Even though he's not exactly in One Direction's target demographic, director Christopher Nolan says that he didn't know exactly how famous Harry Styles was before casting him in the WWII epic Dunkirk. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the famed director says that Styles auditioned like anyone else, and though Nolan had heard the name before — from his kids, naturally — there was no special treatment for the 1D crooner.
"I don't think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was" Nolan told THR. "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."
It's tough to believe that somehow, Nolan, who has four kids, only heard about Styles in passing. Not only did the group have a slew of hits, embark on multiple world tours, and break up to find respective solo success, the name "Harry Styles" just screams "famous person."
Nolan explained that Styles had to audition for the role like everyone else. No special treatment came into play. The director said that he was looking for "young unknowns" to play the soldiers, but Styles — and his talent — seemed to transcend that requirement, because he snagged a part in the film.
"When we put the cast together, we had some established names," Nolan told the Los Angeles Times. "But for the guys on the beach, we really wanted young unknowns. [Styles] is 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."
Stunt casting or not, fellow Dunkirk star and Oscar-winner Mark Rylance did know who Styles was, saying that having a Top 40 singer as a co-star managed to garner him a little more attention. He told the industry paper that his 11-year-old niece is more excited about Dunkirk than any of his other films.
"She was just more excited than anything I've ever done because I was going to be acting with Harry Styles," Rylance told THR. "I went up in her estimation. I won the Harry!"
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