Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway almost kiss in 'The Idea of You'.
(Prime Video)

Is ‘The Idea of You’ About Harry Styles? Let’s Unpack These Theories

Drawing inspiration from people and happenings in the real world is normal for any author. After watching Anne Hathway’s new romantic comedy movie The Idea of You, fans could not help but parallel the main character, Hayes Campbell, to real-life British singer Harry Styles. So, is it a story inspired by Harry?

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Videos centering on theories around Harry Styles and The Idea of You‘s Hayes Campbell have been all over the internet. But is The Idea of You a Harry Styles fan-fiction come to life? Well, the answer to that is partly yes and no, and here’s why!

Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine) is a member of a sensational boy band called August Moon. While there are several boy bands out there aside from One Direction, which Harry Styles was once part of, fans were determined to connect Hayes to Harry. For fans of Harry, it seems like every bit of Hayes’ character mirrors Styles’ real-life gestures and history.

A Harry Styles fan generously connected all the dots between Hayes’ character and Harry Styles, which already garnered thousands of views:

To summarize, aside from coming from a boy band deeply (and sometimes obsessively) loved by teenagers and teenagers at heart, Hayes Campbell is also British and has tattooed arms, which is similar to Styles. Also, after realizing his true passion, Hayes pursued a career as a solo artist just like Styles. Lastly, Styles’ experience dating older women is considered to be the backbone of all these speculations.

Styles is known to have dated women older than him. His relationship with Olivia Wilde made headlines globally, with Harry stans bullying Wilde online. However, despite the uncanny similarities between Hayes and Harry Styles, the author of the 2017 novel on which the movie was based, Robinne Lee, refused to acknowledge the whole narrative around The Idea of You as Harry Styles fan fiction.

Lee told TODAY.com that The Idea of You being called a Harry Styles fan fiction is merely used for clickbait. She said in an interview with TODAY.com, “Everyone just goes straight to Harry Styles. I feel like that’s the person that’s going to get you the most clicks.” She also clarified during the interview that there is a Harry Style reference. However, 23 other people were utilized as an inspiration for the story.

Lee mentioned several celebrities that inspired Hayes Campbell and the whole of August Moon’s characters, including Eddie Redmayne, Michael Hawkins, Duran Duran, John Taylor, and Simon Le Bon.

How did the rumors about ‘The Idea of You’ being a Harry Styles fan fiction start?

Lee said during an interview with Deborah Kalb after the publication of the novel in 2017, “I was up late surfing music videos on YouTube when I came across the face of a boy I’d never seen in a band I’d never paid attention to, and it was so aesthetically perfect it took me by surprise. It was like … art.”

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 later jokingly told her husband that he found the ‘perfect guy’ whom she would leave him and their two kids for, and when Lee mentioned that the ‘perfect guy’ was half his age, her husband told her that the whole idea would make a great book. Hence, The Idea of You was born.

Although no names of any artists or Styles were brought up during the interview, fans quickly assumed that it was indeed Styles from whom Lee found inspiration since she started writing the novel in 2014, which was the peak era of One Direction and Harry Styles as the heartthrob lead singer of the band.

nick and anne arms around each other in the idea of you
(Prime Video)

The Idea of You explores the challenges and, at the same time, the beauty of life when turning 40. Solène (Anne Hathway) is a divorced single mom who boldly welcomes her 40s by rediscovering herself and detaching her ways from the so-called ‘traditional’ by unapologetically choosing to fall in love with someone who is almost half her age (this part might be off to some, but they wouldn’t be able to deny how splendid Anne and Nicholas played the roles.)

Harry Styles fans need to relax with all of these speculations. Do you really want to hate a film that portrays a happy woman in her 40s? No, you don’t. Just watch and enjoy because The Idea of You is unexpectedly the romance-comedy film we never knew we needed.


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Author
Jeanne Mariz Fetalco
A 20-something-year-old who is a romance, shonen, and slice-of-life enthusiast. A writer, former university instructor, an avid anime fan, a Swiftie by heart, and someone who will drop anything (except work) for a good TV show, movie, manga, or book. Her love for anime has led her into situations where she argues with 10-year-olds over whether Neji Hyuga's death was justifiable or not in Naruto. A good day for her is having her regular coffee and none of her favorite characters have died ;)