Daisy Jones & the Six star Sam Claflin on series finale, Billy's demons, and his future with Daisy

·14 min read
Daisy Jones & the Six star Sam Claflin on series finale, Billy's demons, and his future with Daisy

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the season finale of Daisy Jones & the Six.

Billy Dunne could just be someone Daisy Jones used to know....

The season finale of Daisy Jones & the Six threw us plenty of curveballs, from Billy (Sam Claflin) falling off the wagon and offering to give a relationship with Daisy (Riley Keough) a go to the fact that the documentarian has been Julia (Seychelle Gabriel), Billy and Camila's daughter, all along.

Perhaps nothing was more shocking (or gratifying, for the hopeless romantics) than the revelation that in her final days, Camila (Camila Morrone) gave her blessing to Billy to find Daisy and take a chance at rekindling their partnership romantically, musically, and otherwise. In the final moments of the series, we see Daisy open her door to a smiling Billy — and what happens from there, who knows?

We called up Claflin to get his take on Billy and Daisy's connection and what might happen between these older, wiser versions of themselves. Claflin also breaks down his take on why this Billy gives in to his demons (unlike the Billy in the book), why Camila is the one for him, and whether he'd ever tour as Billy live.

Daisy Jones and The Six - First Look Credit: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Copyright: Amazon Studios Description: Sam Claflin (Billy Dunne) Filename: DJTS_S1_UT_108_220413_TERLAC_00216RC_700.JPG
Daisy Jones and The Six - First Look Credit: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Copyright: Amazon Studios Description: Sam Claflin (Billy Dunne) Filename: DJTS_S1_UT_108_220413_TERLAC_00216RC_700.JPG

Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Billy in the book is this guy who masters resisting temptation, and that's not something he does here. What appealed to you about playing him as this guy who does give into these demons?

SAM CLAFLIN: I beg to differ. It's something I feel like every person has lived with to a degree. Not to the standard that Billy is dealing with; he's got an addictive personality. It's very hard to fully relate or empathize with someone on that level. Because I don't think there's any way of truly understanding, unless you are, yourself, an addictive personality. But we've all come up against some difficult challenges with temptations in our lives. Considering this takes place over a decade almost, he does pretty well, considering the close proximity of the relationship with Daisy, for example.

And his creative juices start flowing more and more the closer he gets to Daisy. It's a very difficult balancing act. He does fall victim to the curse of the alcohol and the drugs toward the end, which isn't necessarily in the book. But it is suggested that potentially he has fallen off the wagon at least once since. The one thing that I have to keep reminding myself is that every day is a battle for him as an alcoholic. Even if you've been dry for 30 years — and this was something that we had an expert come in and educate us on, the rehabilitation and the life of an addict post-rehab — and the one thing they always call themselves is an alcoholic, even if they haven't touched alcohol in 30 years. It is a problem every day. It is a battle. Especially in that era when the understanding of addiction was less accepted and talked about. It felt good to give into the urges, playing someone who was an addict and thinking about and battling against it every day. It felt fair to him. He needed a reminder to say, "That's not what I want."

Why do you think he admits to Camila that he kissed Daisy? Does he think it will help things?

Something she makes very clear in her own actions is that it's not about what happens necessarily. It's about whether or not he loves her. Him saying, "I kissed her and then I realized that was bad, so I stopped. I never went any further than that." He feels like he's doing the right thing. He's being noble in confessing that that's all that happened. Like, "I swear to God I didn't — I could have and should have, but I didn't. I chose you." The issue obviously is that he is in love with her as well. And that is a bigger problem for Camila. Earlier in the series, when she offers up the picture for the front of the album and she says, "Do you love her? Because if you do, that's when this ends." And I think that, to him, is bigger than a kiss.

He has this big confrontation with Eddie. Do you think his assumption is that something happened with Camila? Or what is the motivating factor for punching him in the face?

