Christopher Nolan: 'I didn't know how famous Harry Styles was'

The singer beat out thousands of actors to star in the film.

Christopher Nolan was "unaware" of how famous Harry Styles is, insisting he cast him in Dunkirk because he "earned" it.

The One Direction singer was cast in the World War II drama, his feature film debut, last year (16). Nolan knew of the singer because of his children, but his decision to cast him had nothing to do with his popularity.

"I don't think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was," he says. "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."

Styles stars alongside Oscar and Tony Award-winner Mark Rylance. Rylance has acted with several A-list stars and won a number of other awards. However for his 11-year-old niece, starring in the movie with Harry was his biggest accomplishment.

"She was just more excited than anything I've ever done because I was going to be acting with Harry Styles," Rylance says. "I went up in her estimation. I won the Harry!"

The 23-year-old's casting came as a surprise to many, but it was previously revealed he competed against thousands of others for the role.

"When we put the cast together, we had some established names: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy," Nolan told the Los Angeles Times in April (17). "But for the guys on the beach, we really wanted young unknowns. He'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."

Dunkirk hits theatres later this month (Jul17).

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