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Sunday 22 April 2018

'Which one is Harry Styles?' asks Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance got mixed up between singer Harry Styles and actor Fionn Whitehead
Mark Rylance got mixed up between singer Harry Styles and actor Fionn Whitehead

Mark Rylance is unsure about the identity of the One Direction singer starring in his next film, Dunkirk.

Pop star Harry Styles will make his acting debut in the movie about the Second World War evacuation, but Rylance has him mixed up with the film's other young star, Fionn Whitehead.

Asked about Whitehead in an interview with the Radio Times, he said: "Do you mean the young boy who's in a boy band?"

Dunkirk will be a change of direction after Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG, in which Rylance, 56, stars as the Big Friendly Giant.

The BFG is Spielberg and Rylance's second collaboration, after they worked together on 2015's Bridge Of Spies.

However, the actor revealed during Desert Island Discs last year that he had previously turned down a chance to work with Spielberg 30 years ago, rejecting a part in Empire Of The Sun .

Three decades later, Bridge of Spies, which won Rylance an Oscar, led to a firm friendship between the two.

On working together for the first time, Rylance said: "It was like meeting an old friend."

Spielberg said: "Yes, that's how I felt, too. I felt like we had been working together all my life. It felt like I'd known him all my life."

He added: "We became pals, which I don't often do. You know, we're all gypsies and we move into other worlds, but I didn't want Mark to leave my world at all."

Rylance is not the only actor to say no to Spielberg. Others include Steve McQueen, Gene Hackman and Daniel Day-Lewis, who starred in 2012's Lincoln.

The director explained: "I'm very proud of the fact that I've been turned down by some of the greatest actors in history.

"Daniel Day-Lewis turned me down three times before I finally prevailed upon him to play Abraham Lincoln."

:: Read the full interview in the Radio Times, on sale now.

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