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One Day is Netflix‘s latest will-they-won’t-they romance series to leave viewers both swooning and crying. If you binged all 14 episodes as soon as they dropped on the streamer earlier this month, we can understand why you might be craving more. However, it’s important to take note of this tale’s origins — and whether or not they were based on a true story. Luckily, we have you covered on everything you need to know.

Starring Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, One Day follows leads Emma and Dexter from their first meeting in 1988 through the ups and downs of their relationship over the following two decades. The fun part? Each episode takes place on the same day (July 15), but in a different year.

So, is One Day based on a true story? What inspired the characters in One Day? Keep reading for more information.

Is One Day based on a true story?

No, One Day on Netflix is not based on a true story. Instead, it is adapted from David Nicholls’ 2009 bestselling book of the same name, which was previously made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

Who inspired Emma and Dexter in One Day?

Nicholls’ novel might be labeled as fiction, but he drew inspiration from real-life people when it came to crafting the characters of Emma and Dexter.

“When I was an actor, I worked with lots of men who had a bit of success early on, who were very good-looking, who suddenly made a bit of money and who felt no embarrassment — and nor should they have done — about having a good time,” he told The Guardian in 2011. “I think there are probably bits of them in Dexter.”

Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod kissing on Netflix's 'One Day'
Photo: Netflix

Nicholls continued, “In Emma, there are bits of me, and my friends, and bits of fictional characters, too: Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, Katharine Hepburn, Beatrice in Much Ado, a bit of Annie Hall… characters I love. I loved writing her. I found that attitude to life — the combination of moral seriousness and a kind of wryness — so beguiling.”

Other elements of the author’s life were also woven into the characters’ storylines, such as his time working at a Fulham bistro chain, which inspired Emma’s job at a Mexican restaurant, per The Guardian. Like Emma, Nicholls also studied drama and English at university, and he got the idea for her avocado bathroom from his own apartment in Battersea.

Where to stream One Day:

All 14 episodes of One Day are currently available to stream on Netflix. You can subscribe to the platform for $6.99 per month with ads or $15.49 per month without ads.

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