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Hayes In 'The Idea Of You' Is Supposed To Be Harry Styles, Correct?

The Idea of You, based on the 2017 novel of the same name, is about to be the second best movie of the year after Challengers. I said it. Anne Hathaway going to Coachella and falling for a hot, young lead singer is an A++ plot. I worship my Princess Diaries queen and live for boy bands, so catch me sprinting to Prime Video with popcorn and fangirl energy on May 2. Yes, the band in the movie is called August Moon, but they are seriously reminding me of a certain record-breaking group birthed on The X factor in 2010. Those of us who were budding tweens at the time completely lost our minds for the next several years.

Kings Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson left an indelible mark on pop culture history during their 2010-2016 One Direction run. They’ve understandably inspired many a fanfic, one of which led to the unhinged After movie series. I’ve recently been spending my time watching The Idea of You trailer on repeat and embracing the 1D nostalgia. All of us Directioners are having the same thought: The main character Hayes (played by Nicholas Galitzine) is supposed to be Harry, right? Turns out there’s not a simple yes or no answer.

Hayes Is Giving Major Harry Styles Energy

Hayes is a gorgeous, tatted man who’s a lead singer in a five-boy band, has a habit of dating older women, and performs at Coachella. Yeah, sounds like someone else I know. Not to mention, One Direction songwriters Carl Folk and Savan Kotecha wrote “Dance Before We Walk” for The Idea of You. (They’re the gods responsible for “What Makes You Beautiful.”) Also, Nicholas is striking a historic Harry pose in the Prime Video August Moon poster. He’s leaning forward with a finger on his chin, and his bandmates are resting their arms on his shoulders. Coincidence? I think not.

Did The Idea Of You Author Base Hayes On Harry Styles?

The Idea of You author, Robinne Lee, has said that Hayes was partially inspired by Harry. In 2020, she described Hayes to Vogue as a “Prince Harry-meets-Harry [Styles]” figure. There ya go. Robinne also shared that she got the idea for the book after binging Harry YouTube videos and doing a deep dive on his stardom. (We’ve all been there.) The singer’s history of dating older women gave the author “the seed” for her story, she said. So yes, Hayes is based on Harry. I mean, the H names make it even more obvious…

Robinne did clarify that the focus of the story is supposed to be Anne’s character, Solène, “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.” It’s an important message — we are not too old to date Harry or other musical heartthrobs. Seriously though, love that for Solène.

Did Nicolas Galitzine Base His Idea Of You Character On Harry Styles?

Honestly, Nicholas is giving us some mixed signals regarding the Harry influence or lack thereof. While chatting with Buzzfeed, he did say that he “tried to create a character that felt akin to Harry,” adding, “in a sense that he’s a younger man dating older women.” Ah yes, that’s the only similarity. Not the Britishnesss, music, performance mannerisms, or life story. The actor emphasized that he wanted to “create someone who felt new and original and not a shoddy impersonation of this person.” Hmm. Maybe he’s getting scared of Directioners? Or Harry’s opinion? Lol.

A few days later, he had a different answer for Variety. “It’s funny because it’s not a comparison that I’ve ever made,” Nicholas said. Did you not just make it to Buzzfeed though?? Also, it would literally be impossible to not ever make that comparison. He continued, “But people really like to make it. Hayes Campbell, the man I’m playing, is a very different character and we want him to exist in his own world.” It’s giving delayed press training, I hate to say.

Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost is an entertainment writer at Betches. As a teenage girl in her twenties, she spends her time stanning Olivia Rodrigo, baking cakes for award shows, and refusing to ever leave her Reputation era.