Billy is at the end of his tether that day. It's a pretty bad day. Everything goes wrong. Billy's in a place where he's ready to listen, strangely, for the first time. As much as Eddie has always been trying to fight against him, Billy's never let it get to him. But for some reason being in the place that he's at when Eddie enters that room, he hears those words, he hears what Eddie's saying, that someone doesn't need him. That pushes him over the edge. There was a discussion I had with the directors about whether Billy sees Eddie's infatuation with his wife through the series. And they were like, "No, Billy is completely self-obsessed, enough to believe that there's no way that she would ever do something like that." But she plants the seed earlier, saying, "We've both done things." So for Eddie to say, "Use your imagination" — your imagination always goes to the worst place. He does jump to conclusions.

Throughout the series, we've actually seen him be a fairly forgiving guy, so why can't he forgive Eddie? And do you think he ever does? Because clearly Eddie doesn't think he does. Billy goes to therapy, but he never reaches out to Eddie.

No, and I have a feeling it has something to do with Camila as well. What's great is it's heavily suggested that Camila and Eddie did have something, but at the same time, we don't know what happened exactly. I'm glad that that's the way that they decided to tell the story, that it does leave it slightly ambiguous. But Camila's behavior to Eddie after that moment, just shutting him down, the bond was broken. And Billy believes that Eddie overstepped because they are meant to be brothers. "I've known him like my whole life." There's that element of it. Billy has his own set of rules. He's bit of a hypocrite in so many ways. He feels betrayed. There's too much water under the bridge.

This is a day of unraveling where every possible thing goes wrong, but for you, what clenches him taking that drink and giving in and going into this spiral?

He believes at that point he's lost Camila. For him, it's all about Daisy. It's like, "Well now I can be with her. Now that's my option." He's ready almost to give up on Camila and his family and be with Daisy. And that's what he believes Daisy wants him to be. Because Daisy's always saying, "Be true to who you are. You are trying to write songs about the person you wish you were and not who you are." For him, it's his reality check of This is who I am. I've been fighting this for years and years and years suppressing this alcohol addiction, but it's what makes me tick and is what I think about daily. Why shouldn't I give in? Why should I keep saying no to this? That's the thing that drives him in that moment.

Riley Keough (Daisy), Sam Claflin (Billy) Daisy Jones & The Six
Riley Keough (Daisy), Sam Claflin (Billy) Daisy Jones & The Six

Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne and Riley Keough as Daisy Jones

There's this incredible chemistry between him and Daisy and you and Riley as performers. But throughout the series on stage, he always has that wall up and keeps his distance until this performance at Soldier Field. What was it like filming this sensual version where he is all over her?

The two of us were trying not to giggle. Because we had, I wouldn't say she's a choreographer, but she works a lot with people in the music industry. She helps work on stage blocking, if you will. So, in a sense, choreography. We were working through the songs and there were obviously scripted beats where I would have to come over to Daisy. So, we'd work out which moment in the song I had time enough to get over there with a guitar in between singing. We had a lot of fun with it. Because I was drunk, I was a little more all over the place. The amount of times she wouldn't know which shoulder I was going come over, and my face would just come into her mic. There was a lot of giggles and a lot of fun to be had on my part cause I was trying to be as unpredictable as possible. That's the whole point. Everyone's a bit like, "What's happening? Why is he suddenly so all over the place?" Whereas he's very reserved normally and he is very together. We shot that concert over a week in New Orleans, which was all over night shoots. For some reason, I would have a peak at like 3:00 a.m. as everyone else was starting to deplete. It was the dad in me. I can run on very little energy. I'd have a coffee at like 2:00 a.m. and by three I was rearing to go.

He tells Daisy, "Let's be broken together," and thinks that that's what she wants from him. What do you think would've happened to both of them if she'd said, "Okay, yeah, let's!"?

