Harry Styles In ‘Dunkirk’: Christopher Nolan Says Former 1D Star Had ‘It’

Former One Direction star Harry Styles would easily land projects because of his famed status. But for his first movie, Dunkirk, Styles had to work hard to get the role just like everyone else. And according to film director Christopher Nolan, the singer heartthrob deserved it.

Nolan recently shared to the Los Angeles Times what he thought about Styles’ casting for the epic war thriller and how the young singer managed to land the role out of the thousands who auditioned. Nolan gathered established names in Hollywood to be the main cast, which includes Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh. However, the director wanted “young unknown” ones for the beach scenes.

Although Harry doesn’t really belong in the category of the “unknown,” he still auditioned since he had not done film before. Out of all the young men who tried to get the role, Harry stood out. The Dark Knight Rises director even said that Styles “had it.”

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk stars Harry Styles
Christopher Nolan shows off footage of Dunkirk at CinemaCon 2017 [Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

“[Harry’s] not that unknown, but he’d never done anything as an actor before, so he auditioned. I auditioned literally thousands of young men with different combinations of young men, and he had it,” Nolan told the publication.

Harry, in his role for Dunkirk, had to cut his hair short for his soldier role. The news outlet went on to ask Nolan if the 23-year-old singer was hesitant to go with it. He was quite reserved with his reply, only saying, “I don’t want to get into it.”

Dunkirk’s casting has been surrounded by controversies ever since news broke out that Harry Styles landed a role. Prior to the completion of the film, Styles’ castmate, Cillian Murphy, defended him saying that he wouldn’t have landed the role if he didn’t deserve it.

“You know, Chris Nolan’s not gonna cast an actor unless he’s a talented person. So, I’m sure he’ll be amazing.”

Murphy also put in a good word for Harry during an interview with Radio Times magazine. The actor even described Styles to be a funny guy.

“Harry Styles is great. I had very few scenes with Harry but we got to hang out and I’ve got to say he’s a great, great kid, and really, really funny.”

The Inception actor wasn’t the only one who vouched for Harry’s acting skills. Even casting director Jon Papsidera had something nice to say about the songwriter when he told The Mirror that Harry was perfect for the role.

“Harry was absolutely right for the role. As an actor he is unknown, but his readings made him an obvious choice. We thought he was fresh and interesting and he won the role.”

Papsidera added that although Styles didn’t study professional acting, he managed to beat some of the well-known actors in the industry. Doing readings with the casting director didn’t come easy for Styles but apparently, he emerged as a standout.

Dunkirk is Harry Styles' first movie
Harry Styles' Dunkirk casting earned him praises from co-stars and the casting director [Image by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]

Styles only has a supporting role in the movie and fans didn’t get to see much of him on Dunkirk’s trailers or sneak peeks. What fans know so far about their favorite One Direction member is that he’s fighting for his life in the World War II film. In one of Dunkirk’s sneak peeks, Styles was seen submerged underwater while wearing a lifejacket.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a historical thriller that tells the story of Allied soldiers evacuating the harbor of Dunkirk in France during an attack from German forces. On March 29, at CinemaCon, Nolan released footage of the film, which then earned a standing ovation — the event’s biggest by far, according to The Independent.

Besides Hardy, Murphy, Styles and Branagh, Dunkirk also stars Mark Rylance and newcomer, Fionn Whitehead. Dunkirk is slated to hit the big screens on July 21.

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]