LOS ANGELES — Rihanna might be a formidable force on the music charts, but the Barbados-born beauty is learning that making the leap into acting is harder than it looks — even when you’re playing yourself.
“It’s weird, but it’s also fun. I’m really enjoying it,” Rihanna told MTV News of her cameo role in the third and latest installment of “Bring It On,” tentatively titled “Bring It On Yet Again.” In the sassy cheerleading/dance flick, which is currently filming in downtown Los Angeles, a pair of rival squads compete for a chance to appear in Rihanna’s upcoming television special. It stars Beyoncé’s sister Solange Knowles (“Johnson Family Vacation,” “The Proud Family”) and Hayden Panettiere (“Ice Princess,” “Raising Helen”).
In addition to her brief acting role, the 17-year-old singer will also do a special musical performance for the film, though there’s no word yet on which song she’ll sing. And although she did flub a line or two during rehearsals, she soon eased into the swing of things and nailed her lines during filming.
“You get better each time you do it,” Rihanna said after her sequence.
Rihanna has already been offered several scripts to look over, including a horror film and a couple of dramatic roles. “Singing was always the bigger picture, but I definitely want to get into acting as well,” she said. Rihanna says she wants to take acting classes next year, if time permits.
Right now, the singer is wrapping up a small cross-country tour to promote her debut album, Music of the Sun, which spawned the hits “Pon de Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” (see “Rihanna Insists She’s Got What You Need In ’Pon de Replay’ Follow-Up” ). While a third single has yet to be selected by her label, the singer already has her sights on the sultry “Let Me” for that honor.
“It’s a very flirty, very naughty song,” she said. “I’m basically telling this guy, ’Let me do those things for you… ’ It’s very sexy.”
It’s not always easy living up to the hype when you’re one of Jay-Z’s hand-picked protégés (see “Jay-Z’s Picks Teairra Mari, Rihanna and Ne-Yo”), but Rihanna has been wearing that title well, even giving Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” a run for #1 (Mariah took the title, nabbing the #1 spot for 13 weeks, but “Pon de Replay” stayed hot on its heels at #2). Going up against her idol, she says, has been one of the coolest things that has happened since her arrival on the scene.
“I looked up to [Mariah] a lot and I still do. I admire her as an artist, and to [compete with her] was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life,” she said.
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