By Tom Lamont
The former One Direction star talks about success at 16, dating ‘normals’ and his right to rock a dress
Here he comes, one of the planet’s most conspicuous young men, stepping out of the London drizzle and into a dusty suburban pub. If there was an old vinyl record player in the place it would scratch quiet. Instead, the two-dozen punters turn hushed and intent, as if a unicorn has just trotted in off the street, and nobody wants to scare it off. “That’s frickin’ Harry frickin’ Styles,” whispers a young man at the bar, “in this pub.” The pop star is asked what he wants to drink and in a voice already inclined to undertones, quietly orders a cup of tea.
A former teen star who is now 25, a happier and rockier solo artist since his boyband One Direction split a few years ago, Styles has hidden himself inside a large, swamp-green parka. He’s tall, around the 6ft mark, and carries himself with a slight stoop. If Styles could only do something about his appearance from the neck up (elfin brow, wide Joker smile, a face that’s recognisable across multiple continents) you sense he could drink in pubs like this anonymously enough. As it is, cover blown, he removes the parka. A woolly jumper beneath has a picture of the planet Saturn on it. Maybe they’ve heard of Styles there, too.