The Inspiration Behind “The Idea of You” Character: Not Just Harry Styles

The Inspiration Behind “The Idea of You” Character: Not Just Harry Styles

Author Robinne Lee, who penned The Idea of You, expressed regret over initially attributing the inspiration for her character Hayes Campbell to Harry Styles. In a recent interview, Lee clarified why the fictional British boy band member should not be solely associated with the former One Direction sensation.

Lee made it clear that her creation of Hayes Campbell was not merely fan fiction based on Harry Styles. She emphasized that while Styles was one of the influences behind the character, there were other real-life personalities that contributed to Campbell’s development.

The author revealed that Campbell, portrayed by Nicholas Galitzine in the film adaptation, was a blend of various individuals. Lee cited references like JFK Jr. during his time with Daryl Hannah and the allure of Michael Hutchence while dating Helena Christensen as inspirations for the character.

Drawing from her own personal interests, Lee incorporated elements of her admiration for Duran Duran into Campbell’s persona. She sprinkled the book with nods to the band’s members, Simon, and John, as well as hidden Easter eggs throughout the narrative.

Lee’s debut novel, released in 2017, explored the complex relationship between a 40-year-old woman and a boy band member. While acknowledging Styles’ popularity at the time of the book’s publication, the author stressed that Campbell’s characterization went beyond being a mere reflection of the former One Direction member.

The author expressed dismay over the oversimplification of Campbell’s character as solely inspired by Styles. Despite the attention garnered by mentioning Styles as an influence, Lee emphasized that Campbell was a multifaceted creation with layers drawn from a variety of sources.

Robinne Lee’s insights into the creative process behind Hayes Campbell in The Idea of You shed light on the intricate layers that shaped the character. While Harry Styles may have been one of the inspirations, the nuanced portrayal of Campbell goes beyond a simple resemblance to the former boy band star.


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