Rihanna plays Battleship
Rihanna is reporting for duty in the board game blockbuster Battleship. "Raikes kicks a lot of ass," she says. "She's one of the boys, and it was fun to explore that because I was a tomboy as a kid. The character is filled with raw energy, and it was a moment for me to be someone completely different than what people are used to seeing. It was exciting for people to see me as an actress and look at me as Raikes and not Rihanna."
Rihanna worked her butt off to land the role, breaking down in tears after enduring a punishing audition with director Peter Berg (Hancock, Friday Night Lights). "I put her through more audition paces than anyone else and wouldn't let her stop until she was crying real tears," he says.
Berg was more than ready to take a chance on the Grammy winner, pointing to Frank Sinatra and Tim McGraw as great singer-turned-actor success stories, "From day one, I had strong feelings about Rihanna," Berg says. "You can tell she's musical because she takes direction well, and she looked the part. I was very impressed with her work."
And Rihanna was equally ready to making the transition. "After I got the script, I was so impressed by it, and I just loved the story. I couldn't put it down, which was a clear indication that it would be a film that I would enjoy watching," she says.
Filmed on location in Hawaii, the story is a reimagining of the classic kid's game with the requisite big stunts and big action sequences. Whipping the singer into shape for the intense battle scenes was gunner's mate Jacque Carrizosa.
"I had Jacque in my trailer all day long. I listened to the same music she listens to, and I just lived and breathed in her mind set because I was playing the part of who she is in real life."
Channelling Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley the singer impressed everyone with her discipline in preparing for the role.
"A lot of the training on set had to do with how to hold the weapon the correct way," Rihanna notes. "I had to learn about these weapons and I enjoyed that because I didn't want to look like an actor with a gun, just shooting off into nowhere. It was also important to Pete to make sure that everything would be like it would be if we were actually in the Navy."
Words by: Debra Darby