Rihanna is no stranger to the big screen, having made her film debut in 2012’s Battleship before lending her voice to 2015’s animated film, Home, but perhaps Rihanna’s most mysterious film project will take place in Luc Besson’s upcoming Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, where details of the songstress’ role in the sci-fi flick has been kept under wraps for nearly a year.
However, with the latest trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets having debuted earlier this week, Luc Besson is now opening up about what it was like to cast Rihanna in his latest science fiction film, in addition to gushing over the ease of working with the “Love on the Brain” singer on set.
During a brief interview with Business Insider earlier this week, Besson dished on Rihanna’s role in the film adaptation of the legendary French sci-gi graphic novel, where big names such as Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan, and Clive Owen will also appear, before delving into what led him to cast the songstress in the highly anticipated film.
Speaking of the difficulty in getting Rihanna cast in his film, Luc Besson revealed to the site that being able to get enough time to even speak to the songstress about the project was “the most difficult” aspect of working with her.
“The most difficult thing was trying to catch her to get her on set,” Besson began. “I think her schedule is worse than any president in the world — I couldn’t believe it.”
Besson adds, “She can land at midnight, work until 2 a.m., and I thought I was busy. But she’s the queen.”
In addition, Besson admits that Rihanna “offers herself like clay” when on set, noting that the songstress is easy to “mold” into her given role, which is a shape-shifting entertainer named Bubble.
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“What was amazing was all the entourage is out, she’s on the set by herself, totally open, and you can mold her how you want. There’s no distance, nothing. She waits for you to do something with her. She offers herself like clay,” Besson revealed.
The director’s sentiments echo those he previously made during an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, where he called Rihanna his “first wish” in putting the film together.
“Rihanna was my first wish. First, because of her voice and the way she smiles and looks and how she expresses herself,” Besson admitted. “Second, because you know she won’t be intimidated on the set. She plays stadiums with 100,000 people. You know that girl isn’t shy about the camera and the crew and all this.”
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Besson also revealed that Rihanna will receive “20-plus minutes” of screentime in the sci-fi film, noting that her role in the movie also offers “many surprises” for eager fans.
“She was very direct with me,” Besson continued. “She said, ‘Luc, I want to learn, I want to work. Just let me do it.'”
Besson concluded, “And I must say that she was a great partner and did everything I asked. And believe me — I asked too much.”
When Rihanna isn’t busy taking on Besson’s sci-fi film, the “Diamonds” singer can also be found on the set of the all-female cast for the new Ocean’s Eight film, where she’ll star alongside the likes of Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, and Helena Bonham Carter, to name a few.
In addition to her work on the big screen, Rihanna can also be seen portraying the infamous Marion Crane in the fifth and final season of Bates Motel, where she recently made her debut in the A&E series.
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will premiere in theaters on July 21.
[Featured Image by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]