Rihanna: Tough Shooter!
By: Lynn Barker
Gone are the hot outfits, wild hairdos, stiletto heels and even the great singing voice. Gone, at least in international singing sensation Rihanna’s movie debut as Cora Raikes, a weapons specialist on the U.S.S. John Paul Jones. Picture your girl in fatigues, sans make-up and kicking major invading alien booty.
Raikes is just one of the boys….with curves as she pals around with her crewmates until a major alien force lands its massive war machines in the ocean near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where Raikes’ ship is participating in naval training exercises with an entire fleet.
It’s as if Rihanna is channeling warrior women like Terminator 2: Judgment Day’s Sarah Connor and Aliens’ Private Vasquez. It’s time to lock, load and fight to survive and Rihanna’s feisty character is great at it. She personally rescues at least two guys in the movie. You GO girl!
The singer/actress tells us that she was a tomboy as a kid. She was asked about working with real Navy crew members training her for the film.
Rihanna: The trainers were also in the movie and it was intimidating for me because “What am I doing wrong?” There was a professional right there next to me. It was good though. They were very, very helpful.
Q: Wasn’t there a female Navy gunner whom your character Cora Raikes was sort of modeled after? Jacqueline Carrizosa?
- Rihanna: Yeah, 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. 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.
Q: You totally look like you can handle a BIG gun in the movie. Did you have to learn how to do that too?
- Rihanna: A lot of the training on set had to do with how to hold the weapon the correct way. 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 (Director) Pete (Berg) to make sure that everything would be like it would be if we were actually in the Navy. Jacque had a lot to do with my look and feel in the film.
Q: The movie also has a lot of kick butt rock music in it. Classics like AC-DC, Creedence etc. What did you think of the music on the soundtrack?
- Rihanna: I think the music made it more intense and bad-a**. I think music plays an incredible part in the film because it helps to relay the emotion or the mood that you want. It helps to create that. For this one, there were a lot of moves and energy and those songs helped to pull that out.
Q: You had some light moments in this with the guys. What was it like working with Jesse (Plemons) and Taylor (Kitsch).
- Rihanna: They’re very funny guys. There was never a dull moment on set even at times when sometimes we’re tired or I just needed to learn something from them. They were helpful so I’d say I had a pretty great experience. Jesse was super fun, Hopper (Taylor’s character) very helpful to me.
Q: If aliens were attacking earth and you had to pick your team, who would be on it?
Rihanna: Definitely Liam (Neeson who plays Admiral Shane). There is no one tougher than him. He’s so intimidating. Even seeing him on set was scary but he’s a very good person, very kind, very sweet but you wouldn’t think that (from his performance in this role). I would feel safe with him (on my team).
Q: How would you describe this film to friends? It’s got aliens, friendship, love, action….
- Rihanna: That really makes sense. You watch this and the action just keeps going and going. Every scene is a little more unexpected than the one before. But, at the same time, there are these incredible relationships between the characters that are charming. It makes you care more.
Q: This is your first film. Do you want to keep this up?
- Rihanna: I do. I want to try comedy. I love watching comedy and it seems like something that would be fun to shoot. I did a skit on SNL and I enjoy working with comedians so it seems like it would be fun.