Just as executive producer Will Graham wanted to zoom in on the life of Simone (Nabiyah Be) in the small-screen adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel, “Daisy Jones & the Six,” he also knew there would be a moment when Daisy ran away.
Graham directed Episode 7, “She’s Gone,” which gives a glimpse into the details of Simone’s chapter in New York singing at disco clubs. At the same time that Simone hits her stride and finds her authentic self and style, Daisy flees the chaos following the recording and release of The Six’s “Aurora” album.
“Daisy has had the really profound and really hard experience of doing the thing that she’s always wanted to do, and writing the songs that are as good as the ones in her head and feeling like it almost killed her,” Graham told TheWrap.
Daisy escapes to the island of Hydra in Greece in the wake of all the “Aurora” buzz and fame before the tour.
“They talk about the landscape of that town as like a theater. It’s a place that Leonard Cohen went to because he wanted to get away from the world and wanted to be creative and we got to tour his house. But almost all of the sites in there, especially the port, which is where they used to come and drink and play cards and play music is a really important part of that,” Graham explained. It’s also such a fascinating part of why people are drawn to it, is that the island keeps itself in the past. And there’s no cars or vehicles allowed. So all of our camera gear was on donkeys, and we were walking to set every day. And you know, like a donkey picked [Daisy actress] Riley [Keough] up to come to set every day. And in that way, it also sort of transformed our filmmaking process and made everyone think a little more simply.”
Daisy sends a telegram to Simone that reads “I need you.” Simone interprets it as urgent, and packs up everything — in the middle of her own rise to fame — to come to Daisy’s aid.
“It’s a really complicated friendship that, as all friendships do, has a lot of sort of unwritten rules, The choice of Simone to get that telegram from Daisy and go was one that we talked a lot about, and a huge part of that is, she’s obviously very worried about Daisy and Daisy words that telegram in a really clumsy way,” Graham said. “Another part of it, I think, is that that they’re essentially family to each other and neither one of them has a strong tie to their biological family.”
Once Simone realizes why Daisy has asked her to come to Hydra — to be the maid of honor in her wedding to Nicky (Gavin Drea) her fiancée. Simone goes along with it until Daisy says she’s not going back to the states to tour with The Six. Simone does everything she can to persuade Daisy that she would be making a mistake to give up what she worked so hard for.
“There’s a theme of white and straight privilege that runs underneath this. Daisy has worked really hard for what she has, but she’s gotten it and now she’s thinking about walking away from it all,” Graham said. “Simone has had to work twice as hard, as queer women of color have to do, and that’s outrageous.”
As she gets to know him more, Simone’s disapproval of Nicky becomes a little less subtle.
“We just wanted people to be on the ride with Daisy. She’s an incredibly intelligent, artistic, volatile, but also brilliant woman, and we wanted to shape Nicky in a way that that you could see what she was seeing even if you were also seeing some red flags,” Graham said. “Also, we wanted to give Daisy a bit more agency, if that makes sense. Our goal is that you finish the episode of this series and you wonder, ‘Could they have been happy if they just stayed there?’”
At the heart of “She’s Gone” lies a building tension between Simone and Daisy, as their friendship has been tested.
“The episode was very much about their friendship. And them sort of finding partners and finding each other and wondering whether this dream that they had together still applies or what parts they might have to give up in order to really find themselves.”
“Daisy Jones and the Six” is streaming on Prime Video.