Reese Witherspoon has stepped into the world of intercourse, medicine, and rock and roll. Her newest venture as government producer is Daisy Jones & the Six, a wild musical drama that particulars the rise and fall of a fictional ’70s rock band. Tailored from the best-selling 2019 novel of the identical identify by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the story facilities on the titular band—impressed by Stevie Nicks and her time with Fleetwood Mac—and unfolds docudrama-style, with the band’s members discussing their successes, drug-fueled amorous affairs, betrayal, and heartache.
“I really like that the story reads like a VH1 Behind the Music documentary. It feels so actual, and so explicit in a time and place,” Witherspoon informed Vainness Honest on the Amazon Prime Video collection’ world premiere in Hollywood on Thursday evening. “Something was potential in that point—the connection between artists was completely completely different. It is actually stunning. And the music is bananas! The music actually drives the story, and the chemistry between Riley and Sam is simply the perfect.”
That might be Riley Keough—daughter of the late Lisa Marie Presley and the granddaughter of Elvis Presley—and British actor Sam Claflin, greatest often known as Finnick Odair from the Starvation Video games franchise. Keough stars as Daisy, the fiery lead singer who has an advanced relationship together with her bandmate, Claflin’s Billy Dunne. Contemplating Keough’s rock-and-roll pedigree, it is arduous to imagine that she had no musical expertise or coaching previous to taking this function.
“I do not contemplate myself a singer. My earlier expertise was singing within the bathe. That is just about it,” mentioned Keough on the arrivals carpet previous to the screening. “Everybody retains on asking me if I used to be born to play this function Due to my household, and truthfully, I used to be born to play each function that I’ve performed up to now. I took this function as a result of I have been eager to sing, since I had by no means sung earlier than. I labored actually arduous and put in a variety of hours for a yr and a half. It wasn’t an in a single day form of factor.”
Earlier than her sudden dying on January 12, Lisa Marie Presley was proud that her daughter had taken on a musical function. “She was so excited. I used to be nervous, and he or she actually supported me,” mentioned Keough. “There have been some actually difficult songs, and he or she helped me focus and imagine in myself.”
“She’s very quiet and soft-spoken in actual life, and he or she actually remodeled herself and introduced such rock star power” to the collection, Witherspoon mentioned. “She completely transforms when she will get on the stage. It is like watching a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis.”
Claflin, who performs the band’s charismatic singer and lead guitarist, additionally got here to the function with out a lot musical expertise. He practiced guitar till his fingers bled, he says—although he had a bit of additional time resulting from COVID delays, which remodeled a rigorous 5 weeks of musical coaching right into a yr and a half.
“This was probably the most daunting function I’ve ever performed. There was a lot to tackle musically. I needed to play the guitar whereas singing and studying the stage motion. I additionally needed to communicate with an American accent, and shed pounds—it was all a problem, truthfully,” mentioned Claflin, who primarily based his stage persona on Bruce Springsteen. “There have been many moments I assumed, What the hell did I get myself into? It is nonetheless very daunting that folks can be judging what I didn’t solely actingwise, however vocally as properly.”
Beforehand, Claflin auditioned for the movie variations of each Les Miserables different cats—and by no means obtained a callback. “It was a catastrophe, actually. I failed miserably,” he mentioned. However Billy Dunne, who struggles with drug dependancy and surprising fatherhood, is a task that he linked with personally.
“I felt like I actually understood my character. We went by means of a variety of the identical points—not by means of the dependancy facet, however the wrestle of juggling work and household life. His concern of failure is one thing that I can relate to,” mentioned Claflin, the daddy of two kids. “He is human, and I simply need to guarantee that individuals perceive him.”
Government producer Lauren Neustadter and her government producer husband, Scott Neustadter, instantly noticed Daisy Jones‘s adaptive potential.
“I believe the ladies on this present are remarkably multidimensional, and the relationships are so complicated. Though there’s battle, there’s all the time dialog, there’s all the time thoughtfulness and sensitivity,” mentioned Lauren, who can be the pinnacle of movie and TV at Witherspoon’s Hey Sunshine manufacturing firm. “I hope viewers will savor the best way ladies deal with each other. We regularly do not see this on tv, and I actually hope they love the music.”
The music within the present is unique, that includes songwriting contributions from Blake Mills, Phoebe Bridgers, different Marcus Mumford. Every member of the band—the forged consists of Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Will Harrison, different Sebastian Chaçon—attended a months-long band camp that consisted of one-on-one instruction and group rehearsal. In the course of the pandemic, the actors even practiced performing collectively over Zoom.
“When you’re a musician and should you had something to do with devices, ’70s music had an affect in your life—whether or not you already know it or not,” mentioned Mumford on the premiere. “They made seven-minute songs within the ’70s. It felt much less algorithm-based. Attending to entry a few of that spirit musically and recreating it for contemporary audiences was actually enjoyable.”
Mumford was additionally blown away by Claflin and Keough’s singing. “Really, I used to be a bit pissed off, as a result of that is my fucking job. They arrive in with what looks as if no expertise and completely smashed it out of the park. I am a bit pissed off about it.”