Imperial Valley Press
How the ‘Daisy Jones’ cast went from beginners to bandmates
Sam Claflin is the first to admit that when he got the part of Billy Dunne, the colead singer of a world-famous 1970s rock band in “Daisy Jones & the Six, “he was no musician.
Claflin was the last person cast. His co-stars had already begun rehearsing at a band camp where the actors learned to play their designated instruments and perform original songs written for the show.
“They said, ‘OK, there’s about 15 songs you’re going to need to learn. Oh, and can you play guitar?’” Claflin recounted. “I didn’t play guitar and I barely had sung. I never recorded anything. It was quite an immediate shock of terror and fear and pressure.”
One might assume that, on the other hand, Riley Keough — inhabiting the titular role in the Amazon Prime limited series premiering Friday — had the music part in the bag. After all, as the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, Keough practically has music in her genes.
But Keough said singing did not come naturally, especially singing for an audience. She could carry a tune and submitted a “sort of soft” song for her audition but was told she needed to belt out the lyrics to play frontwoman Daisy Jones.
“I sounded awful the first few times I tried,” Keough admitted.
To play a band as beloved as Daisy Jones & The Six is in the universe created by author Taylor Jenkins Reid, lip-syncing to someone else’s vocals was never on the table, co- executive producer Lauren Neustadter said. Neustadter produced the adaptation alongside Reese Witherspoon, who had to sing her own vocals for her Oscar-winning performance as June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line.”
“Reese and I had so many conversations,” said Neustadter. “She knew what a challenge it would be, but she also knew exactly what was possible.”