Timothy Olyphant Talks ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ and His Love of Music
Mar 23, 2023
[Editor’s note: The following contains some spoilers for Daisy Jones & The Six.]Based on the best-selling novel of the same name from Taylor Jenkins Reid, the Amazon Studios/Hello Sunshine series Daisy Jones & The Six tells the story of the meteoric rise and crash-and-burn implosion of the iconic 1970s band, fronted by Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin). The two charismatic singers are brought together to explore their shared love of music, but while their combined artistry is magic, their personalities clash, becoming toxic for everyone around them and eventually tearing them apart. As their story is recounted directly by the band, through their personal truths and the songs that defined them, you’ll learn how desire and determination, and fame and success, can’t always overcome it all.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, Timothy Olyphant (who plays tour manager Rod Reyes) talked about how he prepared to play the band’s tour manager, his own love of music, what it’s like to hook a big fish in the music industry, loving everything about the wardrobe, where there’s something appealing to an artist about never being sure what the next gig or acting role will be, and what it was like to be there for the Soldier Field concert.
Collider: In doing a project like this, when you’re dealing with a book that people love and has this built-in fan base, does that become something of a bible for you, outside the script, or does it work better for you to look at things like bands and musicians, locations, and just this whole era?
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT: The book, for me, was just a great read. Even before getting all the scripts, it was just a cool book. It’s always nice when you read some material that’s really great, and then you think, “Oh, I might be able to be fit into this somehow.” After that, you let go of it, other than what you’ve sourced already, and it becomes a bit of a jumping off point. The nature of an adaptation means that you’re taking it in its own direction. I did read about a lot of tour managers. There have been some great ones, and there were some classic interviews. Both of my brothers have been in the business, and my older brother is still in the business. I’ve been around it a lot. Even though it’s a different decade, it’s more or less the same gig and the same struggles and the same heartaches. I was around it a lot.
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I’ve loved music my whole life, I’ve been a concert photographer since I was 15, and I’ve worked directly with a lot of bands, and I’ve run into a lot of guys like your character. He just seemed so real and authentic, in a way that you could find him with any number of bands. even today.
OLYPHANT: It’s no different from being in show business. If you’re around enough First ADs, they start to narrow down to a type, to some degree. But that book was well-researched. (Author) Taylor [Jenkins Reid] knew what she was writing about, and (producer) Scott [Neustadter] is no dummy either. I was in really good hands. And then, you put on those outfits, and it’s easy after that.
Are you, personally, a music guy? Are you someone who has a connection to music, yourself? Are there bands that you’re a fan of, that you’ve been curious about the personal story of?
OLYPHANT: I love music. I haven’t thrown out my CD collection. It was a big deal, growing up with my brothers. It’s been a big deal, my whole life, seeing music, listening to music, and talking about music. I wish it was something that came easy to me. It’s not. I’ve learned things for work, but it’s just not my language. But I love being around music, of all kinds.
What do you think this guy saw in this band? This type of job is a bit like herding cats. It’s hard to keep track of rock stars. So, what do you think made this band worth it to him?
OLYPHANT: Well, it’s a good job. If that’s what you do for a living and if you can hook a big fish that’s gonna carry you for a while, that’s pretty huge. You’re so dependent on the band’s success to maintain your job, to be part of that family, and to not have to keep looking for other bands. Even in the show, it’s such a sought after gig. This band is blowing up, and he’s pretty sure that there’s not gonna be any band that’s that successful, that’s gonna be easy. You know what you’re getting into.
Image via Prime Video
Because of the structure of the storytelling of this, we’re experiencing this story in its wildest moments, but also through reflection with each of these characters. What was it like to build your character in that way?
OLYPHANT: We talked about where we wanted to see him go, and gave some hint of that. A lot of it was in the book already. A lot of it was just about how you wanna look. I don’t know what those other actors are telling you, but the fact is that most of us spend our time thinking about how we’re gonna look.
Did you get a say in his wardrobe? Was that collaborative, at all?
OLYPHANT: Yeah, but that work was so good. Everything [costume designer Denise Wingate] brought me was amazing. It was so good. It was the most enjoyable fittings. I’m always trying to wiggle out of fittings, but these were pretty good. I would show up, and there’d always be something, when I arrived in my trailer, with a note saying, “What do you think? Try it on, and let me know.” It was fun. It was pretty cool.
There’s a moment when your character is getting increasingly frustrated with the band’s antics because he knows it just makes his job harder. And then, Daisy asks him to picture how boring his life would be without her in it. Do you think that’s part of the appeal for him? Obviously, there’s the love of the music, but is being in it appealing to him, as well?
OLYPHANT: Yeah, of course it is. It’s the same thing with our job. Everybody spends a bunch of time talking about how they’re worried about not having their next gig and saying, “Maybe I won’t work again.” But the fact is, that’s part of what we liked about this whole thing, to begin with. That not knowing, that drama, that excitement, is part of what makes it so fun.
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Do you just get to a point where you have to come to terms with that and accept it, if you’re going to do this job?
OLYPHANT: Yeah. Somewhere along the line, I remember having a good talking with myself about, “Hey, this is what you signed up for. You knew it. There must have been something about that very thing you’re complaining about, that was so appealing to begin with.” You can’t have it both ways.
What was it like to be there for the big Soldier Field concert, and see the culmination of what these actors did, as a band?
OLYPHANT: It was great. It was just a fun set to walk onto. As much as we have somewhat of that lifestyle, it did really feel like we were really backstage, we were really going out on stage, and they were really a band. It was fun to show up to a stadium as our set. And the trailers that we were in, as actors, felt like our backstage. Watching that was just cool. Getting up on the stage, it’s hard not to think about all the rock stars, and you really can see their point of view. It’s a ridiculously powerful feeling.
At the same time, is there something that’s just fun about getting to react to the drama, rather than having to be fully in it?
OLYPHANT: Yeah. And those days were also the days where it felt really special and like this was a real band. These people are really talented. It was really fun to watch them play. They would play in between setups, which was super cool. It was really special. It was a very special set. It was really fun to be around them. They were a cool group.
Daisy Jones & The Six is available to stream at Prime Video.
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