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Christopher Nolan talks about casting Harry Styles in Dunkirk

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One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles is making his big screen debut in Christopher Nolan’s epic WW2 drama Dunkirk (calm down, girls!), and the director has been paying tribute to the 23-year-old pop prince, revealing his casting reminded him of the controversy around Heath Ledger 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 told Entertainment Tonight. "I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part."

Nolan had previously admitted that he had no idea of Styles' fame.

"I don't think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was," Nolan said. “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."

Dunkirk stars Styles alongside Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Oscar-winner Mark Rylance in a stirring and emotional dramatisation of Operation Dynamo, which saw the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the French town of Dunkirk between 27th May and 4th of June, 1940.

Rylance also admitted recently that he was unaware of Styles’ pop fame and that his daughter was particularly stoked about her dad and the One Director singer sharing a film together.

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

Dunkirk roars into Cineworld on 21 July.