People were surprised when they heard the news of Harry Styles casting in “Dunkirk”, Christopher Nolan’s latest film, but the director is ready to show why the premature critics and doubts were unfounded.
“Dunkirk” will be the film debut for Styles, who was the frontman of one of the most famous pop bands in the world: One Direction. So his addition to the film’s ensemble was seen at first as a little bit of stunt casting, but Nolan defends his decision and even compares the casting of Styles with all the controversy that surround the choice of the late Heath Ledger 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,” Nolan said to Entertainment Tonight. “I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part. He pulled it off with incredible grace and reality.”
“As a director, I have to trust my instincts and my ability to figure out who’s the right guy for the part,” he added. “What I was seeing [in Styles] was a very charismatic guy, but who clearly had truthfulness and subtlety in his ability to perform as a film actor.”
The “Inception” director also said that he had no idea how massively famous Styles was prior to casting him. “I don’t think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was. 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.”
Ledger’s role acquired legendary status, not only because of the unfortunate passing of the actor prior to the film release, but also for his magnetic presence and extraordinary performance which made the character something unforgettable and earned him all the deserved accolades.
Styles’ role as one of the young soldiers trapped on the beaches of France during WWII’s Operation Dynamo, is definitely part of a big ensemble, so it doesn’t have the same weight behind him; but early reviews are coming in hot praising both the director and the singer-slash-actor.
Meanwhile, the public will get a chance to see the performance and the epic film for themselves when “Dunkirk” hits theaters on July 21st.