Rising star Fionn Whitehead thinks the hysteria surrounding his Dunkirk co-star Harry Styles' performance in Christopher Nolan's upcoming World War II drama "has got a bit silly".

The 20-year-old actor, who takes on a lead role as soldier Tommy in Nolan's survival movie, believes there is too much hype surrounding the One Direction singer's feature film debut.

"I think the hysteria – [perhaps] it should have been expected when you take a figure like that and give him a short back and sides and put him in a uniform," Whitehead told Digital Spy.

"I think it's got a bit silly really. The meaning has got lost somewhere along the way and people have stopped realising there's an amazing cast – including Harry – but there's, you know, the creme de la creme of actors."

"I think the focus should not be Harry Styles doing a movie, it should be on the piece in general or his ability to act. And he's great," he added.

Fionn Whitehead thinks Harry Styles mania is a bit much

Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces on Dunkirk beach in France during the early stages of World War II. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

Dunkirk opens in Irish cinemas on July 21

The ensemble cast includes Love/Hate's Barry Keoghan, Oscar-winning Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance, The Revenant's Tom Hardy, and Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy.

To be in with a chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets to the special Dublin screening of Dunkirk on Sunday July 16 click here