The cast of “Dunkirk” was in for more than just red carpet photos and interviews at the New York premiere. Hundreds of young girls and their devoted mothers had gathered in front of AMC Loews Lincoln Square in anticipation of the cast’s arrival Tuesday night. Wiggling and jumping behind the barricades outside of the tent where the carpet was held, the girls melted into a mess of screams each time they spotted a celebrity — as if they hadn’t already been waiting for at least two hours to see them.
Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard and Barry Keoghan all received rabid welcomes. Even Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford caused a brief craze. But most of the frenzy occurred when One Direction’s Harry Styles arrived.
Wearing a Western-inspired ensemble complete with square-toe boots, Styles dutifully greeted fans before stepping inside the tent and attempting to slip by reporters. He may have avoided interviews, but for that brief minute-long walk down the carpet, all eyes were on him.
“I’m a huge fan of [director] Christopher [Nolan’s],” said James D’Arcy, who plays Colonel Winnant. “He is everything that you would hope that he might be and more. He’s just amazing. And then to see the film. It’s one thing when you’re making it and then when you see what he did later on, he’s a master.”
Of his initial reaction to seeing “Dunkirk” in its entirety for the first time, D’Arcy said, “I kind of didn’t have any words. Just ‘wow,’ really. You can’t breathe for two hours. And then as the credits roll at the end, you just sort of remind yourself to breathe.”
The film, out Friday, has already garnered positive reviews, with Rolling Stone claiming it “may be the greatest war film ever.” But make no mistake: “Dunkirk” is not a history lesson.
“You don’t need to be a history buff,” said D’Arcy. “This film is truly a blockbuster, an entertainment. You don’t have to worry about what you know or don’t know about the history of it all. It doesn’t make any difference.”
Pop lover? Film buff? Come one, come all. How else would a war film attract so many young female fans, anyway?
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