‘Daisy Jones & the Six’: Taylor Jenkins Reid Has ‘Certainly’ Thought About Season 2
SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for all episodes of “Daisy Jones & the Six,” now streaming on Prime Video.
Taylor Jenkins Reid knows how to let go. The best-selling “Daisy Jones & the Six” author didn’t worry too much about Prime Video’s adaptation of her 2019 novel following the book precisely. “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone to go film my book exactly as it is,” she tells Variety during a conversation with executive producer Brad Mendelsohn.
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“Here’s a new version of this story. Here are new versions of this song. Here’s a new way to enjoy this. Hopefully, my readers will feel like they’re finding the things that they loved about it, but also that it is something different. I like that it’s different,” Reid, who’s also a producer on the series, says. “I don’t feel the need to compare them quite the same way as I have seen some people do.”
One notable change that had some fans riled up? A kiss between Daisy (Riley Keough) and Billy (Sam Claflin) in Episode 6. They come close, but never lock lips in Reid’s novel. “While a reader is visualizing all of these things in his or her their head, it was important, I think, for the writers and the directors involved in the show to show this moment to dramatize it. To really put a spotlight on that moment.” Mendelsohn says. “It was kind of an electric thing to watch on screen. It really jumpstarted the rest of the drama that comes afterwards.”
And drama does come — but not between any of the women. Despite messy relationships, conflicts over the direction of the band and a love triangle, the female characters of “Daisy Jones” remain steadfast supporters of each other.
“I was clear that this is about women, first and foremost, that are not in competition with each other,” Reid says of early conversations with showrunners Will Graham and Scott Neustadter, citing their understanding of that message as a key reason she placed her trust in them. “I knew that it meant the same thing to me that it meant to them.”
“We wanted to honor what Taylor did when she wrote that book,” Mendelsohn adds. “She does continue centering her stories around powerful woman and the power of female friendship. It was our North Star while we were making the show to make sure that each of those relationships continue to have the respect between each other that we have in the book.”
A series adaptation also afforded the team the opportunity to expand on the arc of a woman that didn’t necessarily get as much detail in the novel: disco pioneer Simone Jackson, played by Nabiyah Be. In Episode 7, viewers are treated to Simone’s story of finding her voice through the underground New York club scene and embracing her queer identity.
“What Will did in directing that episode was capture that sort of revolutionary joy that happened during disco in the ’70s, and brought that to life in such a way that I was unable to in the book. It was the most gratifying thing for me to watch,” Reid says. “I love anytime the show can offer a reader who loved the book more. And that’s what they did.”
As for the possibility of even more “Daisy Jones” in a second season, Reid and Mendelsohn aren’t ruling anything out. “I think we’re in a really fortunate position where we have a story that is final, and has an ending that feels really good,” Reid says. “I would only open that back up if it felt like there was a story here that we have to tell. Have I been thinking about what that is? I certainly have.”
“To see the performances that you have from this cast, and specifically Riley and Sam, and be willing to walk away from that without asking yourself whether you could give them another opportunity to dig into these characters would be very silly,” she says with a laugh. “I’m not so stupid as to not recognize what we have in the two of them. So it’s definitely on my mind.”
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