Christopher Nolan Defends His Decision to Cast Harry Styles in 'Dunkirk'

The director says that Styles reminded him of Heath Ledger
Christopher Nolan Defends His Decision to Cast Harry Styles in 'Dunkirk'
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk invades theatres later this month, and the director has opened up about one of his particular casting choices — former One Direction star Harry Styles.
In a new interview with ET Online, Nolan claims he didn't really know who Styles was when he assigned him the role.
"I was new to Harry. I mean, I've heard his name from my kids, but I wasn't really familiar with him," Nolan said. "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."
The director insists that he relies on his gut feeling to "figure out who's the right guy for the part," and isn't really concerned about any "baggage" an actor might bring to the role.
He even went on to compare Styles to Heath Ledger, who Nolan famously cast 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," he said. "I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part."
Nolan goes on to praise Styles for the "grace and reality" he brought brought to the role, admitting that it's not a "flashy" part.
"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 added. "I think he's done an incredible job on the film and I'm really excited to show it to people."
The film tells the story of the titular World War II battle, during which British, Belgian, Canadian and French troops were evacuated from Dunkirk's harbour as Nazi forces approached. In addition to Styles, it stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney and Jack Lowden.
Dunkirk arrives in theatres on July 21. Watch a trailer below.