Peter Berg explains why he cast Rihanna in 'Battleship' - See video
Director and actor Peter Berg explained to OnTheredCarpet.com recently that he "was looking to do something different" when he cast singer Rihanna in the new action film "Battleship."
"I was looking to do something different and I was a fan of Rihanna's charisma," he told host Rachel Smith earlier this month. "I had seen her on stage. I saw her give an interview with Diane Sawyer after her whole domestic violence incident and I was like she was so articulate and I felt honest and clearly a smart woman."
Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time, after a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service and was ordered by the courts to receive domestic violence courses for a year.
Berg added, "I always had my eye on that girl as clearly someone who had a lot more going on than a pop star."
"Battleship" is based on the popular board game of the same name. In the film, an international fleet of ships on earth come in contact with a fleet of alien ships who attempt to take over the planet. "Battleship" also stars Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson and Brooklyn Decker. Rihanna plays Petty officer second class Cora Raikes, an ammunitions specialist.
Berg has chosen to cast a musician in the past with Tim McGraw in the 2004 film "Friday Night Lights." Berg has also directed films like "The Rundown" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Hancock" with Will Smith.
Berg said he was inspired by the decision in part by seeing Mariah Carey in the film "Precious."
"When I had this part and started thinking about it, I thought about her and she came in for a meeting and I said just come in like a normal person," Berg said. "She came in flip flops, in a pair of Khakis and a T-shirt, you know short hair, and she's like, 'Okay, how do we do this?'"
"She had the creative appetite to take chances and to try different things and to just totally commit, it's what you look for in any actor," he added. "Her work ethic was so strong."
Berg also said the 24-year-old singer spoke with other actresses and acting teachers before taking on the role because both she and Berg knew she would likely get criticized if she performed poorly in the film.
"I hadn't seen anyone that confident in someone who ever did this before so I felt safe," Rihanna said about Berg. "I trusted him more than I trusted myself."
"Battleship" hit theaters on May 18. Check out the trailer below.Additional reporting by Rachel Smith, host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).