Harry Styles is the millennial movie star Hollywood needs
Hollywood wants to move into Harry’s house.
When it comes to movies that don’t feature superheroes, the entertainment industry still clings desperately to aging stars like Brad Pitt (58, “Bullet Train”), Julia Roberts (54, “Ticket to Paradise”) and Tom Cruise (60, “Top Gun: Maverick”) to make money. There are simply no millennials or Gen Z stars who have the power to replace them at the box office.
Although extremely talented, young Oscar nominees such as Timothée Chalamet (26), Saoirse Ronan (28) and Lucas Hedges (25) have yet to prove themselves – a necessity to sell the genre of films postless that tend to struggle to sell. tickets.
Enter Harry Styles.
Along with the former ‘One Direction’ idol’s hit albums and concert tours – he’s currently in the midst of a 15-show stint at Madison Square Garden – Styles, 28, has two movies premiering this month next on separate continents.
Sophisticated dishes aimed at adults, both have the potential for big business. Thanks to Harry.
There’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”) and co-starring Oscar-nominated Florence Pugh, which will debut at the Venice Film Festival. And “My Policeman,” a British drama in which the singer plays a locked-up gay cop, will bow shortly after at the Toronto International Film Festival.
It’s two starring roles in high-profile films with early Oscar buzz for a guy who’s barely acted in his life. Not too bad.
The question on everyone’s mind, though: Can Harry sell tickets?
“Harry Styles has a huge, rabid following,” Karie Bible, media analyst at Exhibitor Relations, told The Post. “As for its box office potential, only time will tell. So many big music stars have bid for movie stardom and it has had mixed results.
It’s true. Painfully true. Rihanna had 14 No. 1 singles, for example, but her attempt to star in “Battleship” in 2012 was a huge box office flop. The Post’s Kyle Smith wrote that she played her role “like waiting for her assistant to come get her a latte.” Movie stardom was not to be under his umbrella… ella… ella.
But the Bible says there is one notable new exception. “Lady Gaga seems to be the only one in recent memory to have pulled off this leap,” she said. “A Star Is Born” grossed $436 million worldwide and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress Oscars. Even his critically eviscerated “House of Gucci” grossed $154 million.
This was largely thanks to his voracious fans, aka “Little Monsters”. Harry obsessives refer to themselves as “Stylers”.
Styles has an unusually broad appeal and a growing number of admirers beyond the wacky. Aside from young women who reliably carve handsome boy-banders, her fandom spans generations and genders. He recently told Rolling Stone that his new hit song “As It Was,” which topped the charts for 10 weeks, suddenly attracted guys to him. The air, he said, gave him “the most number of men I’d ever get to keep me from saying anything”.
Middle-aged women (the Styles demographic said he loved that day) swooned when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and played the cute personification of Aidy Bryant’s dog in a skit video.
This year he was also introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most successful film franchise of all time, as Eros in “Eternals.” While no other movies starring Eros, the god of sex and love, have been announced, you can bet Disney will pay top dollar to bring him back.
Everyone wants this guy. His presence in two major festivals proves how much Hollywood aspires to be associated with him.
TIFF went so far as to preemptively honor the cast of “My Policeman” with the TIFF Tribute Actor Award in early August – ostensibly to ensure Styles hits the red carpet in Canada even he is sleepy after his trip to Italy.
However, more mysterious than the lyrics of “Watermelon Sugar” is whether Styles is good or not. Apart from a small role in 2017’s ‘Dunkirk’, his acting debut and a fun appearance on ‘SNL’, he has never acted before. His appearance as himself on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” does not count.
So, will Styles turn out to be Justin Timberlake on ‘The Social Network’ or Mariah Carrey on ‘Glitter’? We won’t know until the credits for “Don’t Worry Darling” on September 5. And that will be a major factor in his future in cinema.
The Briton is clearly feeling the pressure. He hedged his bets and told Rolling Stone that he had no immediate plans to make any more films.
“I don’t imagine I’ll be making a movie for a while,” he said. “I think there will still be a time when I feel like it…I like doing it in the moment, but I don’t think I will do it a lot.”
If reviews from Venice and Toronto are strong and ticket sales for “Don’t Worry Darling,” in theaters Sept. 23 and “My Policeman,” Oct. 21, are solid, expect Styles changes direction.