Harry Styles In 'Dunkirk' Is Comparable To Heath Ledger As The Joker, Says Christopher Nolan

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The world is about to see Harry Styles take on acting for the first time, and according to his director, we're going to be blown away by it. In fact, Christopher Nolan is comparing the pop star's acting chops to one of the most beloved performances in his long run of movies.

According to Nolan, Harry Styles gives a performance in Dunkirk that's on par with Heath Ledger's iconic turn as The Joker in his 2008 film The Dark Knight. Nolan compared the two performances in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, pointing out that fans were initially worried about both casting choices, but of course wound up loving Ledger's villainous role.

When I cast Heath Ledger as the Joker [in The Dark Knight], it raised a lot of eyebrows and caused a lot of comment. I have to trust my instincts, and Harry was perfect for this part.
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Another indicator of Harry Styles' potential acting prowess is the fact Christopher Nolan didn't even know the former One Directioner was famous when he auditioned for the part. Nolan admitted he had heard Harry's name from his kids but wasn't aware of just how intensely famous he was until after casting him.

Apparently, Styles just totally nailed his audition and got the part without leveraging his fame.

I was new to Harry. I mean, I've heard his name from my kids, but I wasn't really familiar with him… What I was seeing [when he auditioned] was a very charismatic guy who clearly had a truthfulness and a subtlety in his ability to perform as a film actor.
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Harry Styles plays the British soldier Alex in the upcoming war drama, which is based on the true story of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. Styles only appears briefly in the trailer for the new film, and much of his story line remains unknown.

Dunkirk lands in theaters on July 13.