Reinterpreting the Inspirations Behind “The Idea of You”

Reinterpreting the Inspirations Behind “The Idea of You”

Upon reflection, Robinne Lee, the author of The Idea of You, has expressed regret over initially attributing the story’s inspiration solely to Harry Styles. In a recent interview, Lee clarified that the character Hayes Campbell was not merely based on the former One Direction member. She emphasized that Harry Styles was just one of many influences that contributed to the creation of Hayes, debunking the notion that her work is fan fiction. Lee asserted in an interview with EW, “When I’m writing for Hayes, I’m not picturing Harry Styles,” indicating a broader spectrum of inspirations.

Lee delved into the diverse sources that shaped the character of Hayes Campbell, portrayed by Nicholas Galitzine in the film adaptation. She revealed that Hayes embodies qualities from various real-life figures, such as JFK Jr. during his romance with Daryl Hannah in the Hamptons, as well as the allure of Michael Hutchence while dating Helena Christensen. Furthermore, Lee disclosed her fascination with Duran Duran during her youth, incorporating elements of Simon, John, and other band members into Hayes. This intricate blend of inspirations adds depth and complexity to the character.

The debut novel, released in 2017 and adapted into a film starring Anne Hathaway, explores the unconventional romance between a 40-year-old woman and a boy band member. Despite Styles being a prominent inspiration for Hayes, Lee highlighted that other influences played a role in shaping the character’s persona. She remarked how different facets of various individuals contributed to making Hayes a multi-dimensional character, distinct from any single real-life figure. This complexity adds richness to the narrative and enhances the depth of the story.

Lee emphasized the distinction between her fictional character Hayes and the real-life inspirations behind him, particularly Harry Styles. While acknowledging the resonance of Styles with audiences, she clarified that Hayes is a product of imagination rather than a replica of any specific individual. Lee asserted, “He is not Harry in my head when I’m writing for him. He is not Harry and he’s not living Harry’s life,” reaffirming the autonomy of her creation from the confines of reality. This separation allows for creative freedom and the development of a unique, compelling character.

In reevaluating the inspirations behind The Idea of You, Robinne Lee sheds light on the complexity and depth of her character Hayes Campbell, dispelling misconceptions about the novel being mere fan fiction. By drawing from a diverse array of influences, Lee has crafted a multi-dimensional character that captivates readers and transcends simplistic comparisons to real-life figures.


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