finale thoughts

Daisy Jones’s Sebastian Chacon Knows Warren Is the Real Hero of the Six

“I thought, How can there be something in every scene that I love or am tickled by?Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

The character of Warren Rojas can be summed up in one quote: “I was just having such a good time, man.” And why shouldn’t he? While the rest of his Daisy Jones & the Six bandmates were entangled in increasingly volatile and lascivious rock-star antics, the drummer was more than content to smoke a joint, pop a $1,000 bottle of something, and call his movie-star girlfriend at the end of the night. “This shit doesn’t happen to anyone,” he declares in the finale. “We’re the luckiest motherfuckers in the world.” Those good vibes never ended for Warren; the finale reveals, after the Six’s dissolution, that he filled his life with a beautiful family (yes, he married the actress) and even more beautiful music. And a conversation with Sebastian Chacon, who portrays Warren in all ten episodes, suggests he’s also happy to go along with whatever the world throws his way. This mind-set influenced his own extended backstory for the character.

When did you realize Warren was actually the hero of this story?
Pretty much immediately. I think it was during my callback audition that the director told me, “Warren is my favorite character.” Looking at all the pages and materials they had given me, it was clear my character had all of the fun and silly things to do. Billy is in a different show than the one I’m in. He’s going through fatherhood and addiction, and I’m just here for a good time.

If Billy is in an addiction family drama, what show is Warren in?
Warren is in a Saturday-morning cartoon for the whole show. His vision is an animated cartoon world.

A lot of the prevalent drummers of the era, like the Bonhams or Bakers, were so mercurial, but Warren has an understated kindness to him. Why do you think that approach was the more interesting choice?
A lot of my scenes were with Josh Whitehouse, who plays Eddie, and his character is always upset or trying to find a reason to be upset. “Ah, my bass amp isn’t working,” “Did you see how Billy treated me?” For my character, I thought, How can there be something in every scene that I love or am tickled by? It could be a prop or a quote that someone else says. It’s funny because a lot of drummers are like that; you realize they’re cool with every member of the band. When the Beatles broke up, Ringo Starr continued working with everybody. Of course, as you said, the Ginger Bakers and John Bonhams of the world make the most noise. But there’s something equally great about having a character that’s easy and fun to play.

Warren’s conversation with Eddie in the finale is the only time his
philosophy is pushed back on, with Eddie saying that money and fame isn’t enough for him. Did you ever wish Warren was indeed looking for a little more out of life?
Perhaps. I read the book and knew what purpose he served.

What was that purpose?
It’s interesting to play a flat-arc character like that. It balances out a lot of the drama. The thing I like about Warren was, from the very beginning — when they’re playing out of their garage in Pittsburgh — he’s having the best time of his life. If they never became successful and played in a backyard in Pittsburgh and worked at the steel mill, he still would’ve thought he lived the best life. I think that’s an important perspective to have in the show. They’re blessed to have the problems they have. Warren serves as a reminder of that. Do I wish things were different in the show? Who knows. Maybe season two is gonna be Warren embarking on a solo European tour.

Have there been discussions of another season?
We’ve been discussing it in the group chat ever since we started this show. There’s nothing concrete yet.

You need to do an SNL performance as the Six before season two.
We’re figuring that kind of stuff out. I could play right now. I’ve played these songs a thousand times. We’d love to do a one-off gig. We could never tour — actors and their schedules are complicated. Realistically, what could end up happening is a special appearance. Do we appear as ourselves? Do I throw on my mustache as Warren? This is for a smarter individual to figure out.

You’ve spoken about the changes you made to Warren from book to screen, as he was originally written as white. Rhodes was changed to Rojas, for example. How did that influence your approach and what you wanted to embody?
Rojas was one of a bunch of last names I proposed. I have relatives with that last name, and it sounded close to Rhodes. A part of it was Warren was born around 1950. Selfishly, I assumed he was Colombian. If that was the case, the ’50s in Colombia were a very violent and difficult time. I assumed he was born there as a little kid and his family came to New York.

So you crafted an original backstory for him.
Exactly. And then he moved to Pittsburgh when he was about 8 because they had steel mills there for his family. If you don’t speak good English, it’s an easy place to get good work. Because of that, he’s probably been through some very challenging circumstances. Coming from a family of immigrants myself, I grew up around a lot of people who dealt with very challenging circumstances and had been put through the wringer. Those people develop the ability to be happy as a skill. Happiness is a choice they make everyday. They’re smiley and bubbly people. You wouldn’t imagine they’ve been through what they’ve been through. Every day is like a blessing: I woke up today — what an amazing thing! I wanted to make that a part of the character. Even though I don’t talk about it in the context of the show itself, I know it’s a part of him, and it made it more real for me.

