DAISY JONES & THE SIX Star Sam Claflin Talks Transforming into an On-screen Rockstar for INSTYLE Magazine

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Sam Claflin has been bringing heart throb literary characters to the screen for the past decade, winning hearts in THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy and ME BEFORE YOU, but this next project might be the most highly anticipated book adaptation yet. After a long pandemic delay, the hugely popular book-turned-miniseries, DAISY JONES & THE SIX, comes out tomorrow on Prime Video–featuring Clafin playing fictional rock star Billy Dunne. But surprisingly, Claflin hasn’t read–or heard of–many of the books that his roles originate from, he admits to INSTYLE.

About his limited familiarity with the books that his movies originate from: “I have a bookshelf at home, but basically it consists of the book adaptations that I’ve made,” Claflin admits. “I only ever hear about the projects after I know there’s a script out there, and someone says, ‘Oh, did you realize it’s a novel?’”

“I genuinely had to go online and google whether Daisy Jones & The Six was an actual band,” Claflin laughs. “My knowledge of 1970s rock and roll is very, very bad, so this has been a very huge learning curve for me.”

On the preparation required to play a rockstar with little-to-no music experience: “This is the most petrified I’ve ever been about a role, and I think it’s partly because I knew how far I had to come,” Claflin says. “I was so out of depth.”

“‘I’d wake up in the morning, go straight to the studio and learn guitar for an hour, then I’d go for a costume fitting,’ Claflin says. ‘I’d have an accent lesson with a speech and dialect coach, then I would probably record a bit or go and practice.” But his day wasn’t done there. Singing lessons across town followed by meeting with a movement coach and a personal training session all piled on Claflin’s schedule, leaving him ‘absolutely knackered’ at the end of each day, realizing that he wasn’t dedicating enough time to learning the guitar, and second-guessing whether Daisy Jones was even something he could realistically pull off.”

Claflin admits his lack of confidence his musical abilities: “I’m shocked that they saw something in me, honestly,” he says of re-listening to his very first voice lesson years later. “I think the one thing I will say is that I’ll forever be grateful for the belief the producers and the music team had within me.”

“You know when you listen back to an interview you’ve done or a voicemail you’ve left, and you hear your voice, and that kind of like, ‘Ugh,’ that cringe moment? I get that in spades when I’m singing … I just don’t think I have the ego to be a musician. I don’t have the self-belief,” Claflin explains.

His experience working with late rock legend Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough: “The one thing I’ll say about Riley is she does not carry the weight of her granddad on her shoulders. What’s so wonderful is she’s such a free spirit and an individual. I never felt that intimidation,” he says.

“I think there was one moment when me and her were sat in a cafe. I remember hearing an Elvis song come over the radio, and me going, ‘Holy shit. That’s your granddad.’” he recalls. “But in truth, she’d never had any musical experience either, so the two of us thankfully had each other to lean on in that respect.”

[Photo Credit: Rosaline Shahnavaz for InStyle Magazine]