It’s fair to say that Harry Styles is known for being a Grammy Award–winning musician and one-fifth of One Direction before he is known for being an actor.
But seven years after he was catapulted to fame via the UK version of The X Factor, Harry launched his acting career in Christopher Nolan’s war epic Dunkirk.
The star was lauded for his performance despite having minimal screentime, and he soon made the impressive move into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In 2021, Harry made his cameo as Eros — the brother of Thanos — in Eternals, and he is confirmed to feature more heavily in upcoming MCU films.
As if that wasn’t enough, Harry has two much-anticipated movies coming out this year: psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling, and British period romance My Policeman.
Don’t Worry Darling will be released first, and Harry’s involvement in the movie has received particular attention as he and the director, Olivia Wilde, are now in a relationship.
He famously replaced Shia LaBeouf as the character Jack and stars opposite Academy Award–nominee Florence Pugh, who plays Jack’s wife, Alice.
Don’t Worry Darling will premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5, and ahead of its release, a previously unseen clip of Harry and Florence in action was shared on social media on Wednesday.
In the 18-second clip, the onscreen couple are arguing. In character as Jack, Harry shouts: “Not everyone gets this opportunity, and if you keep talking like this you’re going to put it all at risk.”
“You’re worried about a demotion?” Florence replies as Alice. “That’s what you’re worried about?”
“Our life, Alice, our life together. This, we could lose this,” her costar responds.
But the sneak peek left viewers with questions, namely in relation to Harry and his accent. People asked whether he was supposed to be British or American in the movie.
Many claimed to hear hints of both in the short glimpse at his performance, with it being said that he sounded like an American actor trying to impersonate a Brit.
In case you didn’t know, Harry is British and hails from Cheshire in the north of England.
“Why is Harry Styles, allegedly English, doing such a bad English accent?” one person asked on Twitter. Another joked: “What is the accent Harry Styles is aiming for in Don’t Worry Darling I need to know before I can sleep again.”
Another tweet read: “Harry 3 Different Accent Styles.” Someone else wrote: “Why does harry styles sound like hes speaking w a fake british accent.”
One person shared a screenshot from the clip that showed Florence looking shocked and wrote: “Florence wasn’t acting here, she was just astounded at how bizarre Harry’s accent was.”
Someone else echoed: “Something very funny about Florence Pugh just doing her perfect little American accent in the face of whatever Harry is up to.”
Over on TikTok, a popular video poked fun at the star’s accent, and the comments widely agreed with the stance. One person responded: “I can’t tell if he’s British in the movie or if this is him doing an accent.”
Another agreed: “His accents always comes in and out, I have no idea if the characters he plays American or British 🤭😭”
One more added: “Is he suppose to be American or British in the film. GENUINE Q CANT TELL.” Another user wrote: “He sounds like an American trying to speak with a British accent.”
But others jumped to Harry’s defense, arguing that he has just kept his native Northern England accent, which is underrepresented in media.
“The Harry Styles clip is giving GCSE drama but the accent? He’s literally just northern,” someone tweeted. Another person echoed: “It is a bit embarrassing seeing americans making fun of his accent here without realising that this is just what people in northern england sound like.”
Another fan claimed that Harry’s accent is naturally a bit jumbled from his years of traveling the world and living abroad. “I genuinely think harry styles is a good actor but his accent is just so out of wack from years of traveling around the world,” they wrote.
But the implication that Harry was able to use his own accent in a movie set in California only paved the way for more questions, with people also asking why his British costar Florence couldn’t do the same.
Throughout Don’t Worry Darling’s trailer and the newly released clip, she is speaking in an indisputable American accent.
“How come harry styles gets to have the british accent but not florence,” one person asked. Someone else said: “Don’t understand why Florence had to do an American accent but Harry didn’t.”
“Yea no shade but is Harry supposed to have his irl accent in the movie??? If so why? Also why not let Florence have hers if that’s the case? Hopefully these questions will be answered when I see it?” another Twitter user asked.
Earlier this week, Harry suggested that he will be taking a break from acting following the release of his next two movies, as he doesn’t find filming as “fulfilling” as making music.
“I don’t imagine I’d do a movie for a while,” he told Rolling Stone. “I think there’ll be a time again when I’ll crave it but when you’re making music, something’s happening. It feels really creative and it feeds stuff.”
“A large part of acting is the doing-nothing, waiting thing,” he went on. “I don’t find that section of it to be that fulfilling. I like doing it in the moment, but I don’t think I’ll do it a lot.”
But with Harry’s role within the MCU already firmly established, it’s safe to assume that he won’t be away from our screens for too long.