Part of me is furious at the arrogance and hubris and part of me is - how ugly would that merch be?
Someone talking about a special interest: have you heard about this?
Me, vibrating fast enough to ascend to the astral plane: yes I have heard about that thing and I know a normal human amount of facts about The Thing and I can talk about The Thing for a normal amount of time yes
“Harry doesn’t go off set. He does his bits and then when other stuff is going on he’s sitting next to you watching the monitor. He’s very, very involved in everything and he’ll push himself. At the end of TPWK he wanted to do a couple more takes at the end to make sure they’d nailed it. We said, ‘We think you’ve got it’, but he just said, ‘Let me go again a couple of times, I want to make sure it’s done to the best of my ability’. He works really hard, he’s great to collaborate with and he doesn’t let up. If it’s not good enough, he’ll carry on going.”
— Gabe Turner about what Harry’s like on set - 15/01
“He works to a really high standard but he’s unbelievably kind to literally everyone, all the time. Even if he’s under pressure, he never drops his standards of the right way to behave and being kind to people. It’s so impressive to work with someone like that. He’s never not a good bloke about whatever it is that he faces. You watch the way he is with the runners, producers, sound people, whoever… He’s treating them with so much love and respect that everyone works as hard as they possibly can to make his vision come true because he’s so joyful to be around. It does sound like a love-in, but that’s the most defining factor – he’s so talented and so nice about it.”
— Gabe Turner about what Harry’s like on set - 15/01
“It was always supposed to be the last thing on the album run as an ending beat, and the album did so well that it just carried on. We just didn’t know when [it would drop]. New Year’s Day 2021 was the perfect release date for us in the end.”
— Gabe Turner about the TPWK music video - 15/01
“I remember in One Direction we used to have like pre-stage rituals like the most stupid things where we used to make Harry say, it was like the words were “let’s do this s(hit)” which is the swear word, which I obviously can’t say and then it would be like “can you say it in the style of my friend’s goldfish?” and then he’d have try and do an impression of my friend’s goldfish. It was like, it kinda calmed the nerves before everybody went on stage.”
— Liam about One Direction’s pre-show rituals - 13/01
I work with actors on a daily basis and if any of their fans would see them in their "normal" state none of them would call them "cinnamon rolls". These people are laser focused on their career and all they do is with their career in mind. If you're at the stage to have a publicist as an actor nothing is a coincidence. Just saying.
I just saw a tweet of some holivia pics and it’s captioned “I miss my parents”....... yeah so do olivias kids
“As a songwriter and artist, for Harry it’s about detail, about pushing yourself to be the best. He’s always got questions: “Why are we doing that? Should we be doing this?” We got to a point during the rehearsal period where I brought in a ballet teacher, really to just get Harry and Phoebe to open themselves up from behind their shoulder blades, have an idea of extension, the lines that extend from your center all the way to the tip of your finger. I’d be saying, “Your arms Harry, your arm line!” Asking him to push his shoulders down, lift his carriage up, extend through his breast. And when he hit those lines, he’d be like, “Oh yeah, that feels different.””
— Paul Roberts about rehearsing with Harry and Phoebe for the TPWK music video - 12/01
“Harry and Phoebe worked with [choreographers] Paul Roberts and Jared Hageman. The four of them rehearsed all the time, remotely, wherever they were. Whatever projects they were doing, the choreographers would go with them and work on their steps. We would get sent video updates for them as they were rehearsing and learning. We were like, “This is amazing.” We had been to the Troxy for the Bugsy Malone Secret Cinema, so we were like, “That would be a great place to do this.””
— Gabe Turner about Harry and Phoebe rehearsing for the TPWK video - 12/01
Like most good stories, Harry Styles’ video for “Treat People With Kindness” starts with Fleabag, specifically with a meeting at Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hit London theatre run, which became the launchpad for the joyous black and white video, released on New Year’s Day.
Working with a team now synonymous with Styles’ videos (choreographer Paul Roberts and stylist Harry Lambert, to name a few), it was directed by brothers Gabe and Ben Turner (part of the production company Fulwell 73), whose work has spanned One Direction videos (“Steal My Girl”, “History”) and Styles’ solo track “Golden” and who produced the documentaries I Am Bolt (2016) and Hitsville: The Making Of Motown (2019).
Here, Gabe and Ben tell us the story of when Harry met Phoebe and how “Treat People With Kindness” came together.
Gabe, you tweeted that the video was shot at the beginning of last year. How did it come together?
Gabe Turner: Harry and I went to watch Phoebe do her live Fleabag show in London. We met Phoebe and she was the kindest, most delightful person ever. The next day I was watching dance videos randomly and one of them was this Nicholas Brothers video from the 1920s. It was two brothers dancing. I said to Harry, “You and Phoebe, question mark.” And he messaged back saying, “Treat People With Kindness”. Then he called Phoebe and was like, “I’ve got this song. I want to do a video. What about me and you doing this dance routine?” And she was like, “Great.“ And then the two of them called Paul Roberts, the choreographer.
