Harry Styles jokingly complained he was "taking a beating" during a interview on Wednesday (19Jul17) after a TV host suggested he was only cast in Dunkirk because of his pop star status.
The One Direction singer makes his big screen debut as soldier Alex in director Christopher Nolan's World War Two movie, and he appeared alongside co-star Fionn Whitehead on breakfast show Today to discuss the project, which also features Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy.
Moments into the chat, Harry started to feel a little offended as co-host Savannah Guthrie touched on some criticisms of his casting as she tried to explain how The Dark Knight director had been won over by his acting talents.
"He obviously saw something in both of you quite special," she began, "and for anyone who's thinking, 'Oh, maybe it's Harry Styles because Harry's famous and he's a box office star...'"
Her comments prompted the Sign of the Times hitmaker to protest, "Hey! You gonna throw me under the bus like that?", as Fionn remarked, "That's a bit mean, a low blow!"
Responding to her guests' quips, Savannah clarified, "No! I'm saying let's make it clear you (Styles) went through a really tough audition process and this director, who's very picky, said you earned your place there, and that's gotta feel good."
"Thanks," Harry smiled. "I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of such an amazing story, and the cast is people that I'm such a massive fan of (sic), and I'm a massive fan of Chris'..."
The conversation about the film continued, but it didn't take long for the 23-year-old to feel victimized again as co-host Hoda Kotb asked, "Did you ever have a moment when you said during this setting, 'Am I good enough for this? There are a lot of incredible actors...?'"
"That's another low blow really, isn't it?," Fionn said, as Harry, in mock horror, commented, "(I'm) taking a beating this morning!"
Laughing off the phrasing of the question, Harry admitted there were times when he felt a little out of his depth.
"Yeah, of course...," he explained. "I think it was sort of overwhelming to be on a set of this scale... It's an epic suspense thriller. I really enjoyed it, it was a good experience."
Dunkirk, which is based on the 1940 Allied evacuation from Dunkirk in France, opens in movie theaters this week (begs17Jul17).