Director Christopher Nolan Says Harry Styles Landed 'Dunkirk' Role Because He 'Had It'

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Harry Styles performs at Lincoln Financial Field Sept. 1, 2015 in Philadelphia. 

This year is going to be a pretty epic one for Harry Styles. The former One Direction member just dropped his David Bowie-esque first single, "Sign of the Times," is about to perform that song and another new one on Saturday Night Live this weekend and, to top it off, he'll make his big screen debut in Interstellar director Christopher Nolan's anticipated WWII drama Dunkirk.

No pressure, but it's Styles' acting debut and Nolan told the Los Angeles Times that he cast the singer alongside such Hollywood heavy hitters as Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy because Harry simply "had it." The movie tells the story of the evacuation of 400,000 Allied soldiers from France, Britain, Canada and Belgium who were surrounded by the German army on the beaches of Dunkirk, France.

"When we put the cast together, we had some established names: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy," Nolan told the paper. "But for the guys on the beach, we really wanted young unknowns. He’s not 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." 

Most importantly, Nolan was asked if Styles had to cut his notoriously luxurious long hair for the role and the Times wondered if that was an issue. "I don't want to get into it," the director responded cryptically. Dunkirk is due out in July. For the full Nolan interview click here.