“The Idea of You” author regrets revealing Harry Styles as inspiration: 'It's unfortunate'

"I think it's unfortunate because it's being used as clickbait, and when I'm writing for Hayes, I'm not picturing Harry Styles," Robinne Lee says.

There's a Fine Line between fan fiction and a story inspired by a celebrity, and The Idea of You author Robinne Lee wants to make it clear that her book — which is now a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine — is not Harry Styles fan fiction.

Lee's 2017 smash hit The Idea of You centers on 40-year-old divorced single mom Solène and her unexpected but extremely sexy love affair with 24-year-old British boy band member Hayes Campbell. The author previously revealed that she was up late one night watching music videos online and was inspired by Styles. As she researched more about One Direction, she combined her findings with a few other real men, including Prince Harry, Eddie Redmayne, some of her exes, and her husband to make up the fictional character of Hayes. But ever since she name-dropped Styles, The Idea of You has been branded as "Harry Styles fan fiction," much to her disappointment.

<p>Getty;Alisha Wetherill/Prime</p>

Getty;Alisha Wetherill/Prime

"I don't consider it fan fiction at all," Lee tells Entertainment Weekly. "Harry was one of multiple people who went into creating Hayes Campbell — he was the only one in a British boy band that was current at the time, I guess, and so that's what people have latched onto. It's unfortunate because it's being used as clickbait, and when I'm writing for Hayes, I'm not picturing Harry Styles."

Lee explains that she uses little bits and pieces from real people, either celebrities or people she personally knows, to make an amalgamation that becomes Hayes, and Styles wasn't as prominent as other sources of inspiration.

"He's very much like JFK Jr. when he was dating Daryl Hannah, and they were hanging out in the Hamptons — that was definitely the Hamptons Hayes," Lee says. "And then there's some Michael Hutchence sexiness when he was dating Helena Christensen. And I was obsessed with Duran Duran when I was young, so there's a lot of Simon, and there's a lot of John, and there's a lot of actual Duran Duran Easter eggs throughout the entire book."

And because she was raised by parents from Jamaica before its independence from the British, she has "always been a bit of an Anglophile" and had an "attraction to the wealthy British aristocracy and that lifestyle and posh people, especially posh boys.

<p>Alisha Wetherill/Prime Video</p> Nicholas Galitzine (center) in 'The Idea of You'

Alisha Wetherill/Prime Video

Nicholas Galitzine (center) in 'The Idea of You'

"The boys I knew growing up, most of them were preppy kids from the East Coast, but then we had a couple of guys from Eton, and there was so much mystery around that," Lee says. "Just the accents and the way they dressed and the way they held themselves was so charming, and that's always been my thing, so I wanted Hayes to be this posh kid from this well-to-do family, from Kensington. So, to me, it wasn't anyone that's out there. It's picking and choosing what I wanted from different people."

While she didn't think twice at the time about revealing Styles as one of her many sources of inspiration, she now regrets it because of how it's taken on a life of its own.

"But I think people were going to put that on it anyway because he was the only one of my inspirations that was currently in a British boy band that was popular at that time," she adds. "Some of the other guys are still in bands and alive and out there on tour, but they don't get named ever. And that's fine with me. You create your character and you make him what you want to make him. He feels very real to me, and I think Harry's just what people gravitated to. But he's not Harry in my head when I'm writing for him. He is not Harry and he's not living Harry's life. He's very much his own person to me."

The Idea of You is now streaming on Prime Video.

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