Act­ing at own pace

Chart-top­per Ri­hanna is proud of her first film role – grap­pling with aliens in sci-fi ad­ven­ture writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

WHEN it comes to com­mand­ing col­umn inches, not many stars can com­pete with Ri­hanna.

Al­most ev­ery day there’s a new snap­shot of the Bajan beauty’s lat­est dar­ing out­fit or a scream­ing head­line link­ing her with a new man.

‘‘It’s an­noy­ing, it re­ally is. I don’t like peo­ple get­ting into my per­sonal busi­ness,’’ she says in her Bar­ba­dian brogue.

‘‘Some­times I wish I wasn’t fa­mous. It gets an­noy­ing. You want privacy for your­self. I don’t know how to get around that. At least not right now. I don’t know what’s up, but the pa­parazzi seem to be on my tail right now.’’

The at­ten­tion from the press looks set to con­tinue as the six­time Grammy-win­ning pop su­per­star – who has con­quered the charts with hits such as Um­brella, Pon De Re­play and What’s My Name – makes her act­ing de­but in Peter Berg’s scifi ac­tion ad­ven­ture, Bat­tle­ship.

Ri­hanna, who left Barbados at 16, is proud of her first film role, which sees her por­tray­ing Petty Of­fi­cer Cora Raikes, along­side Tay­lor Kitsch, Liam Nee­son and Brook­lyn Decker.

‘‘As I got older, act­ing seemed like some­thing that I would be in­ter­ested in. I didn’t know if I’d be any good so I just wanted to see if I would like it,’’ she says.

‘‘I’ve been of­fered a lot of film roles be­fore, but they were never the right one. I wanted to take my time with baby steps – small roles I could pull off in a pro­fes­sional way.’’

As the feisty Raikes, the singer got to grap­ple with aliens and han­dle big guns.

‘‘That was the cool part – I got to shoot a lot of weapons and kick a lot of alien butt,’’ she re­calls. ‘‘She’s one of the boys – it was fun to ex­plore that be­cause I was a tomboy as a kid. It was ex­cit­ing for peo­ple to look at me as Raikes and not Ri­hanna.’’

Her back­ground as a for­mer army cadet def­i­nitely helped her in the role.

‘‘I learnt a lit­tle – well, enough – about weapons. We used to shoot on a range and I did a lot of train­ing and dis­ci­pline, so I had army eti­quette from young.’’

How­ever, pre­par­ing for the role was less fun for the songstress, who was put through her paces by a nonon­sense sol­dier.

‘‘I had to do a lot of phys­i­cal train­ing. I had to do push-ups, tons of push-ups. I hate them!’’

But push-ups were just the start of a gru­elling rou­tine.

‘‘I had to work out with these sand­bags that were the same weight as the weapon and I had to get used to pulling them around.

‘‘The trainer would make me do it like 40 times back to back, un­til one of my arms lit­er­ally was so dieselled (mus­cu­lar) and the other one was so reg­u­lar,’’ she re­calls, with a gri­mace.

Ri­hanna stars in spe­cial-ef­fects block­buster

For a su­per­star like Ri­hanna, it also took some time to ad­just to the tough treat­ment.

‘‘He yelled at me so many times. It was crazy. But it re­ally put me in that place so it was nec­es­sary,’’ she says.

‘‘I thought, ‘There’s no way he’s com­ing into my room, talk­ing to me like that’. Af­ter a while, I got so freaked out, he messed up my head. Ev­ery time he came over, I would hide all my high heels, any shop­ping bags, re­move my pink ipod from the dock – and no, I didn’t have nails!

‘‘The first time he came over, he saw them and said, ‘You have to be kid­ding me’. I got rid of those so fast.’’

Ri­hanna – who lists Meryl Streep and Seth Ro­gen as her favourite screen stars – re­veals that the ex­pe­ri­ence has given her an ap­petite for more bigscreen out­ings in the fu­ture.

‘‘I was very im­pressed by the ex­pe­ri­ence, which has been be­yond my ex­pec­ta­tions,’’ she says.

‘‘It made me ex­cited to see what else I could do. There’s plans for that this year, but I can’t re­ally talk about those projects yet.

‘‘I want to try dif­fer­ent roles – maybe com­edy next, or who knows? I like sar­cas­tic, dry hu­mour: I love movies like Su­per­bad and Pineap­ple Ex­press, pretty much all Seth Ro­gen’s movies.’’

She’s also ru­moured to be in the run­ning to por­tray the late Whit­ney Hous­ton in a forth­com­ing biopic.

‘‘I didn’t get that call yet,’’ she says.

‘‘That would be some­thing that I would have to give my en­tire life to do be­cause I would want to re­ally pull it off. That’s a huge, huge role and who­ever does it has to do a good job.

‘‘I love her. She’s one of my big mu­sic icons, I have al­ways looked up to her. The first song I re­mem­ber fall­ing in love with was Whit­ney Hous­ton’s I Will Al­ways Love You. It made me de­velop a pas­sion for mu­sic, so she’s partly re­spon­si­ble for me be­ing here in this in­dus­try.’’

One thing is for sure, Ri­hanna looks cer­tain to carve out her own path.

‘‘Act­ing, I can play a part and I can em­body a char­ac­ter and a role. That’s the only way I can change but I can’t change my­self. I only have one mould and that’s Ri­hanna.’’

opens to­day.

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