet perk, no doubt. The aspiring DJ also wants to play Coachella someday. We’re waiting, Dylan!
Brandon’s celebrity crush is…
When it comes to celebrities, Brandon isn’t impressed… most of the time. Only when someone has true talent does he get a little starstruck, he admits. So who’s the celebrity who really blew his mind? The queen herself, Beyoncé. In an interview with W magazine, Brandon described seeing her backstage at his first Coachella. "I turned around and almost passed out haha. I said, ‘Hey,’ in a little boy voice and she called me ‘handsome.’" Who wouldn’t melt after a compliment like that from Bey?
The encounter really stuck with him, even years later. "Let me tell you, that shot my ego through the roof as a kid. I was 100 feet tall," he continued. "No one could ever say anything to me that would take that away." We can only imagine. And in case you were wondering, Dylan’s celeb crush is Jessica Alba, according to an interview he gave to W magazine.
Dylan’s riding the wave
Other than music, Dylan has another passion he’s been cultivating for many years. "Surfing has played one of the biggest roles in my life," he explained in an interview with Nylon magazine. That’s likely contributed to his killer bod, too.
For Dylan, getting out on his board is not just physically beneficial, but also mentally therapeutic. "I use it as a way to get away from everything and just be on my own," he continued. "Out there, there’s nothing to worry about and no one’s up in your face." In Malibu, that has to be a rarity, for sure.
His surfing habit also has an unexpected benefit: his bountiful, healthy head of hair. "I actually don’t use any hair product! I usually just go for a surf in the morning and leave it up to the ocean to work its magic," he confessed in an interview with W magazine.
And, no, he doesn’t watch Baywatch.
About that papa drama…
Where there’s Tommy Lee, apparently, there’s drama. And in 2018, the rock star reportedly drummed up drama with his older son, Brandon. According to People magazine, the father and son got in a brawl that resulted in Brandon allegedly knocking his father out cold with a punch to the face.
The pair had been arguing about recent tweets and photos that Tommy posted on Instagram concerning an interview Pamela Anderson gave on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. In it, she discussed the abuse she endured from her ex-husband while they were married, which apparently angered the Mötley Crüe drummer. Brandon blames the incident on his father’s drinking. "I’m devastated at the events of the last several days that have been a result of my father’s alcoholism," he shared with People. "I love my father and just want to see him sober, happy and healthy."
In a post on her blog, Pamela expressed support for and solidarity with her son. "I stand beside my son who acted out of self defense and was scared for his life," she wrote. "I pray Tommy gets the help he needs." Sounds like a tough situation all around.
This is why Brandon Thomas Lee appeared on The Hills: New Beginnings
Given that Brandon Thomas Lee literally cut his teeth in the middle of Malibu with other huge celebs, he didn’t have to do much work in order to become famous. That’s just how it is when you’re the child of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson.
So some folks might have been surprised to see Brandon on the 2019 revival of The Hills, The Hills: New Beginnings; why appear on such a show when everyone already knows who you are? "Before The Hills, nobody knew what I was like," he explained in an interview with Elle. "Why not let them know I don’t have a chip on my shoulder; I’m calm; I show up on time; I’m not crazy or entitled?" He does have a point.
Additionally, Brandon had a mission in mind: to show he’s more than his bloodline. "More than anything, I wanted the separation," he continued. "I wanted people to see me for me and not my parents. This is the way."
Pamela Anderson’s son Dylan became a musician like his father
Fairly early on in life, Dylan Jagger Lee figured out that he wanted to be a musician — one who’s more than just a famous drummer’s kid. Over the years, he’s put in the work for it, too.
Dylan celebrated a major milestone in May of 2020, when his project, Midnight Kids (with his musical partner Kyle Girard), dropped an ’80s-inspired EP entitled The Lost Youth; as he tells it, the record been warmly received. "Everyone’s excited," he gushed in a chat with Us Weekly. "Everyone supports the project. Everyone’s, like, gung ho about it." Congrats, Dylan!
And though Pamela Anderson’s son likes to march to the beat of his own drum, he says that both of his parents genuinely dig his music. "I guarantee if we mess up, like family, [they would be] like, ‘You gotta do this,’" he continued. "But other than that, I feel like we do a pretty good job of navigating our way."
Like his father, Brandon Thomas Lee got sober
While Brandon Thomas Lee is still quite young, he’s still gone through a lot for his age. After all, growing up in the spotlight definitely has its perils, even though it’s rife with privilege.
To that end, in 2016, he made one of the most importance decisions he’s ever been faced with: he got sober. "Three years ago, I was in one of the darkest spots of my entire life," he revealed to Interview. "I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I couldn’t do anything." That’s when he decided that something had to change.
And change he did, as Brandon threw himself into the work of his sobriety, something that’s been well worth the effort. "Ever since I got sober, I just feel like everything’s gotten better for me," he continued. "I’ve become a better worker. I’ve become a better person." He added that he still deals with his fair share of temptation in Los Angeles, but that his burgeoning career is far more important than partying in any way, shape, or form.
Brandon Thomas Lee is committed to becoming a serious actor
Now that Pamela Anderson’s son Brandon Thomas Lee is all grown up, he knows what he wants to do in life: be an actor. And while that may not exactly be a shocker to many people, Lee came to this decision after years of thinking about it. "My mom knew how seriously I was taking my acting career," he told Town & Country. "I grew up running from the camera, but these last couple years I’ve been seeking it out in a different way."
That’s exactly why you’ll see Lee on The Hills: New Beginnings, though his aspirations far transcend reality television. "I’m at a point in my life now where I’m more than happy to show people what I’ve been up to," he continued.
So far, Brandon has a handful of acting credits to his name, according to his IMDb profile. But seeing as he’s been reading scripts that have been sent his way, as noted by Elle, we’re bound to see him on the silver screen a lot more in the future.