Prince Harry was a special guest at the event, which took place at London’s Leicester Square.
While it may not have quite matched Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ world premiere in size, the red-carpet event for Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic Dunkirk on Thursday was probably the loudest London’s Leicester Square has experienced for many years. And largely due to one individual: Harry Styles.
Despite the attendance of its A-list of Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, it was the presence of the One Direction star — making his film debut — that saw screams echoing around central London. Styles was joined by other young actors, including Fionn Whitehead (also making his big-screen debut), Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and Aneurin Barnard.
Speaking at the event, where Prince Harry was a special guest, Nolan hailed the ensemble of stars who helped tell the true story of trapped Allied troops being rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940.
“I passionately believe that this is one of the greatest casts put together for any movie,” the director said, also offering his admiration to the 13 British army veterans who were in attendance at the premiere.
Nolan also revealed that he was carrying a button from a British soldier that had been found on the beach and given to him by a Frenchman while filming.
“One of the things I love about the film is that it doesn’t set itself up to be important,” said Branagh, who plays a Navy commander, adding that it is focused mainly on ordinary lives. “And it’s all the more moving for it.”
Styles, meanwhile, joked that Dunkirk may be his first and only film.
“Maybe I’ve peaked too soon,” he said, adding that movie had made him “better at swimming.”
Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk is set for release on July 21.