Rihanna Discusses Training for Her ‘Battleship’ Movie Role
Some rappers, rockers, or pop stars successfully transition into film, while others, such as Britney Spears in Crossroads or Mariah Carey in Glitter, give it a shot and go back to their music careers. Where might Rihanna, in an upcoming role in the Battleship movie, fit? Although films based on board or video games vary widely in quality and success (think 1993’s Super Mario Bros. versus the Tomb Raider movies), the pop star seems to be giving it her all, according to a recent interview on UGO.
So, how did Rihanna end up getting attached to this project, especially as she’s in the midst of a tour and recording an album? In describing her experience and decision to take up a role, she said: “[My manager] wasn’t there, and I walked in. And [Peter Berg] just walked out and said, ‘Hi, come in’ and I’m like, ‘Where is Christa, my manager? Where is my manager?’ She wasn’t there, and I walked in and all I saw were these little alien mock-ups, these little dolls. And he just started saying, ‘Yeah, these are the thugs, he’s a thug.’ ‘Uhh, okay,’ I laughed and then I realized that he wasn’t laughing, and I was like, ‘this is weird. Why are there pictures of aliens all over this room?’ And it was just crazy because he was just really super enthusiastic about it, and he was so sure that I could pull it off and I didn’t even know that he was the director of the film, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going, why.
“And after I read the script I was really, really impressed and I wanted to be a part of it. Plus it was a role I felt like I could handle for the first time I’m acting.”
In addition to acting lessons, the pop star endured the rigors of boot camp training to prepare for the role and get into character: “We worked with real military people, you know, people in the Navy, people who have fought in Iraq before. They pretty much came and drilled me. This one man, Donald, he pretty much drilled me, yelled at me, cursed me, ‘Ow!’ Made me do pushups. Everything, like—my best friend was there the second time we worked together, and I said to her, ‘Okay, I’m about to do acting class, but you’re going to want to kill this man, so just stay in the bedroom. Don’t listen to anything he’s saying to me right now, just don’t kill him, Melissa, just stay in the bedroom.’ And I remember she just kept walking around, and she would just glance at me, ‘Are you okay? Did he just say 'fu*k you’ to you?’ But I mean it really got you in the mentality, that’s the things they really go through, you know, when they first sign up. It’s not a walk in the park.”
What type of role is Rihanna playing? According to the singer’s description of the part, the character doesn’t sound like much of a stretch from the pop star’s sometimes-tough-girl persona from music videos: “She doesn’t like boys. She doesn’t like girls either. She’s just about her weapons and her work.”
Nevertheless, the singer finds acting on screen to be a different experience from performing on stage or being in a music video: “Being on stage, it’s a whole new world that I’m a little more comfortable with. This is a whole different perspective, I mean it seems the same, it’s not even the same as shooting a video. It really isn’t.”
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