NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Late Night

Anne Hathaway Revealed a Big Difference Between The Idea of You Movie and the Book

Hathaway plays Solène Marchand opposite Nicholas Galitzine's aged-up Hayes Campbell in the adaptation, which she explained to Jimmy Fallon.

By Samantha Vincenty

Anne Hathaway returned to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on April 29, sharing a story about joining The Devil Wears Prada inspiration Anna Wintour onstage at a Gutenberg! show ("She's been incredibly sweet to me, and I'm just very grateful for our relationship," Hathaway said) and bonding with Jimmy Fallon over how competitive their respective kids are. She also talked The Idea of You, the movie adaptation of Robinne Lee's popular May-December romance novel—and revealed a few differences in the main characters' meet-cute. 

How to Watch

Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC weeknights at 11:35/10:35c and next day on Peacock

The Idea of You tells the story of a love affair between an L.A. gallery owner and mom named Solène Marchand and Hayes Campbell, a member of hugely-successful boy band August Moon. The complicated part, at least in the book: Not only is Campbell the object of her tween daughter's affection (hence the title), he's also *much* younger than 39-year-old Marchand at just 20 years old. 

But, as Hathaway revealed while setting up a clip from The Idea of You, the folks behind the movie made some arguably wise tweaks in the adaptation. 

RELATED: Taylor Swift Played Name That Tune and She Knew Every Song But Her Own

Anne Hathaway on the tonight show starring jimmy fallon episode 1962

Anne Hathaway spills a big difference between The Idea of You movie and book

As Hathaway described The Idea of You to Fallon, her character Solène "unexpectedly meets the lead singer of the biggest boy band in the world, a 24-year-old young man named Hayes Campbell." Hayes' age in the movie is already a switch-up: Thought to be loosely based on Harry Styles when he was a One Direction member, Hayes is 20 years old in the book. Making Galitzine's version of the character old enough to enter a bar and rent a car instead feels like a sound choice.

"Hayes Campbell is so beautifully written in the book, and so we knew that we just really needed to find someone really special," Hathaway said of Galitzine, who is 29 but has played younger in 2023's BOTTOMS and Red, White & Royal Blue. "And he walked in, and I just thought, 'Oh, that's Hayes Campbell.'"

But Hayes and Solène's meet-cute is also a major deviation from the book, judging by Hathaway's summary on The Tonight Show. In Lee's book, Solène is chaperoning her daughter's backstage visit at a concert by Hayes' group, and her daughter's still a passionate August Moon fan. 

RELATED: Who's on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon This Week?

In the movie, though, "Mom is chaperoning a Coachella-type thing, like a giant outdoor festival thing," Fallon exposited. 

"Yes. My daughter is off watching St. Vincent because she doesn't like the boy band anymore. She liked them in seventh grade," Hathaway added. A big part of the book's tension is Solène managing her daughters' feelings about the secret relationship, so one wonders how it'll play in the movie.  

Instead of Hayes sidling up to Solène in the green room like in the novel, "I have a backstage pass," Hathaway continued. "I have to go to the bathroom. Somebody tells me where the trailers are, I go and I walk into the wrong trailer."

"Hijinks ensue," Fallon finished. Clearly, the Idea of You movie's enhanced the rom-com vibe, making use of Hathaway's comedic talents.