Saturday 20 July 2019

Harry Styles: No acting experience helped my Dunkirk performance

The pop star said not knowing what he was doing on set was a positive.

Harry Styles stars in Dunkirk (Lauren Hurley/PA)
Harry Styles stars in Dunkirk (Lauren Hurley/PA)

By Katie Archer

Harry Styles said not having a clue what he was doing in his first acting job helped him to give a realistic portrayal of an inexperienced soldier.

The One Direction singer makes his film debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which portrays desperate Second World War evacuation of British troops.

But the pop star said that his lack of acting experience could be seen as a positive as many of the troops at Dunkirk were youths with little time in the military behind them.

Harry Styles stars in Dunkirk (Ian West/PA)

According to The Sun he said: “Before filming I watched films like Saving Private Ryan for inspiration.

“But I kind of went into this with a feeling a bit like I didn’t know what I was doing. I kind of wanted to go in that way.

“The young soldiers also didn’t have any idea what they faced or what they were getting into.

“And for me, I think always being a little bit nervous when I was filming helped me.

“Any tension I felt personally helped the character.”

Shooting on the beach where the battle took place turned out to be an emotional experience for Styles, who had to perform some of his scenes in the water.

(L-R) Harry Styles as Alex, Aneurin Barnard as Gibson and Fionn Whitehead as Tommy in the Warner Bros. Pictures action thriller “DUNKIRK,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Photo Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon.

The 23-year-old admitted he found himself longing for a cosy recording studio.

He said: “My first day was the worst weather we had on the shoot and I thought, what am I doing, I want to be back in the studio.

“The long days in the water were definitely the most challenging.

Styles is more at home on the stage (Yui Mok/PA)

“It’s where you end up so exhausted that however much you want to do it, you start to get emotional.

“And being underwater is just on another level, because you obviously can’t breathe.

“But what the film is about and where the film is set didn’t really leave any room for personal ­discomfort.

“No-one was thinking, oh my leg hurts, or, I’m tired.”

:: Dunkirk was released in cinemas on Friday.

PA Media

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