Ben Turner: This isn’t always how our life is. This isn’t the regular process. But once the touchpaper got lit, it just went off. Every now and then something comes along where all the dominoes fall perfectly.
GT: Harry and Phoebe worked with [choreographers] Paul Roberts and Jared Hageman. The four of them rehearsed all the time, remotely, wherever they were. Whatever projects they were doing, the choreographers would go with them and work on their steps. We would get sent video updates for them as they were rehearsing and learning. We were like, “This is amazing.” We had been to the Troxy for the Bugsy Malone Secret Cinema, so we were like, “That would be a great place to do this.”
You make it sound easy.
BT: That momentum that Gabe’s describing, that’s what made it easy. It was plenty of hard work, but once it started, it just came together.
What was the turnaround like for the video?
BT: We just did it fast, in the space of a few months.
GT: There is a process for how music videos get made. Directors pitch for them, they come up with their creative, present it and there’s a process to go through. This one was already happening before any of that process. It was pure art from Harry and Phoebe, going, “We’re going to connect and make this amazing thing and it will come out when it comes out.” As a creative to work in that way is totally joyous. You’re just facilitating greatness.
What was it like to shoot?
BT: This is also easy, in a way, because the choreography means that [Harry’s] going to be here at this point and there at that [point]. You knew exactly where they were going to be in the room. We went back and forward a bit on how to weave the story into the choreography so it wasn’t just a dance routine. By the time we got onto set, that was quite well planned. The nice thing is being more prepared, you can try to feed in a bit of latitude to things. I know because we’ve worked with Harry for a long time that the camera doesn’t just love him. The camera wants to marry him and run off with him and probably never come back. So we know to give a little bit of space for that to happen. Obviously to have Phoebe there with him as well is totally bonkers. And, again, the camera loves her. It was exciting for us to talk about how to execute things with someone who we admire so much.
GT: When you go to the Troxy there’s a hidden stage at the top. Ben had an idea of coming down from the hidden stage to reveal Harry, then setting a scene up of [Phoebe] at the top. She was brilliantly collaborative in discussing what kind of role she was going to play.
What notes did you talk through with Phoebe about her character?
BT: This song’s called “Treat People With Kindness”, so it feels like there’s a distance to cover in the narrative. You start on the Marsellus Wallace shot, out of Pulp Fiction. We wanted to get a sense that this was a kind of tough guy and there was the opposite of people being treated with kindness around the place. But the conversation went from [Phoebe] being a character that stood up to him to, actually, if you look at it, [she] wipes a tear off of his eye, which is so beautiful.
GT: Ben was just obsessed with casting the back of people’s heads for the first shot.
“Feeling good in my skin/ I just keep on dancing,” Harry Styles sings in his latest single, “Treat People With Kindness.” And in the song’s exuberant music video – which has garnered 17 million YouTube views and counting since its debut on New Year’s Day – he does just that: Wearing a sequined jacket and bow tie, he chassés, spins and flutters jazz hands like an MGM musical star (with a little help from his equally debonair partner, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge).
Styles shot the video in early 2019 after several weeks of training with choreographer Paul Roberts, a collaborator since his One Direction days. “I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew this could be something special,” says Roberts, a veteran stage director and choreographer who’s worked on videos and tours for the likes of Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Diana Ross, and the Spice Girls (their Spiceworld stadium tour).
Watching the explosive fan reaction to Styles’s little known dance talents – including from the Spice Girls, who’ve “sent lovely messages" about the video – Roberts says it seems like “Treat People With Kindness” arrived at the precise right moment. “Most people’s comments are, ‘I’ve not felt that happy for three and a half minutes in a long time,’ or ‘I smiled from ear to ear the whole way through.’ It’s a positive light.”
He spoke to Billboard about Styles’ intensive training process – and why he wouldn’t be surprised to see him dancing onstage again.
There’s been one pretty overwhelming reaction to this video: “This is the guy who was in the group that insisted they couldn’t dance?!” Did you expect this kind of reaction to Harry dancing?
I’ve been with Harry for 10 years: I was with the One Direction boys from the beginning the whole way through their career before they took the hiatus, and they always made a very conscious decision that they didn’t want choreography as part of their brand – but they did want a kind of disheveled organization in order to allow the cameras and the lighting to stand a chance in terms of presenting them in the best manner possible.
What was very evident to me was that all five of them, and then it obviously became four, they’ve all got their own magic. The only time I’ve experienced that was when I worked with the Spice Girls. I always knew that they had special skills aside from what they were in One Direction, whether it was movement, songwriting, being able to handle the business side of things. For such young lads they were very astute and very decisive. So, getting together with Harry – he’s a bit of an alchemist, is Harry. Everything he turns his hand to turns to gold.
Where did the initial dance-centric concept come from?
Harry and the directors, Ben and Gabe [Turner], sent me a video link to the Nicholas Brothers scene from Stormy Weather and Harry asked me, “How long do you think it would take to dance like this?” I was like, “OK, are you being serious?” “Yeah, I’m being serious.”
