You know the band. You know the legends. But you’ve never seen the sordid, scandalous, and celebratory story of Fleetwood Mac told in a sprawling and semi-fictionalized way for the big or small screen. Their history is inherently cinematic, the sort of tale that needs no sensationalizing—it’s all right there, in the very real history of the band. From members who left for cults to dramatic love affairs to drug habits and feuding that’s still transpiring to this day, the story of Fleetwood Mac is perfect fodder for a film or miniseries.
To take our mind off the various horrible things going on in the world, we decided to get lost in fantasy instead. A fantasy where we can magically pitch, produce, and cast a version of the Fleetwood Mac story for public consumption. Here’s our idea for a show about the band that continues to compel and scandalize us.
Fleetwood Mac has a long and complicated history as a band. First founded in July 1967, the London-based band was originally called the Bluesbreakers and consisted of Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and John Mayall. They went through many iterations in the next few years, adding and doing away with members, and changing their name to Fleetwood Mac—after Fleetwood and McVie, the rhythm section of the band. Green developed an LSD dependency that lead to a mental break, and he left the band. Guitarist Jeremy Spencer, who joined in 1967, left in 1971 and joined the religious cult Children of God.
Eventually, Christine McVie—then known as Christine Perfect—joined the band as a keyboardist, and married John McVie. More members came and went, and eventually the band made their way from London to California. New guitarist Bob Welch quit, and Fleetwood went looking for a replacement. A producer played him the guitar track for a song called “Frozen Love,” by an up-and-coming band called Buckingham Nicks. Enticed by what he heard, Fleetwood asked the young guitarist—Lindsey Buckingham—to join the band. He agreed, on one condition: His girlfriend, vocalist Stevie Nicks, had to join, too. The rest, as they say, is history.
Buckingham and Nicks were the magic ingredient for success. Their first album as a newly forged and reimagined band—the self-titled Fleetwood Mac, released in 1975—sold 7 million copies and was a huge breakthrough. (That album contains timeless Mac songs like “Landslide” and “Rhiannon,” both written by Nicks.) They followed it up with Rumours, the 1977 album that became the fifth best-selling album of all time. Catchy and beautifully written, Rumours also chronicled the band’s personal lives at the time, including the breakups of Buckingham and Nicks and the McVies.
This tumultuous time in the band’s history is perfect material for a miniseries, in the style of something like FX’s Fosse/Verdon or Ryan Murphy’s Feud. Speaking of Murphy…
Ryan Murphy, the mega-talented mind behind shows like Glee and American Horror Story, is a bit of an acquired taste. His work is often bold and ridiculous, playing up melodrama for maximum impact. The end result is typically all over the place. Some seasons of the anthology American Horror Story are borderline genius, while others fail spectacularly. But his is a mind rich with passion, and it pays off when he’s working with material he loves.
One thing we know he loves? Stevie Nicks. The songstress and witchy woman—who became the breakout star of Fleetwood Mac, and also has her own successful solo career—factors into some of Murphy’s best work. He dedicated an entire episode of Glee to the Rumours album, and Nicks appears as herself in two seasons of American Horror Story.
Murphy would have a blast with a Fleetwood Mac miniseries. Especially if he collaborated with other creatives who might reign in his overwrought tendencies. His anthology series American Crime Story is the perfect example of what he’s capable of when teamed with the right producers. We’d love to see him work with women on this one. Maybe a collaboration with the Russian Doll ladies, Leslie Headland, Amy Poehler, and Natasha Lyonne? They’re vision for that series has a ’70s vibe that feels very of a piece with Fleetwood Mac.
Casting is really key for a Fleetwood Mac miniseries to be successful. All the behind-the-scenes talent in the world can’t sell a show like this. You need the right Stevie, the right Lindsey, the right Mick, the right Christine, and the right John to properly tell the story of Fleetwood Mac. You also need people who both fit the mold physically, but can deliver on the talent end, too. That means going for what’s right, and not just stunt casting. (Save that for the supporting roles. We’d love Jessica Lange as a fictional publicist or Gwyneth Paltrow as some rival rockstar.)
With that in mind, here’s who we’d cast in Ryan Murphy’s Fleetwood Mac: Rumours.
