"Dunkirk" director Christopher Nolan “wasn’t really familiar” with Harry Styles before casting him
(L-R) HARRY STYLES as Alex, ANEURIN BARNARD as Gibson and FIONN WHITEHEAD as Tommy in the Warner Bros. Pictures action thriller “DUNKIRK,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.(LOS ANGELES) — No stunt casting here: Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan tells Entertainment Tonight that he cast Harry Styles in the World War II film because of his talent, not his One Direction fame. In fact, he says he barely knew anything about Harry at the time.
“I was new to Harry,” he says. “I mean, I’ve heard his name from my kids, but I wasn’t really familiar with him…What I was seeing [when he auditioned] was a very charismatic guy who clearly had a truthfulness and a subtlety in his ability to perform as a film actor.”
It’s the first major film role for the singer, who plays a World War II soldier fighting for his life during Operation Dynamo in Dunkirk, France.
“Harry was very committed and determined to just being one of the guys and coming there and learning what he could from the most experienced people around him and diving into the role feet first,” Nolan says. “I think he’s done an incredible job on the film and I’m really excited to show it to people.”
For those skeptical of Harry’s acting abilities, Nolan points out people were also skeptical when he cast Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
“I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part,” he says.
Dunkirk hits theaters July 21.
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