Nicholas Galitzine addresses speculation that Harry Styles inspired The Idea of You

7 March 2024, 17:17

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Is The Idea of You inspired by Harry Styles? Nicholas Galitzine has addressed speculation that his character Hayes is based on Harry Styles.

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Is Nicholas Galitzine's character in The Idea of You based on Harry Styles? Here's what we know...

The Idea of You, originally published as a book in 2017 by Robinne Lee, is about Soléne, a 40-year-old divorced mother who strikes up a romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, the lead singer of the (fictional) famous pop boyband August Moon.

Since it was released, The Idea of You has been followed by speculation that Hayes was inspired by Harry Styles. With the film adaptation about to be released, that speculation has increased tenfold. Even the fictional band August Moon is drawing direct comparisons to One Direction and their music.

But what is the truth? Is Hayes Campbell directly inspired by Harry Styles? Here's what Nicholas Galitzine had to say about his character in the upcoming movie...

Was The Idea of You's Hayes Campbell inspired by Harry Styles?

Is The Idea of You's Hayes based on Harry Styles?
Is The Idea of You's Hayes based on Harry Styles? Picture: Prime Video, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Speaking to BuzzFeed UK, Nicholas was asked about the film and the speculation that Hayes was "based off of" Harry Styles.

"We tried to create a character that felt maybe akin to Harry in the sense that he is a younger man dating an older woman," he explained. "It was important to create someone who felt new, and original and not a sort of shoddy impersonation of this person that we know really, really well."

The character of Hayes is not directly based on Harry Styles, but the star does appear to provide some inspiration based on author Robinne Lee's previous interview quotes.

In a reply to a question in a GoodReads Q&A, Lee shared that she never actually intended for readers to think Hayes was based on Styles.

"Hayes is very different from Harry Styles. I think people who are aware of Harry and/or want to picture Harry will. And that’s completely fair, as the most successful British boy band of the last ten years is One Direction," she wrote. "And if you’re going to create a twenty-something pop star, you may want to start with a good head of hair and dimples, because why not?"

She doubled down on those comments in a 2020 interview with Vogue. "This was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles," she said. "It was supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself, just at the point that society traditionally writes women off as desirable and viable and whole."

When directly asked if Harry inspired the novel, Lee said: "Inspired is a strong word."

The Idea of You's August Moon appears to have been inspired by One Direction
The Idea of You's August Moon appears to have been inspired by One Direction. Picture: Getty

In a 2017 interview with blogger Deborah Kalb, Lee did not specifically name Harry but she did share that the story came about after she "was up late surfing music videos on YouTube" and "came across the face of a boy I’d never seen in a band I’d never paid attention to".

She added: "I spent a good hour or so Googling and trying to figure out who this kid was and in doing so I discovered that he often dated older women, and so the seed was planted."

Lee also told Vogue that Hayes was partly borrowed from the male lead of the novel she wrote before The Idea of You, she said: "I made him into my dream guy, like Prince Harry, meets Harry [Styles]." Hayes was also apparently inspired by a couple of Lee's ex-boyfriends, a little of her husband, and a dash of Eddie Redmayne.

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