Daisy Jones & The Six is a love story. But maybe not the one you’re thinking of.
Amazon Prime’s newest series, based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six fixates on fictional rock band The Six and their path to stardom. Led by lead singer Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), the group hits on magic when they join forces with wild child singer Daisy Jones (Riley Keough). Billy is a recovering alcoholic and married father of one and Daisy a pill-obsessed rocker who lives at a hotel and parties longer than she sleeps. What could go wrong?
But underneath the will-they-won’t-they tension of the series and its main characters, is another story: that of Billy’s wife Camila Dunne. Played by Camila Morrone, Camila is the honorary sixth member of the group, but is often left home alone with the baby. In each episode, she encourages Billy to continue his music and follow his dreams, but is cheated on, lied to, and disrespected at every turn. In a lesser show, Camila could have been a wallflower easily forgotten given the sexy chemistry of the ill-fated leads. But with wisdom and ease, Morrone gives a defining performance, imbuing her character with an undeniable spark.
The former model had only been in two indie films before she was cast in Daisy Jones. But she tells Rolling Stone that she was only interested in Camila because of the agency the writers were able to give her.
“I just wanted to give her strength and power. I wanted her to be strong and spicy and fight back and be flexible, but also to have really strong boundaries. There were some great scenes that kind of gave her that flair and that edge,” Morrone says. “She’s nobody’s fool. I was happy that that was in there because if not, it wouldn’t have been a character I was interested in playing.”
Rolling Stone caught up with Camila Morrone to talk the Daisy Jones & The Six finale, how she became Camila, her favorite Taylor Jenkins Reid books, and much more.
What attracted you to Daisy Jones as a project? Did your approach to the role change at all during filming?
It came to me in 2019, as you know, just like any other audition does, through my agents. I had heard about the book. I had never done a book adaptation. I had never been a part of that. So that sounded really enticing to me. Also, being a book that has such an incredible fan base already — when I signed on the book was a bestseller, so I knew that there was something there before I even got down to reading the book.
Then of course, I dove into the book and the rest was history. I fell in love with the style of writing that Taylor Jenkins Reid has. Initially I was very interested in Daisy Jones because she’s a flashier character and you know, the drugs, sex, and rock and roll, and singing and playing guitar. And then I started to be very interested in Camila because she was less flashy, but I believe equally soulful and important to the storyline.
The show does a great job of really showing Camila’s agency as her own person. How and where do you think she fits in with the band?
What I think I saw in Camila is a woman who’s incredibly deep and powerful. She’s the backbone in a lot of ways. She is the driving force creating that love and stability and home life and encouragement and support for Billy through everything. He would kind of crumble without her. And everyone seems to turn to Camila at some point in the story for guidance.
What was important for you to get across in your performance as Camila?
I didn’t want her to be the “wife of a rock star” or “housewife who’s raising the kid.” What’s really beautiful about Camila is that she’s willing to accept things that are very painful in love and relationships and marriage. Camila has this incredible bird’s-eye view of understanding humans and their mistakes. Just how complicated we all are and how important forgiveness is when you really believe in someone.
While the story is inspired by the Taylor Jenkins Reid book, it takes some big and unexpected swings. One is almost explicitly showing that Camila has her own affair with Billy’s bandmate Eddie. Was that nerve-racking for you to do such a big shift when people are devoted to the specific plot points in this book?
People are devoted to the book. And I am too in a lot of ways. So, I was initially against it. When I read it in the script, I called the writer and I said, “Are you sure you want Camila to do this? Because it’s going to make her unlikable.” We got into talking about it and I think that it ends up being entirely justified because it is not out of revenge. It is not for attention. It underlines really how important it is to feel seen and desired and what it feels like to be pushed aside and not taken care of emotionally or physically. That’s why I’m really proud of the decision to do what was best for her in that moment.
While viewers who hadn’t read the book just found out, you knew the whole time that the person conducting the interview was your character’s daughter. You also knew that at the end of the series, it’s revealed that Camila has died. How did you approach your performances for the final episode, especially this idea that people were gonna have to see Camila without her physical strength anymore?
We can only put up with so much, as women, as wives, as partners. And I think that that gives Camila humanity, because otherwise she’s this unattainable, perfect goddess-like wife, and she’s not. She’s human. She is deeply flawed and insecure and afraid, she just contains those emotions really well and she’s quite mature about the way that she handles them. In the season finale, you see a woman come to her breaking point. And even in her breaking point, to know Daisy is what Billy might need next? What a woman! To be able to go, “Maybe I can’t make this person happy anymore.”’ At the end of the day, it takes real love. I don’t even know if I can look at my life and say I could have that kind of maturity in that situation.
While Daisy Jones isn’t a real person, there’s definitely an aspect of true life that’s imbued in the story. And you and some of the cast are incredibly famous in your own way. Do you feel like this has put a lot of scrutiny on your own private life? For instance, you’ve had very famous relationships, like with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Did that ever feel like pressure?
I just focus on the work. To me, what’s most important is delivering in the job that I do. I’ve been really lucky to get to work. It’s my priority in life and it’s the thing that I love the very most on Earth, and it’s my passion. I’m nowhere near where I want to be as an actor, but projects like this allow me to have some visibility and explore my art. I just feel really lucky that I’m able to do the thing that makes me the very happiest on earth.
From script to filming to final project, creating Daisy Jones & The Six has been a real journey. The production was constantly delayed by COVID-19, which meant the series has been up in the air. Has all of the extra time strengthened your bond to the series and your castmembers? Were you nervous about the reception?
When you’re in it and you’re filming, you can’t think about, “Is this going to be good?” You have an essence of the character but then you have to be present for your fellow actors and be in the moment. You’ve created this character for all these months that when you get there on the day, you just have to let it go and hope that this character is living somewhere within you. But all that time definitely strengthened our relationships. When we were on hold for two years, we were always waiting for the phone call saying, “You know what? We spent too much money and it’s just not going to happen.” So, now the show’s out and now it’s the world’s. And I guess that was just our intention and our objective from the very beginning.
From Rolling Stone US