Former One Direction star Harry Styles is taking his entertainment career in an entirely new direction. The singer/actor can now add the role of executive producer to his resume thanks to his involvement in a fall TV series that’s very loosely based on his life.
According to Teen Vogue, Happy Together is the title of an upcoming CBS sitcom that Harry Styles is executive producing. It’s inspired by the British singer’s rise to global super-stardom and the less-than-glamorous living quarters that he called home during the beginning of his boy band career. After winning the hearts of millions of teen girls on The X Factor, Harry Styles moved in with his good friend Ben Winston and his wife. According to People, Harry resided in the couple’s attic for 20 months while work on his new house was being completed.
While the premise of Happy Together is inspired by Harry Styles’ former living situation, CBS has made it clear that this was just a jumping off point for the sitcom.
“That’s where the reality ends,” said the network.
Ben Winston is also producing Happy Together, and he definitely knows his comedy; he’s currently a co-executive producer on James Corden’s successful CBS talk show. Corden and Harry Styles are also close pals, so it’s not surprising that he makes a cameo in Happy Together. You can see Corden and the sitcom’s regular cast in action in the trailer below.
Happy Together stars Aussie actor Felix Mallard (Neighbours) as Cooper, a pop star in need of a place to crash. The couple who takes him in, Peter and Claire, are played by Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl) and Amber Stevens West (Ghosted). According to the Los Angeles Times, Peter is Cooper’s “nerdy accountant.”
In the trailer, Cooper shows up at Peter and Claire’s house unannounced because he and a “Hollywood starlet” with wavy blonde hair have just split up. He says that the paparazzi have been hounding him, and he thinks that the best way to avoid them is by moving in with Peter, an “ordinary guy living an ordinary life.”
Even though CBS claims that Happy Together “is not based on real-life experiences,” art does seem to imitate life in one scene featured in the trailer. During a night out on the town, Claire is photographed dancing with Cooper, and tabloids use this snapshot to suggest that she’s having an affair with the pop star. Compare this moment to a 2016 headline from The Sun that read, “Harry Styles enjoys intimate dinner with his best friend’s pregnant wife and Cindy Crawford.” The pregnant lady pictured dining with Styles was Ben Winston’s wife Meredith.
During a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Ben Winston described what it was really like living with Harry Styles for 20 months. Based on how Ben described himself and his wife, they aren’t much different from Peter and Claire; he said that he and Meredith were living “in the most mundane suburban situation” when Harry began sleeping on a mattress on the floor of their attic.
“No one ever found out, really,” Winston said of his famous house guest. “Even when we went out for a meal, it’s such a sweet family neighborhood, no one dreamed it was actually him. But he made our house a home. And when he moved out, we were gutted.”