ByMatt Kranis, writer at Creators.co
President of the Salacious Crumb Fan Club. Staff Writer at Movie Pilot. Twitter: @Matt_Kranis
Matt Kranis

The first official synopsis for Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk was released earlier today, confirming the film's impressive ensemble cast. Nolan's assembled a murderer's row of talent that includes Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and, in a surprising twist, pop star Harry Styles.

The One Direction singer's casting was revealed back in March, with plenty puzzled by the announcement. You wouldn't expect to see a world famous pop idol thrown into a Nolan war epic, and it's Styles' acting debut, putting even more pressure on the pin-up. But fear not, because plenty of music stars have successfully transitioned to the big screen. Here are five musicians turned actors Styles might want to emulate.

Will Smith

Will Smith in "Focus."
Will Smith in "Focus."

Will Smith is the textbook example of a musician turned movie star, who started off his career in the rap world and made the transition to television in 1990 with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, before moving on to film. Smith is a natural entertainer whose charisma translates to every project he's been involved with, from action-comedies like the Men in Black and Bad Boys franchises, to more serious affairs like The Pursuit of Happyness and I Am Legend. He's had Hollywood success for over 20 years, so if Harry Styles is smart, he'll definitely try to emulate Smith's example.

Justin Timberlake

Still from "Inside Llewyn Davis."
Still from "Inside Llewyn Davis."

It'd be tough for Styles to reach Will Smith levels of acclaim. For a more attainable example, he could follow in Justin Timberlake's dancing footsteps. While the star made his debut as part of the '90s-era Mickey Mouse Club, he moved on to be the standout talent from *NSYNC, establishing a solo career that's included several big film appearances. Starring roles in Friends with Benefits, Trouble with the Curve and In Time aren't the most memorable, but supporting roles in The Social Network and Inside Llewyn Davis suit Timberlake well. Starting off with similarly memorable supporting roles would be a solid move for Styles.

Cher

Cher, with actor Eric Stoltz, in "Mask."
Cher, with actor Eric Stoltz, in "Mask."

Cher became the diva she is today through consistent hit songs and an impressive string of big-screen appearances. She used her popularity as a platform to launch an acting career in the late '60s and went on to prove she was a legitimate talent. Appearances in Mask and The Witches of Eastwick showed she had the acting chops, which was confirmed with an Academy Award-winning performance in 1987's Moonstruck. Cher has consistently been cast as a strong female role model, a type she's embodied in her music as well. Playing toward type could help Styles make an easy transition to acting.

Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby is "White Christmas."
Bing Crosby is "White Christmas."

If Styles isn't ready to give up on the whole music thing just yet, he could follow in the footsteps of Bing Crosby. The old-school crooner built his big-screen career around movie musicals, with hits like Holiday Inn, White Christmas, and more featuring his powerhouse vocals. We don't know if Dunkirk will feature any singing scenes, but Styles could always put his star-making talent to good use in the future.

David Bowie

Bowie in "Labyrinth."
Bowie in "Labyrinth."

David Bowie wasn't afraid to get weird with his film appearances. Whether it was as the malevolent Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth or as the enigmatic alien Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie displayed unprecedented dedication to his acting. If Styles really wants to be an actor, he should show the same level of dedication in his work.

Making the transition from music to film is certainly a challenge, but Harry Styles has plenty of solid examples to follow. As long as the 22-year-old can find the right niche, he should be able to make a smooth move to movies. He's already world famous, so how difficult can it really be?

Dunkirk hits theaters July 21, 2017. Are you excited for Harry Styles' big-screen debut? Who are some of your favorite pop stars turned actors? Let us know in the comments.


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