With Dunkirk hitting theaters this weekend, you’re probably well-aware that a certain mega-famous pop star has a role in Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama. Those unfamiliar have likely wondered, “Who the hell is this Harry Styles person?” But casting the former member of wildly popular British boy band One Direction (there it is) has the potential to attract a different sort of army: Thousands of Harry Styles fans who may not have been interested in seeing a war movie from the guy who made those Batman films. Sounds sensible enough, and yet if your familiarity — like mine — with Harry Styles begins and ends with a vague awareness obtained from Twitter, you might have trouble spotting him in Dunkirk.
Dunkirk is a big movie for a lot of reasons: it’s Christopher Nolan’s first war epic, it’s told from multiple perspectives featuring all of America’s favorites from across the pond, and it’s the feature film debut of one of the biggest pop stars working today. Harry Styles being in Dunkirk no doubt influenced a lot of the buzz that swirled around this movie early on, and, hey, maybe it’ll get today’s teen girls into Nolan movies. But, apparently Nolan himself had no idea how famous Styles was before he cast him in the movie.