I think they would've got sick of each other because truthfully, they fell in love when Billy was dry and she was an addict. Who knows whether it would work if they were both dry? We see Billy when he's at his worst in episode 2. The behavior of him at that that time was not great. Who's to say that he wouldn't go off the rails further and kill himself, for all intents and purposes? Where does he draw the line? He has a lot of demons to deal with, and he would never have dealt with them if he got into that, if him and Daisy continued. The alcohol and the drugs is something that covers up those bad feelings and hides or numbs the pain. He deals with it a little bit in the first rehab, but there's still so much to be uncovered. It's not like therapy where he continues week by week. He leaves. He did the work, fine, but then 10 years pass and so much happens in that time.

Daisy Jones & The Six Camila Morrone (Camila)
Daisy Jones & The Six Camila Morrone (Camila)

Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Camila Morrone as Camila

Besides Daisy's permission, what makes him go after Camila? Is it singing "Aurora" and remembering why he wrote it? Is there some sense of obligation? And how does he not understand that Camila does see all of him?

I've thought about this moment a lot, and it really resonated with me personally. There's no way anyone can really know everything about you. As much as they have seen you, you do only let people in to certain parts of you. Even if you're acting in a specific way, you might be feeling something different. So many parts of Billy have evolved. When Julia was a baby, he was at home more, but then when they started writing the album, he wasn't. We are constantly growing, right?And we're constantly changing and evolving. The fact that he is suppressing so much of who he is, through his addiction and those struggles, and knowing that she has put up with so much, forgiven so much, I can guarantee you there'll be so much that he doesn't confide in her because of the fear of losing her or worrying her. From my own personal experience, any time that I have a real problem, I have an issue asking people for help. There's a moment in episode 5, I believe, where Daisy says, "Billy will never admit that he needed help or needed somebody." That's the truth.

As much as Cami might recognize certain moments that he needs help, there's so much of him that he doesn't allow people to see. As you said, when he is on stage, he puts up a wall a bit. That is true of his life, always. Whereas Daisy penetrates that wall only because she is almost identical. So, that's where he's coming from. I definitely believe that Cami knows him better overall. But I think the internal struggle that he deals with, only someone who's going through that or been through that can really understand. I don't think Cami is an obligation. I think she's his safety. She's his safety and his home. She's the person who makes him a better person. Daisy makes him a better musician and artist. But Cami gives him the safety that he never had from his upbringing. She gives him that reassurance and that love in a different way.

She does give him this permission in the final moments to go look Daisy up. Do you think now, with all this time in between and them being healed adults with full lives, that they'll make it? What do you imagine their future is? Making more music together, falling back in love?

It's hard to say. I've definitely had my ideas. That moment that ends the series, we played it a few different ways, like whether he was really nervous, whether he was really excited, a bit of everything. And then I obviously played in my head what I think is going to happen. I've talked to [author] Taylor Jenkins Reid about what I thought happens. This is just from my experience, but I think we are better people the older we get because we're wiser about the world.

Daisy's dry now, and the two of them probably have a lot to discuss, but whether or not the magic is still there, I don't know. I feel like they're both probably able to talk about their feelings better, but whether or not they can then put that into music or connect in the same way, it's hard to know. Maybe the drugs [were] the fuel. If you look at any musician, very few people make music as good as they did in their prime.

Daisy Jones and the Six
Daisy Jones and the Six

Lacey Terrell/Prime Video The cast of 'Daisy Jones and The Six'

Would you want to and be able to perform as Billy and the Six live again? The internet really wants to see you guys on SNL or touring.

I would happily do that. We've all been discussing it because it's something that we would all love to do. We would all love to be come back for a season 2, as much as the book does come to a conclusive end. There are still some unanswered questions. Taylor Jenkins Reid said recently, "Thank you so much for playing Billy. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you." I was like, "Right, season 2, write another book." We all loved each other's company so much and we all loved the experience of band camp and getting to know each other, getting to play with each other every day. I would still not cast myself as a musician, but I can definitely play the songs from the show and I can definitely sing them. There's a lot of questions. Is that really Sam and Riley singing? Having the opportunity to actually prove to the world that we can do it would be amazing. That's the hope. Maybe one day.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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