It is officially safe to say that Harry Styles was not cast in Christopher Nolan's upcoming war drama Dunkirk due to his solidified fame. That is because Nolan claims he had no idea how famous Styles even was before giving him a role in the upcoming film. Despite the fact that Styles rose to stardom as a member of One Direction and most recently found success with a solo music career, the 23-year-old won over the director solely with his acting chops.
When speaking to AP, Nolan commented on Styles's fame and how little his Celebrity status affected the hiring decision:
I don't think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was. I mean, my daughter had talked about him. My kids talked about him, but I wasn't really that aware of it. So the truth is, I cast Harry because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.
Furthermore, Nolan compared Styles's casting to that of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight:
When I cast Heath Ledger as the Joker, it raised a lot of eyebrows and caused a lot of comment. I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part.
Harry Styles plays Alex, a member of the British army who gets stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk as the Allied soldiers are surrounded by the German Army. The WWII film is based on the true event known as the Dunkirk Evacuation, or Operation Dynamo. During the Battle of France in 1940, members of the British, French, Belgian, and Canadian troops were trapped on the French beach until a very dangerous evacuation plan was put in place. The costly task took over 10 days and included many complicated moving parts.
Styles will make his acting debut in Dunkirk and shared his thoughts on working on such a large film right at the start of his career:
I'd say realizing the scale of the production was very overwhelming. I think whatever you imagine kind of a giant film set to be like, this was very ambitious even by those standards. You know the boats and the planes and the volume of bodies ... it was pretty amazing.
Working on a Christopher Nolan film as your first acting gig is like hitting a home run as your first professional at-bat. Styles is certainly having a stellar year with his self-titled solo album getting rave reviews and announcing a huge world tour. Add Dunkirk into the mix and you get an unforgettable year.
The film also stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy and premieres July 21 in the UK and US.