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Harry Styles Beat Out Thousands Of Actors For Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk

One-time One Direction member Harry Styles is gearing up to show his acting chops as a soldier in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. And, despite many naysayers who believe that Styles can't pull it off, the new kid on the acting block reportedly bested thousands of others for the role.

Speaking with The L.A. Times, Nolan said that Styles was the clear choice to fill a prime supporting character slot. Though Nolan wanted the main cast to be rounded out with distinguished actors, he and the Dunkirk team aimed to give the roles of young allied soldiers in the film to fresh-faced and relatively unknown newcomers.

"When we put the cast together, we had some established names: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy. But for the guys on the beach, we really wanted young unknowns," Nolan said. "[Styles isn't] 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."

So, there you have it. Styles had that certain defining quality that a casting director dreams of uncovering. He had the "it" factor that placed him leaps and bounds above the hefty competition.

He'll co-star alongside a handful of other under-the-radar actors, most notably Fionn Whitehead in the standout part of a British private named Tommy. Nolan echoed his statements about his plan for casting when talking about Whitehead.

"One of the key things you came across, reading first-hand accounts of Dunkirk, was how young and inexperienced these soldier were," Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. "It felt very important to me, especially for Fionn's part, to find somebody very new."

Here's the plot synopsis: "Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in."

Dunkirk hits theaters July 21. Until then, check out the other summer 2017 movies you won't want to miss.