That is probably one of the most standout dance sequences ever captured on film – so I knew we were aiming high. I said, “Why don’t we go into a studio and let’s workshop some choreography, some moves, some short sequences, and see what your ability is, see how we can tailor this to make you look the best you can possibly look.” Obviously it would take some investment in terms of rehearsal and commitment, I told him it would be mentally and physically exhausting, but I thought, “My God yeah, let’s do it; this will be an adventure.”
How long did the whole process take?
We started in mid-January 2019, and we rehearsed and workshopped for about four to five weeks before the shoot, every day. Both Harry and Phoebe had other things going on, so, for instance, Phoebe was working on the new Bond movie in Canada, so I sent my assistant to Canada to work with her. I stayed in the U.K. with Harry, and then we went to L.A. where Harry shot two more videos, for “Watermelon Sugar” and “Falling.”
At the end of the “Watermelon Sugar” shoot, he wrapped, got in his car, came to the dance studio and we rehearsed into the night. Knowing how short a time you sometimes get with artists even for really big performances, I thought the rehearsals would dilute and we’d lose momentum, but both Phoebe and Harry were so committed.
“It’s funny: We spent a couple days apart – he had to go off and do a gig somewhere – and I was like, “I hope you’re rehearsing when you’ve got some downtime, dude!” And he sent me a picture in the gym with his arms in the most beautiful balletic arm line! I was like, “Yes, by George, you’ve got it!””
— Paul Roberts about rehearsing with Harry for the TPWK music video - 12/01
“I mean, I think with Harry Styles, anything is possible, is it not? I mean, I’m sure because he’s tasted the dance, he’ll inject that along the line in his career. It won’t necessarily be out-and-out dancing, but I guess it’s a bit like Bowie used to do, isn’t it? It’s the showmanship and presentation of the performance. Who knows? He’s just so open-minded and open-hearted — and because he’s so open it allows the universe to come back at him and he’s able to do anything he sets his mind to.”
— Paul Roberts about Harry possibly doing Broadway - 12/01
Why would a actor coming out as anything but straight ruin their career. So many shows and big movies have main gay characters and relationships now a days. If they are happy to portray gay characters and relationships then why would it matter if the actor is gay. I just don’t understand. It’s not like everyone is just gonna not go and watch something because the actor is gay.
THERE IS NO *IF*
- louis has 37 songwriting credits for 1D (contrasted with liam’s 34, harry’s 21, niall’s 16, zayn’s 11)
- the sound changed significantly with MM, their third album, when savan got the boot….
- …and who was responsible for savan getting the boot? who was butting heads with savan about their sound? that’s right, LOUIS.
- john ryan who kept working with 1D described the third album (when louis and liam finally got to have a say) as a pivotal one that gained them credibility and compared it to the beatles being taken more seriously.
- louis and liam being reported as the biggest 1d earners as of savan’s departure because they wrote the most songs on the album
- i guess the band themselves were lying when they said louis wrote the most songs on Graham Norton
- i guess liam was lying when he said louis was the voice for the band and his talent was in steering their sound?
- “The elder statesman of the group, Louis Tomlinson, 20, is also known in inside circles as the defacto leader and resident perfectionist in One Direction. In our conversation about being named Billboard’s Top New Artist of 2012, Tomlinson doesn’t exactly dispute the labels. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I have to be kind of be on board with every minor detail and [I’m] quite opinionated,” he said. “It’s quite important for me personally to be involved with the whole project.” Billboard, 2012
- “As one of One Direction’s most prolific songwriters — along with Liam Payne and 1D’s steady roster of songwriter-producer collaborators like Julian Bunetta, Jamie Scott, John Ryan, and more — Louis Tomlinson plays a huge part in determining the band’s sound, one which has grown leaps and bounds since their debut album.“ EW, 2015
when will you anti-louies stop following me and actually follow the tpwk™ proverb instead of treating it like a fashion statement?
At this pivotal moment, One Direction made it clear that they wanted a greater say in their artistic future. Kotecha admits he was wary at first, but the band was determined.
And the songs 1D helped write (“Last First Kiss,” “Back for You,” and “Summer Love”) remain among the LP’s best.
“You saw that they caught the bug and were really good at it,” Kotecha says of their songwriting. “And moving forward, you got the impression that that was the way for them.”
But it was also time for a creative shift. Even Kotecha knew that from his boy-band history: Album three is, after all, when you start moving on. One Direction was ready, too. Kotecha credits Louis, the oldest member of the group, for “shepherding them into adulthood, away from the very poppy stuff of the first two albums. He was leading the charge to make sure that they had a more mature sound. And at the time, being in it, it was a little difficult for me, Rami and Carl to grasp — but hindsight, that was the right thing to do.” — Rolling Stone, 22 July 2020
He [Louis] was much more with One Direction behind the scenes steering the ship of which way the music [went]. Massively. And people don’t know enough about that to be honest with you. Several moves I would’ve made that we would fall out about, he was more right than I was.