It's new Empire day today – and the latest issue of the world's biggest movie magazine features a massive six-page feature on Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan's epic upcoming war movie about the massive World War II evacuation of British soldiers across the English channel. We spoke to all the key players involved, and nabbed ourselves some exclusive images in the process – including the one below, by way of a sneak preview. Take a look, and click to embiggen.
Pictured here is Kenneth Branagh as Commander Bolton, standing alongside James D'Arcy's Captain Winnant, with soldiers waiting patiently to be evacuated from the jetty. Playing the man unenviably tasked with handling the logistics of the evacuation, Branagh's days on set were long and tiring. “In terms of film comforts, there were none,” he tells Empire in the new issue. “Once you put on the costume and went out there, that’s where you stayed. There’s no sitting about or checking out at all... I mean, Chris doesn’t sit down. Nobody else sits down. Nobody gets a cup of tea…” He laughs. “He has a rather puritanical sort of determination to fight anything that brings a bit of movie softness to the experience.”
For Branagh's co-star (and erstwhile One Direction frontman) Harry Styles, things weren't much easier. There were no pop-star luxuries for Styles, who auditioned like everyone else. His first day on the beach very much set the tone, wind sandblasting his eyeballs, rain chilling him to the bone. Then he had to wade into the freezing-cold sea. “The toughest days were the ones in the water,” Styles says. “But at least it meant you didn’t have to act cold. By making it real and having things blow up around you and stuff, you get those natural reactions.”
This is just a sneak peek, of course – for the full 1500-word feature, be sure to pick up a copy of the new issue of Empire, available in all good and evil newsagents now. Want to get your copy days before anyone else? Subscribe to Empire here.