What it took to bring ‘Daisy Jones And The Six’ to TV

As well as the meeting of the musical minds of the protagonists Daisy Jones and The Sixwhat brought the team behind the TV adaptation together was part fate and part passion.

“I’m lucky that my husband, Scott, created this series, so I had a real sweep,” explained the show’s executive producer, Lauren Neustadter. “He was submitted the book to consider for adaptation. He and Reese Witherspoon, my boss and producing partner on Hello Sunshine, had a dinner years ago where the topic of conversation was Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, who they were inspired by the book. so she knew she would love it.”

“Knowing that we were so obsessed with books and what we were doing, he said to me, ‘Have you and Rhys got this book? If you haven’t, you need to get it because she’s going to lose her mind over it.’

Neustadter picked up a copy that day and “read it deep into the night.” Witherspoon was on vacation at the time, but the producer texted her right away.

“I said, ‘I know you’re away, but I need you to bring your iPad to the beach because there’s going to be a lot of competition for this book.’ He was three hours ahead, but he dove right in,” she recalls. “When I woke up the next day, my he said: “I’m already obsessed. What should we do?” We fought for it. There were a lot of people who wanted it and saw the potential for customization.”

“We’ve read a lot of books and you know, not many of them stand out like this,” the producer added.

Describing Daisy Jones as “a rock star and an aspirational idol,” director and self-confessed music nerd James Ponsoldt drew on the book, which has sold over a million copies.

“I love peeking behind the curtain, understanding the story of how the albums came together, how the bands worked together, how they broke up, who was feuding with who and whose story wasn’t told because of the times,” he enthused. “What was amazing about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel is that we have so many perspectives and stories that, in a version of the story told 20 or 30 years ago, their story would not have been included or marginalized. “

Some may dismiss the novel and the ten-part series, now streaming on Amazon
Prime Video, as something aimed primarily at a female audience. Executive producer Will Graham, who also directed one of the episodes, objected to it, seeing it as a show for a wider audience.

“This is a story about people living with passion,” they said. “I’m non-binary, and I think part of what appealed to me about the book and part of what Taylor’s spoke to is that Daisy and Billy, Sam Claflin’s character, really defy all of our expectations of what men and women look like. this period”.

“Daisy has a lot of traits that you might think of as more hard-driving or masculine, which of course so many amazing women that we know and work with have. Billy has this sensitive core that’s trying to process everything and live in a way that defies these stereotypes.”

Although Daisy Jones and The Six shot in multiple locations, the rock and roll city of Los Angeles, described as “the perfect canvas,” is a character in itself. While some legendary locations no longer exist and had to be recreated, others were still alive.

“It was crucial to be authentic,” explained Neustadter. “We shot at the Troubador and McNasty’s was shot at The Viper Room, which was Filthy McNasty’s. We had an incredible producer, Mike Nelson, who worked with our location scout, Jay Traynor. He found all these original locations and After Our production manager, Jessica Kender, and her team worked incredibly hard to restore them.”

“Audiences will hopefully enjoy returning to those real places and moments of time on our show. It’s been incredible that Amazon has supported us and given us the resources to bring it to life authentically.”

Ponsoldt added, “Some people don’t think Los Angeles has a sense of history, but it does. All these great places, the Whiskey a Go Go, the Troubadour, the Riot House and Sunset Sound, are still there. What what was great here was that we had great support from Amazon in making critical decisions about authenticity.”

“Are we going to build the studio where they spent a lot of time recording this album or are we going to go to the real place? We believe in the ineffable osmosis of an atmosphere created by being in a real place, which is what did it and we all think it was the best decision for the show.”

At one point, production closed off the Sunset Strip, something that hadn’t been done since director Oliver Stone made the 1991 film. the doors. Ponsoldt said that alone was a huge undertaking.

“It took so much diplomacy, forward thinking and planning, and just artistic flair to make this happen, but we had so many great partners and it was a thrill.”

Meanwhile, Neustader was also quick to credit series costume designer Denise Wingate, who “basically went to every thrift store in the country.”

“I remember when we were in New Orleans, and he’d run out of options, and he’d fly to New York on the weekends to get more pieces,” he laughed. “There aren’t many that were built. This really is the real deal.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the authenticity that pulsated through the creative decisions extended to the show’s casting.

“Our casting directors did an incredible job finding the perfect cast,” confirmed Neustader. “Riley Keough read the book and called her agent to say she was desperate for a meeting and that she’s Daisy Jones; she wanted to talk to us about the role and the book, whether we gave it to her or not.

“She came in and it was just the most incredible encounter. She was so cold and had so many vulnerable points of connection with this character. When you look at the cover of the book and you look at Riley, you feel like this was meant to be.”

Graham added: “In that first meeting Riley said, ‘There are so many parts of this that scare me, and that’s why I know I have to do it.’ That connected with us as something true to the spirit of Daisy and the character.”

“Sam Claflin was such a generous leader on set, and so was his character, Billy,” concluded Ponsoldt. “It felt like all the actors were messing with their characters to some degree, and we’re experiencing the dynamic in real life. They supported each other as a family.”

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