Following the announcement that One Direction singer Harry Styles was cast in one of the lead roles for Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama “Dunkirk,” many wondered about the odd choice. Styles has no prior experience in acting or with the world of cinema in general. Now, “Dunkirk” casting director John Papsidera explained the reason behind Styles’ casting in the film.

John Papsidera, who has worked with Christopher Nolan since “Memento,” told Mirror that “Harry was absolutely right for the role. As an actor he is unknown, but his readings made him an obvious choice. We thought he was fresh and interesting and he won the role.”

In spite of the fact that the One Direction singer is very famous in the music scene, landing a leading role in a Christopher Nolan film is no mean feat. “It is absolutely his own talent, ambition and hard work that has got him a part in a Christopher Nolan movie. It was because of his passion for being in the film, he jumped through every hurdle we put him through and really won it of his own accord,” Papsidera told Mirror.

Papsidera said that they were originally looking for fresh faces; unknowns, so that the audience is able to believe in the characters and not get distracted by famous celebrities. Thus, the casting of Harry Styles should have the opposite effect of what the filmmakers want. Papsidera said “Harry really had to overcome hurdles to get past that [famous image]. He fought hard for it and his work was impressive and that’s what attracted us to him.” Papsidera also added that Styles “won the role against some very well known actors” despite not having studied acting professionally.

Christopher Nolan was somehow inspired by Harry Styles’ performance as a singer, as that should be the only reference point. He and Papsidera were going for a particular look and age and thought of giving Harry Styles an audition. It worked and now Styles will be part of a stellar cast that includes Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy.

Harry Styles, who is as famous for his long hair as his singing, had to chop off his famous locks for the role. He donated his locks for a noble cause; to Little Princess Trust organization, a cancer charity for kids in the United Kingdom, noted ET Online. He posted a photo of his chopped locks on his Instagram page.

Whoops. #Littleprincesstrust

A photo posted by @harrystyles on

Dunkirk, which is being filmed completely on celluloid film like Nolan’s previous entries, is being shot with a combination of Super Panavision 70 and IMAX cameras, releases on July 21, 2017 in the United States.