Harry Styles Beat ‘Thousands’ of Unknowns to Score ‘Dunkirk’ Role


Harry Styles was cast in Dunkirk over thousands of other young men because “he had it”, according to director Christopher Nolan.

The One Direction singer was cast in the World War II drama, his feature film debut, last year (16) and he chopped his trademark long locks off to fit his young soldier role later that year.

His casting came as a surprise to many and director Christopher has now revealed Harry competed against thousands of others for the role and he was selected because he had exactly what Christopher was looking for.

Warner Bros

“When we put the cast together, we had some established names: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy,” he explained to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”

During the interview, Christopher also asked if Harry was hesitant to cut his hair off but he refused to comment on it. The 23-year-old recently told BBC Radio 1 the new look took a while to get used to and he “felt very naked for a while” but it ultimately wasn’t a hard decision. His famous locks were made into a wig to help the Little Princess Trust charity, which provides real hair wigs for children who suffer hair loss due to cancer treatment.

Warner Bros

The Sign of the Times singer also discussed his acting debut on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday (08Apr17), when he told host Dermot O’Leary he was out of his comfort zone, but he liked it that way.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life, honestly – it was amazing, it was a real challenge,” he said. “I really loved being the new guy to be honest. I loved being so far out of my comfort zone…. It felt really good to kind of have no idea what I was doing for a little bit.”

Dunkirk hits cinemas from 19 July (17).

related content