“When I play the drums, I bite my lip and make a serious face. But I was like, Ah, Warren can’t look like that. That’s not gonna work!Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Were there any musicians from the time period that you drew inspiration from? There weren’t a ton of Chicano drummers in these rock bands at the time.
Absolutely. Jo Jones, the jazz drummer, played a couple of shows in Pittsburgh in the ’50s and ’60s. I felt that Warren would’ve randomly seen him perform. He’s a very emotive and zany player; sometimes he would throw his sticks away and play with his fingertips. I copied his drum-kit setup with a tilted and traditional snare.

I used timbale sticks in the show because, in the ’50s and ’60s, Tito Puente was on television playing the timbales like a crazy man. That was probably one of Warren’s first exposures to percussion. When I play the drums, I bite my lip and make a serious face. But I was like, Ah, Warren can’t look like that. That’s not gonna work! Trying to change my face was a fun adjustment, but it was hard. You can’t really control what’s going on when you’re exerting yourself.

The people who stayed on the bus after the Six’s final show were Warren, which is understandable, and Karen, who was more of a surprise. They’re a duo that don’t have a lot in common on paper, so I’m curious why you think having them as the “final two” was a fitting end.
Karen is very headstrong. She’s the kind of person who doesn’t show wounds. Even though she’s gone through a lot by the end of the show, the thing she wants to do is continue performing. It’s the same with Warren. He sees the drama and sees things aren’t right, but he doesn’t want it to fall apart. He wants the tour to continue, but it became obvious that it came to its end. It’s heartbreaking. I remember that scene. We shot Josh getting into the cab and driving away. I was emotional because it was one of the last scenes we shot. I was like, Damn, this is over. I can’t believe it. 

There’s a nice quote from the band’s tour manager in the finale: “The chosen ones never know that they’re chosen.” Have you given much thought to what Warren was chosen for in life?
Warren doesn’t give that very much thought. I don’t think his purpose is something he thinks about as much as the others. There are people who plan their lives and think, What am I going to do? What am I here for? And there are other people who think, What will I be allowed to do? What will the world permit me in this life? Warren has more of a gratitude for being permitted to do these amazing things. When he talks to Eddie in that scene, he doesn’t necessarily say they’re rich and famous. He phrases it like, “People listen to our music and love it — that’s crazy! It’s a gift! It’s a blessing!” His whole life is a gift like that. When Warren meets his wife and has a beautiful and happy life, it’s like, Holy shit, can you believe this? What the hell is going on?

I remember when we had our first fitting for the older Warren. I sent them a picture of my dad. He had a Hawaiian shirt on with a panama hat. I asked for a little belly and a bit of sun damage. He’s been on the deck of a boat for the last 20 years. He’s living a good life, and we can let him show it.

Was the movie star Warren fell in love with a stand-in for a particular person?
I don’t think there was a specific person. But I did ask about it: “How famous is she?” I was told it was like if Warren married Julia Roberts. A crazy thing. I was offended with all of those scenes where characters were like, “Warren is dating a movie star? What’s up with that?” Of course he is. He’s the greatest.

I’d love to know how you and the wardrobe department crafted Warren’s style. I’ve never seen so many beautiful vests in my life.
Our costume designer wanted to tell the story of each character with how they dressed. In an early fitting she was like, “I have a couple of vests. What do you think of these?” I knew we had to cut the shirts. We’ll just go with vests on bare chests, like DMX in the 2000s. That became a journey for Warren. You see him start to wear tank tops, and then he wears vests with a T-shirt, and then he cuts the T-shirt. I had a traditional serape vest with donkeys on the back. There was another Native American vest that had shells. If you paused and zoomed in, it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing costumes. It’s his own tastes and influences.

How many mustaches did it take to find the perfect one?
We worked with a couple. We tried a two-piece mustache because that’s how mine naturally grows in. Then we tried a handlebar mustache that got really long. The light mustache we tried looked bad. When I was older Warren, they also wanted me to have a mustache, but it didn’t work. It was gray and looked iffy.

We see in the ’90s-set interviews that Warren is as happy as ever, and he’s proud of being a session drummer who worked on a bunch of classic records. What albums do you think he drummed on?
Warren is a groove drummer. He doesn’t have a lot of crazy fills — he just has pockets. You would probably look at the records he’s played on and think, What? That one? I do love that it’s revealed he had another career with Daisy. Out of all of the members of the band, she and Warren were the ones who continued to work together. I bet they made a bunch of classic songs after the Six. All of the Daisy Jones solo albums have Warren on them for sure.

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Daisy Jones’s Sebastian Chacon Knows Warren Is the Real Hero