I Hate to Say It, but Harry Styles Is a Neck Actor. Allow Me to Explain.

I’ve gathered you here today to discuss a matter of the utmost importance. It’s so important that it might even pertain to national security (kidding), but still. The matter is Mr. Harry Edward Styles and his acting skills. Watching Harry in his new movie My Policeman brought me to an epiphany: The man is a neck actor. Yes, that is a term I made up. And yes, I will explain what I mean.

But first, the details. My Policeman, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and launched on Amazon Prime Video today, follows a love triangle in their younger and older years, and the younger group is played by Harry Styles (Tom), David Dawson (Patrick), and Emma Corrin (Marion). Tom and Patrick are in love, but it’s Brighton, England, in the 1950s and being gay is illegal. Tom marries Marion to shield him from the scrutiny he could face as a gay man. It is a quiet and tragic movie full of glances across crowded rooms and intimate moments stolen while other people aren’t looking.

But then there’s Harry Styles, who tries to give a quiet performance to match the film but there’s one big problem: He acts with his neck and his neck only. What I mean by that is instead of reacting to someone with his eyes or his face, he will swivel his head almost nonstop between people and things. I’ll give you an example. There’s a scene in the movie where Tom and Patrick are in a museum staring at a work of art. It’s a scene that establishes their growing feelings for one another even though they can’t really talk about them openly. In the span of a minute-long conversation, Harry moves his head back and forth so often that I almost got whiplash just watching him perform. I kept wanting to shout “Stay still!!!” at the screen.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can see a little of what I’m talking about in the first minute of this featurette.

Maybe it’s because Harry is one of the world’s biggest pop stars and the Harry we see onstage at his concerts, the Harry that grinds and grooves and shakes his lil hips, and yes, even moves his neck to try to find the best signs in the crowd from his 360-degree stage is ultimately the same Harry we are seeing here. His ass quite literally refuses to quit.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry Styles. I want Harry Styles to succeed as an actor. And look, I appreciate a career pivot more than anyone else. I think there’s still hope for him. But Harry, my guy, please give your neck a break. You’re going to need physical therapy, and we’re all going to need a Dramamine for the seasickness.

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