Dunkirk is a big movie for a lot of reasons: it’s Christopher Nolan’s first war epic, it’s told from multiple perspectives featuring all of America’s favorites from across the pond, and it’s the feature film debut of one of the biggest pop stars working today. Harry Styles being in Dunkirk no doubt influenced a lot of the buzz that swirled around this movie early on, and, hey, maybe it’ll get today’s teen girls into Nolan movies. But, apparently Nolan himself had no idea how famous Styles was before he cast him in the movie.

Speaking with Billboard about the new movie, Nolan and one of the stars, Mark Rylance, admitted that they don’t follow teen pop culture as much as they obviously should.

I don’t think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was. I mean, my daughter had talked about him. My kids talked about him, but I wasn’t really that aware of it. So the truth is, I cast Harry because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.

I mean, what do you expect from a guy who has no phone or e-mail address?

Rylance was similarly oblivious to his co-star’s fame, but said that his daughter was stoked that her dad would be acting alongside Styles.

She was just more excited than anything I’ve ever done because I was going to be acting with Harry Styles. I went up in her estimation. I won the Harry!

Nolan has said before that he wanted to cast relative unknowns for the young soldiers, and that Styles beat out “thousands” of lads for the part, so it sounds like he’s really trying to let us know he didn’t get Styles as just a gimmick.

Dunkirk opens in theaters July 21.

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