Battleship

'Battleship' Director Explains Rihanna's 'Cocky, Hot, Sexy Girl' Swagger

As Rihanna makes her silver-screen debut in Battleship, a seafaring flick about alien ships, VIBE chats with director Peter Berg about what made him pluck the pop princess for the role of a Navy gunwoman

VIBE: We sort of know, but what was it about Rihanna?
Peter Berg: I’ve always been a big fan of hers. I’d see her in her videos and was pretty taken with her intensity and charisma. I’ve been a longtime believer that musicians can make really great actors. It goes back to Frank Sinatra winning the Oscar for From Here To Eternity to a long list of actors who have made the transition, from Liza Minnelli to Kris Kristofferson to Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. I thought she was fantastic. I worked with Tim McGraw in Friday Night Lights. I think musicians have all the ingredients to be great actors and strong performers.

I suspected Rihanna was no different. I had a couple meetings with her, and she came in my office dressed in casual jeans and a t-shirt with no makeup on and she expressed a really strong desire to be a real actress and not want any special treatment. I felt very confident for a number of reasons that she’d do a great job and she really had it. She was really good in the movie. I’m always looking for new faces; I love going to movies when you don’t know who all the actors are and you can be surprised. I’m always thinking in those terms. Frankly, I was surprised that no other director ever cast Rihanna. She seemed like such an obvious choice for someone to make the crossover.

Did she require any type of coaching?
There’s an acting coach, a woman named Susan who we all know and is legendary. It was great, because really what an acting coach can do for somebody like Rihanna is keep her focused on the set. There are so many distractions, and we were a mile out in the ocean with 400 people and sharks and dolphins and whales. It was good to have someone to kind of keep you quiet and focused. I think after working with music producers [Rihanna] just understands that kind of relationship, and it’s probably not that different from working with a record producer and director. She’d look to me for ideas, advice and inspiration and I’d throw her as many ideas as I could.

Kind of an important question: What’s the premise of Battleship?
We’ve identified what’s called a Goldilocks planet. Goldilocks planets really exist; they’re similar to the earth. They have similar relationships to their sun that we have to our sun. And in theory, these are planets that should be right for supporting life. What we actually do with these planets is we send high frequency signals out to these planets and basically say, “Hey, we’re earth, we’re here if you need us. If you’re interested, come and visit.” Steven Hawking, a very famous scientist, came out and said this was a horrible idea. If there are aliens out there, we shouldn’t be telling them where we are. We should keep quiet. If they come, they’re probably not going to be very friendly.

So in the beginning of the movie, we identify one of these Goldilocks planets, we send out a signal, and five years later we get a response in the form of five alien ships. These ships don’t come looking to fight; they’re actually relatively peaceful. They come into contact with two United States Navy ships and a Japanese ship and Rihanna is a gunner on one of those ships. She’s in charge of what’s called a “5-inch gun” which is a very powerful weapon on a ship. These weapon systems are traditionally run by men and women her age. What’s surprising is you go and meet the modern Navy and there are some very beautiful women in the Navy. They have to keep their hair cut a certain length, they’re not allowed to wear makeup and they’ve gotta wear a uniform but Rihanna fit in just perfectly with many of the Navy, especially Navy sailors we met.

Rihanna has this badass quality and looks like she has no problem holding a gun.
Yes, I mean the thing I like about her is she had no problem sliding into a physical character. She fights, she shoots, she kicks ass. I expected her to be able to do that. What I didn’t expect was there were some very subtle natural moments or her in this film. As much as there’s cocky, hot, sexy girl full of swagger, there’s also a real sweet girl in there. She’s got many gears. That’s what I find interesting about her. She can turn on other modes and be very sexy and be a badass. She can be very funny. Those are key prerequisites for good acting. You’ve gotta have a lot of different moves. And she’s got them.

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.

 

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Andre 3000 Stars In New Space Thriller 'High Life'

A new space thriller is coming to theaters this year. Andre 3000 will star in the new film alongside Twilight's Robert Pattinson in High Life, and the first trailer looks pretty intense.

The feature focuses on a group of criminals who are coerced into a mission to travel towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source. They are also forced to undergo sexual experiments while in outer space. The 2-minute preview features Pattinson and Andre 3000 as they struggle to survive on the spaceship.

High Life originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2018. It received positive reviews from numerous film critics.

"High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis," Rotten Tomatoes said of the film.

The film is written and directed by Claire Denis. High Life will hit theaters on Apr. 12. Watch the new trailer in the video above.

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