Similar to the coming together of the musical minds of the main characters in Daisy Jones and the SixWhat brought the team behind the TV adaptation together was part fate and part passion.
“I’m fortunate that my husband Scott created this series, so I had a real insider scoop,” said series executive producer Lauren Neustadter. “He had the book presented to him to consider adapting it. He and Reese Witherspoon, my boss and producing partner on Hello Sunshine, had a lunch years ago where the topic of conversation was Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, who inspired the book. so he knew she would love it.”
“Knowing we were so literally busy and what we were doing, he said to me, ‘Do you and Reese have this book? If you don’t have it, you’ll have to get it because it’s going to drive her insane.”
Neustadter picked up a copy that day and “read it deep into the night”. Witherspoon was on vacation at the time, but the producer immediately texted her.
“I said, ‘I know you’re away, but I need you to take your iPad to the beach because there’s going to be a lot of competition for this book.’ She was three hours ahead but jumped on it straight away,” she recalled. “When I woke up the next day, she said, ‘I’m already obsessed. What do we have to do?’ We fought for it. There were a lot of people who wanted it and saw the potential to adapt.”
“We read a lot of books, and you know, there aren’t many that stand out like this one,” added the producer.
Director and self-confessed music nerd James Ponsoldt, who called Daisy Jones “a rock star and a rising icon,” was drawn to the book, which has sold well over a million copies.
“I love going behind the scenes, understanding history, how albums came to be, how bands worked together, how they broke up, who fought who and whose story wasn’t told because of time,” he enthused. “The amazing thing about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel is that we get so many perspectives and stories that her story would not have been included or marginalized in a version of the story told 20 or 30 years ago. “
Some may dismiss the novel and ten-part series, which are now streaming on Amazon
“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 talked about a lot, is that Daisy and Billy, Sam Claflin’s characters, really lived up to all of our expectations Men and women disagree on what they look like in this era.”
“Daisy has a lot of qualities that you would think of more as a driving force or masculinity, which of course so many amazing women we know and work with have. Billy has this sensitive core that tries to process everything and live in a certain way that goes against those stereotypes.”
Although Daisy Jones and the Six Filmed in multiple locations, the rock ‘n’ roll city of Los Angeles, described as the “perfect canvas,” is a character in its own right. While some legendary locations no longer existed and had to be recreated, others were very much alive.
“It was very important that we were 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, working with our location scout, Jay Traynor. He found all of these original locations, and then our executive producer, Jessica Kender, and her team worked incredibly hard to restore them.”
“Hopefully, audiences will be delighted to be brought back to these real places and moments on our show. It was incredible that Amazon supported us and gave us the resources to authentically reflect this.”
Ponsoldt added, “Some people don’t think LA has a sense of history, but it does. All those amazing places, Whiskey a Go Go, Troubadour, Riot House and Sunset Sound still exist. What was great here was that we had the amazing support of Amazon to make important 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 indescribable osmosis of a mood that comes from being in a real place and that’s what we did and we all think it was the best decision for the show.”
Eventually, production on Sunset Strip ceased, which hasn’t been done since director Oliver Stone directed the film in 1991. The doors. Ponsoldt said that alone is a huge undertaking.
“It took so much diplomacy, foresight and planning and just artistic spirit to pull this off, but we had so many great people and it was exciting.”
Meanwhile, Neustader was also quick to praise the show’s costume designer, Denise Wingate, who “went to basically every thrift store in the country.”
“I remember when we were in New Orleans and she ran out of options and flew to New York for the weekends to get more plays,” she laughed. “There’s not much that’s made up. That’s really the real deal.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the authenticity that pulsed through the creative choices extended to the show’s casting as well.
“Our casting directors did an incredible job finding the perfect cast,” confirmed Neustader. “Riley Keough read the book and had her agent call her to say she was dying to meet and that she is Daisy Jones; she wanted to talk to us about the role and the book, whether we cast her or not.”
“She walked in and it was just the most incredible meeting. She was so emotional and had so many vulnerable connections to this character. When you look at the book cover and you look at Riley, it feels like it should 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 us to something that fits the spirit of Daisy and the character.”
“Sam Claflin was such a generous leader on set, as was his character Billy,” concluded Ponsoldt. “It felt like all of the actors had fused with their characters to some degree and we were acting out the dynamic in real life. They supported each other as a family.”