Josh Whitehouse Brings Tenderness to Eddie in Daisy Jones and The Six

The actor discusses translating his character in the upcoming Prime series from the page to the screen.

by Jihane Bousfiha

Josh Whitehouse
Photograph by Ian Spanier

One quick scroll through BookTok will immediately reveal that Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels have acquired a massive, die-hard fanbase around the globe. Told through an oral history format and with shades of Almost Famous radiating from it, the author’s wildly popular 2019 bestseller Daisy Jones & the Six was always destined to be adapted for the screen. After a long waiting period, the time has finally arrived, with a 10-episode series premiering on Amazon Prime Video on March 3. Starring Josh Whitehouse, Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, Camila Morrone, Suki Waterhouse, Sebastian Chacon, Will Harrison, and Nabiyah Be, it recounts the rise and fall of the titular Fleetwood Mac-inspired rock band during the 1970s.

“I’ve never been in anything this big before,” Whitehouse tells me over Zoom from his hotel in London the day before embarking on the official Daisy Jones & The Six press tour. “I think any actor, any artist, any musician, dreams of moments like this.” Although it seems like the entire world has been infatuated with it for the past four years, the 32-year-old actor hadn’t heard of Reid’s novel prior to the series getting put on his radar (“I’m not much of a reader,” he admits). It wasn’t until he experienced an extensive audition process for the coveted role of Eddie Roundtree—according to him, there were 12 rounds total—that he realized how big a deal the show was going to be. “As the auditions continued, I started wanting the job more and more,” he adds.

(L-R) Sebastian Chacon, Suki Waterhouse, Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, Camila Morrone, and Josh Whitehouse at the Los Angeles Premiere of Daisy Jones & the Six at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 23, 2023.

Photo by Getty

Whitehouse plays Eddie, The Six’s “grumpy, aggressive, [and] outspoken” bassist who, over time, feels sidelined and undervalued by Claflin’s troubled frontman, Billy Dunne. Fans often label Eddie as one of the book’s most unlikable characters, but Whitehouse approached him with the intention of presenting a more likable presence in the series. “I played with interesting themes of why he comes across like that, and maybe there’s a good reason somewhere, deep down,” he says. “Maybe it came from an admiration and love of Billy—but over time, he didn’t treat [Eddie] very nicely and broke his heart so he started being very bitter towards him by the end of the show.”

While he points out that he and Eddie are vastly different people (“I tend to be quite happy and light-hearted”), the one thing that connects the two is the shared passion for being part of the music industry. Unlike his costars, who learned to sing and/or play their instruments without prior experience, Whitehouse, has been playing the guitar since he was 11 and is a member of the band More Like Trees (the actor learned to play bass for the role). “It felt like I didn’t have to do as much backstory prep as I normally would,” he says. “I’ve been living Eddie for my whole life, in a way.”

Sebastian Chacon as Warren Rhodes and Josh Whitehouse as Eddie in Daisy Jones and The Six.

Courtesy of Amazon Prime

In order to bring the vivid book—and more importantly, the chart-topping band that Reid paints as one of the greatest to exist—to life, the Daisy Jones & The Six team had a rehearsal process spanning multiple years. To pull it off, the cast had to fully commit to becoming a group the audience could mistake for a real band. For three months at the beginning of 2020, they attended band camp at the iconic Sound City Studios in Los Angeles to practice, continuing these sessions remotely during lockdown before returning to Sound City for another three months. “By the end of all that, we really felt like a family, whatever it is that we needed to feel like in order to do this,” Whitehouse shares about the experience.

It’s no surprise that Whitehouse was drawn to being part of a show immersed within the music world, given that the Englishman’s heart was with music long before he became an actor. After moving to London at the age of 18 to perform gigs with his band, he ended up meeting director Elaine Constantine while working on a modeling campaign for Jack Wills and was eventually asked to be part of her film Northern Soul, which he calls an “olive branch that had been handed to me.” Afterwards, Whitehouse set his sights on pursuing a career in acting and has been “winging it” ever since as he continues to work on music. Since then, he has starred in films like the 2020 Valley Girl remake and Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas, in addition to a stint on the fourth season of Poldark and being cast in the since-canceled Game of Thrones prequel Blood Moon.

Whitehouse cites “magical” characters like Willy Wonka and “darker” ones like Heath Ledger’s Joker as dream roles, adding that he is driven by the desire to take on roles unlike one another and is always jumping at the opportunity to sink his “teeth in American roles.” “Some of the magic for cinema is using filmmaking to step outside of reality a little bit,” he explains. “I would love to have the opportunity to ground myself in a reality that is far from what I know.”

Before music and acting took center stage in his life, though, art came first in Whitehouse’s creative trajectory. He says he wanted to initially follow in his painter mother’s footsteps as a child before turning to other artistic paths (though he never stopped painting). While people turned baking bread into a hobby during the pandemic, he spent his downtime honing his skills as an animator. “I completely went nuts and basically gave myself a degree in amateur animation,” Whitehouse says with a laugh while discussing an online course for a software he discovered.

Courtesy of Amazon Prime

His main goal is to combine his passions in order to create his own music videos and, ultimately, write and direct an animated musical with mental health metaphors weaved into it. During our conversation, he mentions that this was sparked after recently learning more about the cognitive behavioral therapy model. “I want to take some inspiration from that and try and thread in life lessons that I’ve learned, which I think could be useful for not just children but for adults as well,” he says. In the meantime, he’s more than happy to continue discovering new things—like a newfound love for Fleetwood Mac—through acting.