The casting of the One Direction star certainly raised some eyebrows when it was announced last month, and now the film’s producer and Nolan’s wife, Emma Thomas, has defended the decision.
Speaking out ahead of Dunkirk’s release next month, Emma insisted that Harry’s One Direction fame is completely irrelevant and that he won the role on pure talent alone.
When asked if it was a risk to cast somebody so well-known, Emma shared: “It didn’t feel risky at all because he auditioned the same way everyone else did.
“Over the course of days of coming back to audition, giving it his best, Harry was absolutely right for the part, and it didn’t feel any more a risk casting him than it did casting anyone else.”
She continued to author Joshua Levine: “There’s always a risk that people can’t get past the persona, but the truth is he’s a great actor.
“I think when you watch him in the movie he utterly sucks you in. He’s not Harry Styles any more, in the same way that Fionn isn’t Fionn Whitehead any more – he’s Tommy.”
It was previously reported that Nolan was left so impressed by Harry’s performance in Dunkirk that he gave him extra lines, with a source explaining last year: “Chris already had great faith in Harry’s acting abilities and that’s why he gave him a role in the first place, but he’s surprised everyone with how natural a performer is. He really commits to the part.
“It just made sense to increase his screen time. He’s a natural in front of the camera and of course having one of the biggest pop stars in the world attached to the project is a huge plus.
“Originally Harry was given just a little dialogue but the kids a natural and Chris rewarded him with more.”
The singer has also been praised by a host of his co-stars, including Cillian Murphy, for his talent and professionalism in the film.
Dunkirk will be released across cinemas in the UK on July 21.