Girls5eva: Is Gray Holland Inspired by an Actual Musician?

Thomas Doherty in Gossip Girl

In its third season ‘Girls5eva’ introduces new elements into its narrative as it follows Dawn, Wickie, Summer, and Gloria on their latest endeavor to reclaim their lost fame as a known pop band from the 90s. The women’s pursuit of fame remains as they return to the road, hopping from city to city in search of new gigs and shows. However, with this new adventure, new lessons also await, with the foursome learning about the drawbacks of stardom in the 2020s. Thomas Doherty’s character, Gray Holland, offers the most efficient insight into the same, well-versed in the intricacies of fame as one of the most sought-after popstars of the time. As such, the popstar is bound to attract curiosity regarding the character’s basis in reality.

Gray Holland is a Fictional Popstar With Real-Life Inspirations

Gray Holland’s character in ‘Girls5eva’ season three is a work of fiction created in service of the narrative. For the most part, his character serves the thematic purpose of showcasing the pitfalls of fame to the members of Girls5eva. While the women remain desperate for their big break, Gray Holland consistently sells out shows on his tour and becomes a staple in news headlines.

Thomas Doherty in Gossip Girl

Nevertheless, Gray’s career remains unfulfilling to him since the artist no longer feels a connection to his art. Instead, his label only treats him as a commodity since his fans are more interested in his persona than his music. Consequently, after Gray’s paths somehow cross with Girls5eva, thanks to a friendship with Gloria, the young man relives the joy and thrill of performing for intimate crowds again.

Gray’s experiences as a superstar musician constantly under public scrutiny through paparazzi and online speculation present a general reality about the culture’s treatment of celebrities. The show’s depiction of the same remains particularly reminiscent of the late 2000s and early 2010s, with Gray’s fictional fame comparable to One Direction when the boyband was at its peak.

In fact, Busy Philipps, who embodies Summer’s central character, compared Gray Holland to a former One Direction member, referencing Doherty’s character as a “Harry Styles-esque pop star character.” With an English accent, a dedicated fanbase, and a love for his craft, Gray certainly seems to share some surface-level resemblance to Styles.

Furthermore, Gray’s iconography as a pop star also shares some similarities with singer-songwriter Conan Gray. Alongside sharing a name with the latter, Gray Holland also has a song, “Inside My Sweater,” that parallels Conan Gray’s hit single, ‘Heather,’ which similarly incorporated sweaters as a part of the popstar’s brand.

Considering ‘Girls5eva’s’ penchant for spoof interpretations of real-life pop culture, it is likely that the same imparted some inspiration in Gray Holland’s character creation. Still, Gray Holland ultimately remains a fictional character even if the fans may be able to spot a few similarities between the character and some real-life personalities.

Read More: Cyrus Nowrasteh’s ‘Sarah’s Oil’ Plot Details, Revealed.