Is “The Idea of You” Based on Harry Styles? Breaking Down the References

Fans have drawn many parallels between Nicholas Galitzine's character Hayes and Harry Styles

<p>Kevin Mazur/OneD/Getty; Alisha Wetherill/Prime</p>

Kevin Mazur/OneD/Getty; Alisha Wetherill/Prime

The first look at Prime Video’s The Idea of You is here, and fans are already drawing comparisons to Harry Styles.

The Idea of You, which is based on Robinne Lee's 2017 novel of the same name, stars Anne Hathaway as a mom named Solène who takes her daughter to Coachella Music Festival and ends up falling for international popstar Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), resulting in a whirlwind romance.

The book and its movie adaptation has received considerable attention from fans, who liken Galitzine’s character Hayes to Styles in his One Direction days.

Though Lee has denied that her book is directly based on Styles, the upcoming film certainly draws pointed parallels, from Hayes’ tattoos to the music team behind the fictional band August Moon.

Here’s everything to know about the film’s references to Styles and what the cast has said.

How does The Idea of You reference Harry Styles?

<p>Prime Video</p>

Prime Video

When the trailer released on March 6, fans immediately noticed similarities between Hayes and Styles, with one particular scene depicting Hayes on stage with August Moon bearing a resemblance to Styles’ performances with One Direction back in 2013. Additionally, Prime Video shared a poster of August Moon that featured Galitzine striking a pose similar to one associated with a memorable picture of Styles during his 1D era.

What has the author of The Idea of You said about Harry Styles references?

Lee has spoken about the possible Style source material before; though she denies the rumor that her book was based on Styles fanfiction, she has shared that the character of Hayes does draw from the former One Direction-er.

Speaking with Vogue in December 2020, she said she made Hayes into her “dream guy” including a mix of “Prince Harry-meets-Harry [Styles]” and a little bit of Eddie Redmayne. She added that the initial idea for the book came after watching countless YouTube videos of Styles and learning more about his personal life online. After discovering that Styles “often dated older women,” she said “the seed was planted” for her story.

However, she maintains The Idea of You was “never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles ... 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.”

What has The Idea of You star Nicholas Galitzine said about Harry Styles references?

<p> Amazon MGM Studios</p>

Amazon MGM Studios

Meanwhile, Galitzine has confirmed that he was inspired by Styles when crafting his character Hayes. During an interview with Buzzfeed, the Purple Hearts actor said he and the film's creators “tried to create a character that felt akin to Harry” particularly “in a sense that he’s a younger man dating older women,” referring Styles’ former relationships.

However, he noted that the inspiration didn't turn into imitation: “It was important to create someone who felt new and original and not a shoddy impersonation of this person,” he added.

Is anyone from Harry Styles’ team involved in The Idea of You?

Styles is not directly tied to the film, however, the movie did enlist some of his previous songwriters. Carl Folk and Savan Kotecha, who previously penned One Direction’s hit single “What Makes You Beautiful,” are listed as the producers and composers for “Dance Before We Walk,” which is sung by Hayes’ fictional band August Moon in the film.

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