Hollywood came to Dorset with Harry Styles and Christopher Nolan descending on town

Harry Styles performing on the main stage during the BBC Radio 1

Crowds gathered around Harry Styles to catch a glimpse of him as he made his feature film debut.

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A World War II epic was filmed in Dorset in summer 2016. It saw an Oscar-winning actor and popstar sensation arrive. Christoper Nolan directed the film, which depicted the evacuation from Dunkirk, France of more than 300,000. The film was shot in three perspectives: land, sea and air. It was made during World War II.

Swanage Railway Station was closed and turned into a World War II-era station. Harry Styles filmed scenes there for two days. Christopher Nolan selected Weymouth as one the many filming locations. This town played a critical role in the real life evacuation.

Buildings were repainted. Streetlights and parking meters along the harbourside road were also hidden to make the 1940s look like they were. Numerous ships were moored at the harbour, which made it appear that they were being used for filming. Locals were then hired as extras.

Read more – 39 Dorset filming sites: From Rebecca, Broadchurch, Dunkirk to Sleuth or The Dam Busters

As Hollywood arrived in town, there was a buzz in the area. It was like stepping back to the past for those three days from July 27 through July 29, 2016. As Harry Styles filmed scenes for the blockbuster, a crowd of teenage fans cheered him on. He was even seen laughing and smiling in costume with Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy

Mark Rylance, fresh off his Oscar win for Bridge of Spies, was also seen in costume. Rylance was spotted filming on a boat at Weymouth Harbour on day one of filming. Tom Hardy was reported to have been seen in a Weymouth bar earlier in the week. However, no other sightings were made of the British actor.

Barry Keoghan was also filmed running in the harbour to a ship while the Weymouth Harbourmaster’s office was used to depict the Weymouth Herald newspaper office in the film. As the multi-million blockbuster was being shot in Weymouth Harbour, security personnel were also called to ensure safety. Filming took place between 11am and 11pm.

Filming continued late into the night, with crews and boats spotted at sea before returning home to Weymouth Harbour. Filming continued on July 28, at 2pm, and did not stop until 2am. After Nolan had finished filming scenes in the town, the crew began to pack the sets and props.

While the harbour appeared to have gone back in time for the blockbuster, the historical accuracy isn’t 100 per cent correct. There was no Jurassic Skyline tower in the 1940s, nor was there the former Condor Ferries’ offices, which eagle-eyed residents spotted when the film’s trailer was released and again when the blockbuster hit cinemas.

Dunkirk was released July 2017. It received high praise for its realistic portrayal of the historical evacuation, extensive practical effects, historic boats, scenery, and screenplay. It won Best Sound Editing, Best Audio Mixing and Best Film Editing at the 2018 Oscars. Five additional nominations were made for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography, Best Original Song, Best Production Design, and Best Picture.

Do you recall watching the filming? Did you ever meet any of the actors? Do you have a story to tell or an investigation to do? Email us at [email protected]

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