Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Christopher Nolan Compares Casting Harry Styles In Dunkirk To Heath Ledger As Joker

Veteran director Christopher Nolan may not be a full-on One Direction fan, but he certainly recognizes the star power one-time member Harry Styles has. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nolan revealed that his decision to bring Styles aboard his upcoming World War II epic Dunkirk was one similar to casting Heath Ledger as the Joker in his 2008 film The Dark Knight

Styles' casting caused quite a stir amongst critics, with many questioning the songster's acting abilities and some speculating that Nolan extended the offer as part of a long-winded publicity stunt. For the Oscar-nominated filmmaker, such skepticism is something he's faced before with Ledger. "When I cast Heath Ledger as the Joker [in The Dark Knight], it raised a lot of eyebrows and caused a lot of comment," Nolan said. "I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part."

In response to the initial negative buzz, Nolan has assured naysayers time and again that Styles has the chops to impress. The director knew from the beginning that the former boy band member was the absolutely right choice, beating out thousands of other actors.

"As a director, I have to trust my instincts, my ability to figure out who's the right guy for the part. I'm not too worried about baggage," Nolan explained. "I was new to Harry. I mean, I've heard his name from my kids, but I wasn't really familiar with him... What I was seeing [when he auditioned] was a very charismatic guy who clearly had a truthfulness and a subtlety in his ability to perform as a film actor."

It's still unknown how large a role Styles plays in Dunkirk, but Nolan had some amazing things to say about his stellar performance. "What I'm hoping for, when people see the film, is I'm hopeful that they won't miss what he's done, because it's very subtle, very truthful and real," Nolan said. "I think he's done an incredible job on the film and I'm really excited to show it to people."

Fans can see just how well Styles shakes out when Dunkirk is released in theaters on July 21. Until then, check out the other actors who will blow us all away this year