Christopher Nolan says Harry Styles "earned" his place in 'Dunkirk'.
The One Direction star made his acting debut in the suspense thriller as soldier Alex last year, and the director says from his very first audition he was impressed with how well the 24-year-old singer read the script, and heaped praise on his "understated and "truthful" performance in the movie.
Nolan - who claims to have not known who the 'Kiwi' singer was - told Collider.com: "To be honest, he just threw his hat into the ring. We were casting unknowns. We were casting guys of the right age, not 30-year-olds to play 25-year-olds. We wanted 18, 19 and 20-year-olds. We'd managed to fill some of the slots.
"We'd narrowed it down to a group, but we didn't have the character of Alex. He sent in an audition on tape, same as everybody else, and I wasn't really familiar with who he was.
"I mean, I'd heard of him. He just gave a great read and we decided to throw him into the mix for these mass auditions.
"Over the course of a week, changing up groups and trying different combinations, he earned his seat at the table.
"I think what he does in the film is truthful, simple and understated. I was really, really pleased."