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04/04/2017 2:29 AM AEST

Christopher Nolan Explains Why He Cast Harry Styles In 'Dunkirk'

The One Direction singer just "had it."

We’re looking forward to seeing “Dunkirk” for many reasons, most importantly because it’s Harry Styles’ feature film debut. Director Christopher Nolan spoke with the Los Angeles Times about his new movie and ended up disclosing why he cast Styles in the first place.

“When we put the cast together, we had some established names: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy,” Nolan told the LA Times. “But for the guys on the beach, we really wanted young unknowns. [Styles is] 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.”

The “Dunkirk” cast is packed with movie stars, and yet Styles has emerged as one of the most talked-about actors in the film. A moment in the trailer in which Styles is trapped underwater sent Twitter into a frenzy last year. 

Styles also chopped off his famously long locks before filming “Dunkirk.” When asked how Styles felt about cutting his hair for the role, Nolan shut the reporter down. 

“I don’t want to get into it,” Nolan said. 

The world may never know what Styles thought about his close-cropped cut, but at least his sacrifice was for a good cause. The singer donated his hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs out of real hair for children experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment. 

Whoops. #Littleprincesstrust

A post shared by @harrystyles on

Despite any lingering drama around his ‘do, we’re glad to hear Styles earned his part fair and square. 

“Dunkirk” hits movie theaters on July 21.