Harry Styles and the One Direction guys have been viewed as little more than a money-making machine by some sections of the media, who scoff that the X Factor-formed band were created to put money in the pocket of Simon Cowell and thus limited in terms of what they were able to do musically and vocally.
The band members are all great vocalists and have honed their songwriting skills since the Up All Night and Take Me Home days, but that has not stopped many from sneering that the boys were selected for their looks and will fade from the headlines rapidly as their young fan base grows up and moves on.
Louis’ beloved granddad Len played on this perception recently when he joked about the One Direction hiatus, which some have speculated will end in an actual breakup.
“They will come back. Even if it’s only to make a lot of money.”
— One Direction (@zo16_) April 6, 2016
The Daily Mail reported in 2014 that One Direction are the richest boy band in British music history. The Mirror tells us that One Direction earn a whopping £202k (about $290k USD) per day and that Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan have invested their money wisely.
Now it has emerged that Harry Styles will be developing his post-One Direction career on two fronts — film and music. And it sounds like the talented Harry will be delivering his new material with such refinement and finesse that critics may just have to shut up about the whole money-making boybander thing.
Firstly, Harry reportedly plans to swerve sharply away from the “bubblegum” sound of One Direction.
Hollywood Life reports that Harry is taking an experimental approach in the studio, “trying out new things,” and that the ex-boybander will deliver an edgier, rock’n’roll sound when he releases his first solo album early next year.
“Harry has been very busy putting the finishing touches to his solo career, recording new material in London and just trying out new things. It’s a new chapter in his life, and he wants to make sure that everything is right as he makes his next step. Harry is looking at Robbie Williams, and how he achieved success outside of Take That. He’s working with the best songwriters and producers, aiming for a more rockier sound that’ll be a lot different than what fans expect.”
Harry is likely to hold on to the famously devoted Directioner cohort of fans as he expands into this edgy new territory. The One Direction hunk will also likely grow his cohort of listeners to include more mature fans, finally silencing the scoffers who have dismissed the boys by arguing that Directioners are “all 12-year-old girls” who wouldn’t know good music if it walked up and introduced itself.
Rock-n-roll Harry may finally get the respect he deserves. And if reports are to be believed, Harry is taking an equally serious and dedicated approach to his film career, one that is likely to earn the respect of pundits.
“Harry is used to living the life of luxury so this will be a very interesting experience He knows this boot camp at sea is a big part of the job and is keen to get stuck in. But this will be tough and producers are trying to make life on board as realistic as possible.”
Article about Harry staying a few nights prior to shooting in a boat with the cast to get into character – yoli https://t.co/kJYiMQISQE
— 1D Updates. (@1DLittleGang) April 13, 2016
In order to get into character for his role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a film about a clash between Nazi and British troops during World War II, Harry has agreed to leave his comfortable life and tough it out on a boat with the rest of the cast.
This dedication may impress Hollywood pundits — there is a perception that many contemporary actors are vacuous individuals whose personal circumstances are so comfortable and mainstream that they are incapable of delivering a riveting, emotionally compelling performance. The great cultural critic Camille Paglia has argued that modern stars are “really quite ordinary” due to the fact that they are all products of the same star-making machinery. Paglia thinks the golden age of Hollywood in the 50s produced better stars because people “had real lives before they even entered acting.”
This has resulted in an interesting trend — actors today are determined to prove that they are not lightweights. Often they will undergo strenuous ordeals to try to demonstrate their seriousness and commitment, such as gaining or losing massive amounts of weight or learning a new skill like swordplay or piano just for a role.
A good example of this is Charlize Theron, who gained 30 pounds and transformed her appearance for her role as a serial killer in Monster. Theron was rewarded with an Oscar for her efforts.
“In addition to shaving off her eyebrows, donning prosthetic teeth and tons of blotchy makeup, former model Charlize Theron packed on 30 pounds to portray real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film ‘Monster.’ ‘I first began stuffing myself with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but after a while I got sick of them,’ Theron told Guerrilla Traveler. ‘I love potato chips, so that was a good thing for me. I’m a salty girl so I had my secret stash with me of potato chips at all times.’ Theron, who was completely unrecognizable in the role, won the best-actress Oscar for her performance.”
Wouldn’t it be great if Harry Styles silenced his critics by winning both a Grammy and an Oscar?
[Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Images]