Anne Hathaway Says Rom-Com “The Idea of You” Has Nothing to Do with Harry Styles

Despite author Robinne Lee and actor Nicholas Galitzine saying his character was inspired by the pop star, Hathaway denies the connection

<p>Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images; JMEnternational/Getty Images</p> (Left-right:) Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine on March 16; Harry Styles on Feb. 11

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images; JMEnternational/Getty Images

(Left-right:) Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine on March 16; Harry Styles on Feb. 11

Anne Hathaway is setting the record straight when it comes to her new rom-com, The Idea of You.

Based on Robinne Lee's 2017 novel of the same name about a divorced mom having a whirlwind romance with a younger pop star, the film adaptation has had fans drawing comparisons to Harry Styles.

When asked about The Idea of You’s connection with Styles — and his relationship with Olivia Wilde — Hathaway, 41, reportedly told Extra, “No, just no.”

The movie is about “what it takes to recover from a broken heart,” said the actress, who was interviewed alongside her costar and on-screen love interest, Nicholas Galitzine.

Related: Nicholas Galitzine Says First Chemistry Read with Anne Hathaway for The Idea of You Was 'Transformative' (Exclusive)

“My character had her heart just absolutely smashed by her ex-husband, and it wasn’t just that her heart that got broken,” Hathaway continued.

The Oscar-winner added, “She’s raised a great kid, she’s built a business... She’s doing a lot of things right, and then when her husband does this awful thing to her, she has to wonder if she was ever really loved in the first place. So that’s a long time to live with that question.”

Hathaway also called her character, Solène Marchand, “a former people pleaser” who “made a lot of kind of grown-up choices throughout her life. She got pregnant really young and she’s like, ‘I’m gonna raise this baby,’ and she took it really seriously. And you know what? She did great.”

In Lee’s book and the Michael Showalter-helmed adaptation, Solène takes her daughter to the Coachella Music Festival to see the famous boy band, August Moon. The author did confirm that the lead singer character, 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, was inspired by Styles, a former member of international sensation One Direction. 

The Idea of You was “never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles,” Lee, 49, told Vogue in 2020. “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.”

But, the actor-author admitted, Hayes was imagined as a “Prince Harry-meets-Harry [Styles]” after she discovered that Styles “often dated older women.”

Related: Harry Styles' Dating History: From Kendall Jenner to Olivia Wilde

<p>Alisha Wetherill/Prime;  Kevin Mazur/Getty Images</p> (Left-right:) Nicholas Galitzine in "The Idea of You"; Harry Styles in 2023

Alisha Wetherill/Prime; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

(Left-right:) Nicholas Galitzine in "The Idea of You"; Harry Styles in 2023

Galitzine, 29, also confirmed that he was inspired by Styles when crafting his depiction of Hayes. The Red, White & Royal Blue actor told Buzzfeed he and the filmmakers “tried to create a character that felt akin” to the real-life pop star, particularly “in a sense that he’s a younger man dating older women.”

Galitzine then told Variety earlier this month that “it’s not a comparison that I’ve ever made,” despite fans online noticing further similarities between the character and Styles upon The Idea of You’s trailer release.

The fictional Hayes, the actor said, “is a very different character” from Styles. “And we want him to exist in his own world,” he explained.

<p>Michael Buckner/SXSW Conference & Festivals via Getty</p> Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway at the SXSW premiere of "The Idea of You" on March 15

Michael Buckner/SXSW Conference & Festivals via Getty

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway at the SXSW premiere of "The Idea of You" on March 15

Related: From Fifty Shades of Grey to After: 5 Fan Fiction Stories That Became Published Novels

Hathaway also told Extra more about her character, who begins her romance with Hayes “thinking it’s just gonna be a bit of fun.” Then, she added, Solène “realizes it’s something more, and if she’s gonna actually participate in it, she’s gonna have to let some other things go.”

The actress-producer added that Galitzine has “such a good voice,” and performed his own vocals in both the audition and the movie. “Not only could he sing, he brought his own guitar,” Hathaway shared. “There was an audition song that we were like, ‘If you guys could prepare this.' He’s like, ‘I have a different song.’ He said it with that kind of cockiness.”

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The Idea of You will premiere May 2 on Prime Video.

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