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Christopher Nolan Didn’t Know Harry Styles Was A Big Deal When He Cast Him In Dunkirk

It’s safe to assume that Christopher Nolan isn’t a Directioner—yet.

The Dunkirk director of cast Harry Styles in the forthcoming World War II epic (and his feature film debut), but Styles’s star power had absolutely nothing to do with him getting the part. Nolan knew Styles was famous, but didn’t know he was the kind of famous that top charts, breaks first week of sales records in the U.K., and plots world tours that cover five continents.

To Nolan, it’s NBD—his kids knew who he was, but the important thing was that Styles nailed his audition and got cast on the strength of his creative merit instead of his recognizable name.

“I don’t think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was,” Nolan said of his work with the crooner. “I mean, my daughter had talked about him. My kids talked about him, but I wasn’t really that aware of it. So the truth is, I cast Harry because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.”

Damn straight. (Here’s hoping Nolan’s given Styles’s self-titled album a spin, though.) Dunkirk hits theatres July 21.