When you came to work today, did you know that you were going to “cluck” like a chicken?
Rihanna: No, neither did I know that when I got to set.
Is that a Peter Berg thing?
Rihanna: Peter Berg? He’s crazy. He really is, and so spontaneous, so nothing is memorized, it’s a real reaction every time, and I couldn’t ask for a better director to work with on my first film.
Did he warn you it was going to be crazy?
Rihanna: Warn? Who does that? Who warns you that you have to jump into the middle of the ocean and pretend that you’re drowning? Who does that? Him? Never.
What made you choose this film as your first?
Rihanna: It’s weird how it happened, I walked into a meeting, I know I had a meeting, but usually my manager would be there to prep me and say, “Okay, this is what we’re doing, this is who we’re meeting, this is why we’re doing this meeting.” What it’s about?
She 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.
You play a bada*s chick in this film, did you watch anything to do research?
Rihanna: 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.
Were you tempted to leave when he was tough on you?
Rihanna: No, I really want to say, “Fu*k you” right back, but then he probably would have thrown me through the window! I was so scared I just stood there and looked at him like, “I swear I’m going to get it right, I swear, I swear, I swear I’ll be good.”
More on the movie role when you continue.