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7 Acting Lessons Harry Styles Can Learn From Tom Hardy

Meanwhile, Styles can tell Academy Award nominee Hardy and Academy Award winner Mark Rylance what it's like being Taylor Swift's ex

Harry Styles seems to be taking his career in a new direction. (Get it?) The One Direction heartthrob was reportedly offered a role in Christopher Nolan's new film, the World War II action-adventure flick, Dunkirk.

While the details of Dunkirk are being kept under wraps, we do know that Nolan will take the helm from his own original script. The film, based on the 1940 evacuation of Allied soldiers in France, will also star Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Oscar winner Mark Rylance. In other words, Styles is in some good, not to mention handsome, company.

Since this will be the 22-year-old's feature film debut, Styles will undoubtedly learn a lot on the set. Not only is he working with Nolan, who's known for his character-driven and dramatically heightened films, but he'll also be in the trenches with some of the most celebrated actors in cinema: Hardy, an Academy Award nominee; Rylance, an Academy Award winner and Steven Spielberg favorite; and Branagh, a Shakespearean actor with directing chops himself.

If Styles is smart -- and we do we do believe there's a brain under those gorgeous locks -- he'll pick up these acting tips from his brilliant, generationally handsome, co-stars:

  1. Acting is more than just reciting dialogue.

    Hardy's portrayal of Max in Mad Max: Fury Road, largely considered one of the best films of 2015, is that of a man of few words haunted by the ghosts of his past. The beauty of his performance lies in the fact you don't need to hear Max talk to know what he's feeling. Hardy says more with brusque, throaty grunts than actual words. That's an important skill for any actor, especially one as green as Styles, to master.

  2. Supporting performances are just that -- supporting.

    There's a reason Rylance took home the Oscar for his stellar work in Bridge Of Spies, and it has to do with capturing the essence of what a supporting actor truly is. As Russian spy Rudolf Abel, Rylance's performance doesn't threaten to eclipse Tom Hanks's role. Instead, his performance supports Hanks's work, while being memorable in its own right. Styles will most likely be a supporting player in Dunkirk, and if he wants his work to stand out, he should take a page from Rylance's book.

  3. Don't be afraid to show your softer side...

    In 2014's The Drop, Hardy he played a bartender with a heart of gold... and some dangerous connections. The film was kind of "meh," but Hardy's performance, particularly the way he displayed his character’s growing unease, is a knockout. Plus, having a cute puppy as a co-star can never hurt. We're not really sure if Styles will have such an adorable sidekick, but we'll light our 1D prayer candles just in case.

  4. Or get a little crazy.

    Hardy's masterful performance as the nihilistic Batman supervillain Bane was controlled, unsettling, and completely terrifying. Plus, it was even more impressive considering half of his face was obscured, which meant he couldn't on facial cues to get the message across. Not to mention, we barely understood a word he said. Bane was a man without a moral compass, someone who was more than OK watching the world burn -- and Hardy reveled in it.

  5. Dedicate yourself to the character.

    It takes a whole lot of dedication and self-sacrifice to believably portray the most violent prisoner in Britain's history, and Hardy proved he was up for the challenge in every scene of Nicolas Winding Refn's brutal, punishing Bronson. Hardy dedicated himself to the unhinged criminal, and it took his performance to the next level. Styles, take notes.

  6. Trust your visceral instincts.

    If there's one actor who encompasses all points on the emotional spectrum, it's Branagh. (Starting your career on the stage will do that to you, something you should keep in mind, Styles.) So who better than the Shakespearean actor to help the boybander get in touch with his emotions. We know Styles as someone who is generally very happy-go-lucky, but we also know he has a sensitive side. We want to see Styles bleed his insecurities and fear and heartbreak and blinding optimism all over that screen -- so Branagh, get to work.

  7. Don't forget to bulk up.

    Hardy is not above using his physicality to help sell a role. Take 2011's Warrior, for example. Hardy played Tommy, an ex-Marine still haunted by his own past who enlists his estranged father to train him so he can compete in an upcoming Mixed Martial Arts match. Hardy not only put his body through rigorous training, but he also carried the film's emotional weight on his well-sculpted shoulders. Perhaps Hardy and Styles can hit the gym together sometime? We think Styles could benefit from a few extra pounds of muscle. After all, it worked wonders for his friend Liam Payne.