Klaus Hiltscher/FX Networks
Let’s start with the queen herself, Stevie Nicks. The most famous face in the band, she’s most people’s No. 1 association with all things Fleetwood Mac. With her flowing shawls, haunting lyrics, and black chiffon, she carved out a witchy aesthetic all her own—one that’s still replicated by young women today. She also has a gorgeous and soulful voice, deep brown eyes that suck you right in, and a bubbly personality that sets our hearts a flutter.
That sounds an awful lot like Murphy muse Billie Lourd. The Scream Queens and American Horror Story actress—and daughter of the late Carrie Fisher—is known for her more humorous roles, but don’t be fooled. She’s multi-talented. Just watch her more dramatic work in AHS: Cult, or check out the musical tributes she posts for her mom every birthday and Mother’s Day. The girl can sing. (Not too surprising, as she’s also the granddaughter of crooner Eddie Fisher.) She’s also teensy like Nicks, already proved how good she looks in witchy attire in AHS: Apocalypse, and like her mother—who used to remark about her physical similarities to Miss Stevie–bears a resemblance to the rockstar.
Polydor Records/ TV Insider
You can’t have the perfect Stevie Nicks without the perfect Lindsey Buckingham. The guitarist and one-time lover of Nicks is both the genius and the madman of the band. His obsession with experimentation and perfection is no doubt the reason Fleetwood Mac became the iconic band it is today. But it was also the source of much of the band’s turmoil, especially in the Rumours era. Much of the album deals with his and Nicks’ breakup, and we feel it extra hard because of Buckingham’s good looks and infectious voice.
We think Logan Lerman would be an excellent choice for Lindsey Buckingham. He’s about the right age, and he bears a resemblance to the musician, with his tender blue eyes and soft features. He’s also an incredible actor who can really sell the necessary emotions of the passionate Lindsey. Give him some facial hair, a giant curly wig, and maybe some voice and guitar lessons (we have no idea if he can sing or play any instruments, but he’s a talented guy—and it’s totally fine to lip-sync in this case so long as the performance is right).
W.W.Thaler – H. Weber, Hildesheim/HBO
If there’s one super distinctive thing about Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, it’s his height. The British percussionist stands at a whopping 6 foot 5 inches. That’s actually an inch shorter than actor Nicholas Braun, best known as Cousin Greg on the HBO series Succession. He’d make an excellent Fleetwood in this proposed adaptation. Not only because he’s tall as all hell, but because he actually shares some facial similarities to Fleetwood during the Rumours era—he’s got the right eyebrow and nose combination. Grow out his hair, put him in some bellbottoms, and let him be wild and charming. Oh, and he’ll need a British accent. We know he can do it, and it’d be a fun departure from Greg’s anxious energy.
Fleetwood and Nicks had an affair during the tour for Rumours, and if the show chronicled those events, that would mean some quality time between Braun and Lourd. And let’s be honest… Who wouldn’t want to see that?
Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and songwriter Christine McVie is indisputably the most underrated member of the band. Soft spoken and sweet, she stayed out of the star-power spotlight that Nicks sought, and she’s known for being the peacekeeper, maintaining healthy relationships with all members—including her ex-husband John—throughout their darkest days. A miniseries would need someone who can capture that energy, and who also has her unique look.
That’s why we’d suggest Isidora Goreshter. The actress is best known for her role on Showtime’s Shameless, where she plays the Russian prostitute Svetlana Yevgenivna. Goreshter has Russian ancestry but is an American actress, and she looks almost identical to a young McVie–just give her a blonde wig. If you watch interviews with her, you’ll see how tender and sweet she is. She’d be great for the part, as long as she’s capable of a British accent.
Ueli Frey/BBC Three
The hardest person to cast is probably John McVie. The bassist is notoriously quiet and reserved, so we don’t know too much about his personality. All we really have to go off of are his deep brown eyes; they paint him as someone sensitive and vulnerable. Someone we want to know more about. That’s why we picked British actor Michael Socha for the part. He’s not super famous, but he’s known for television roles on series like Being Human. And those eyes—they’re capable of so much emotion, and remind us of John’s in a big way. He could let us into the private world of the man, and he wouldn’t even need to fake a British accent.
Featured Image: FX Networks