Give Harry Styles time and he’ll become Hollywood’s next big star

Harry Styles has dominated the headlines once again after the Don't Worry Darling premiere, but can he be the next big thing in Hollywood?

Harry styles venice

Harry Styles has dominated the headlines once again, this time because the singer-turned-actor presumably spat on Chris Pine after fumbling with his words at the Don’t Worry Darling press conference. But can he be the next big thing in Hollywood? 

The Don’t Worry Darling press tour so far has been a disaster. The attention has been tightly on the cast and director Olivia Wilde as they navigate the stormy weathers of a scandal. Rumours about a ‘feud’ between star Florence Pugh and Wilde have been running rampant and people haven’t been too kind to Wilde either after she was confirmed to be in a relationship with Styles, who plays Pugh’s husband in the film. 

It all got considerably worse at the press conference, which Pugh missed and Chris Pine looked painfully bored during. Styles admitted he “doesn’t know” what he’s doing in regards to films (and music too!) and later said during a different interview that his favourite thing about the movie is that it “feels like a movie.”

Styles’ on-stage charisma – which he arguably has buckets of – has been nowhere to be seen. His voice is flat and he seems thoroughly unenthusiastic to talk about the film. He seems almost insecure when talking about his new film, his first starring role. 

Harry styles my policeman

Styles will star in My Policeman next, out later this year. Credit: Amazon Studios

Harry Styles, insecure?! But of course the 28-year-old would be insecure. He had a small role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and appeared at the very end of Marvel’s The Eternals as Eros and he never did any publicity for The Eternals because his cameo was supposed to be a secret. Don’t Worry Darling is his first starring role and his first huge press tour. Having a world premiere during the Venice Film Festival is intimidating for anyone, even if you happen to be one of the biggest music superstars in the world. 

Sure, Styles can be confident on stage, playing his own music, in front of thousands of fans. But those people are already on his side, screaming his name in euphoria. He isn’t being pressed by journalists about an already-controversial film. 

With this in mind, we shouldn’t judge Styles’ acting capabilities based on his ‘performance’ during interviews and press conferences (which are nowhere near as exciting as you think they are, for talent or journalists). In Dunkirk, he’s by no means the lead, but gets probably more lines than Fionn Whitehead’s protagonist. In The Eternals, he waltzes in at the very end to conveniently tease and set up future films. 

marvel eros harry styles

Marvel released a poster for Styles’ Eros. Credit: Marvel Studios

Long story short, perhaps we should remember that a very tiny portion of journalists and guests have seen Don’t Worry Darling. Not too long ago, a clip of the film surfaced and immediately, people had a hot take on Styles’ acting talents. This is an individual clip, lasting 18 seconds. 

Without a doubt, Styles has all the makings of an old-fashioned – yet progressive! – movie star. As seen during his stage shows and his interactions with his fans, he’s gracious, kind and charming. He’s able to captivate any audience and his boyish good looks remind us of Cary Grant and Errol Flynn. 

The question of whether Styles can be a star and whether he’s a good actor are two entirely different races. He already is a star and always will be, regardless of the critical reception of his on-screen talent. But we can only judge him as an actor after watching Don’t Worry Darling and even then, surely we should be allowing him to develop and grow as a performer in general. 

don't worry darling

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling. Credit: Warner Bros.

Do we ever evaluate good actors on their earliest or worst performances? Ryan Gosling has a very misjudged film The United States of Leland under his belt, but no one ever mentions that. Does anyone even remember that Colin Farrell did a really bad job at playing Bullseye in 2003’s Daredevil? No, because their filmography is dominated by much better performances so we don’t hold the few bad ones against them. 

The film industry, and someone might say film journalism, is also full of needless snobbery. It makes for a great headline when a singer doesn’t do well as an actor and we have plenty of examples of that. But we also have someone like Lady Gaga, mesmerising as Ally in A Star Is Born and captivating as Patrizia in the otherwise strange House of Gucci

It’s entirely possible that Styles will stink as an actor. He might have the nuance and grace of John Travolta in Gotti or perhaps he will encapsulate the charm and sexiness of Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. We should probably just wait until September 23 when the film is out to decide which one he is. 


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