Harry Styles Dunkirk

Harry Styles, formerly of boy band One Direction needed extra protection while promoting Dunkirk to ward off legions of fans. (Photo: Bang ShowBiz)

Harry Styles, the One Direction boy band singer, was more than eye-candy for his big-screen debut in the World War II epic drama “Dunkirk,” says movie director Christopher Nolan. Believe him?


Nolan says the teen heartthrob was cast in the movie because of his looks, and not in a good way.

“He has an old-fashioned face … the kind of face that makes you believe he could have been alive in that period. Harry’s character’s very un-glamorous. It’s not a showboating role,” he told London’s Daily Mail.

Styles joined the cast with Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Fionn Whitehead among others.

Critics say Dolan wanted some kind of hook to attract a 20-something audience to a film about a war that many probably knew little or nothing about.

Harry has more than 30 million Twitter followers and nearly 23 million Instagram followers. He had a cameo role in the movie.

“Harry sent in a tape, and we liked the tape. And he joined the workshop, and that was that. It was a really old-fashioned process – and Harry’s features, ability and demeanor fitted right in,” the director said.

The filmmaker – famous for creating ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy of Batman movies, starring Christopher Nolan – very much respected Harry, 23, for his work ethic and “humble” personality on set, despite his global fame.

“Harry shied away from being a ‘star’ in it. He’s a humble guy who didn’t want attention. He enjoyed the idea of not carrying it; that he was part of an ensemble,” he explained.

“Like the soldiers they played, the actors were all in it together and supported each other very well.”

Nolan called Styles a “natural” actor.

“Dunkirk” debuted in July and has since grossed $188 million in the United States and Canada, and $337 million elsewhere for a worldwide total of $525 million, surpassing “Saving Private Ryan’s” $481.8 million worldwide gross.

The production budget is estimated to be $100 million, making the film a box office success,

The film focuses on the outpouring of British citizen in a rescue effort of 330,000 French and British troops from Europe in the face of a German assault.

The war drama has been nominated for three Golden Globes; Best Original Score, Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Nolan.