Director Christopher Nolan has done a little bit of everything, from the “Dark Knight” trilogy to “Inception” to “Interstellar.” Now he’s taking on something completely different: a little known, but important, part of World War II. Deco sat down with Nolan, along with acting newbie Harry Styles, to learn about “Dunkirk.”
This isn’t how we’re used to seeing Harry Styles. The One Direction singer makes his acting debut in “Dunkirk” as one of 400,000 Allied troops in a race-against-time evacuation mission during World War II.
Harry Styles: “I think the movie is amazing. I think he’s done such an amazing thing with the story and how he’s told it.”
“He” is director Christopher Nolan, and he tells this immersive story from three perspectives:
- On land, where the troops are sitting ducks for the Germans
- In the sky, right up in the cockpits of British fighter planes
- On the water, as ordinary citizens head out in their boats for the makeshift rescue mission
Christopher Nolan: “I wanted to be in the minds of the characters. I wanted to experience what they’re experiencing — on the beach or in the air or on the boats.”
Cillian Murphy (credited as Shivering Soldier): “I’m not going back.”
Mark Rylance (as Mr. Thompson): “There’s no hiding from this, son.”
Oscar winner Mark Rylance is one of the men on those boats, heading straight into the line of fire.
Mark Rylance: “There’s some fellow British men stuck on a beach and they need getting off, and that’s about all they were told. I don’t think they were told there was going to be gun-shooting and bombs going off.”
And while the heart-pounding action plays out, it’s another newcomer — Fionn Whitehead — acting as our eyes and ears for much of the movie.
Fionn Whitehead: “It’s such an integral part of the war, and it really set the atmosphere for the rest of the war.”
Soldiers: “We shall never surrender. We shall never surrender. We shall never surrender.”
“Dunkirk” flies into theaters July 21.
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