Rihanna Leads 2012 Crossovers Into New Territory

'Battleship' takes pop star from Billboard to big screen, while Taylor Swift and Brooklyn Decker forge ahead in new career paths.

During this optimistic first week of the new year, it’s time to think about our favorite entertainers who are poised to make a big impact outside their typical areas of expertise. We’re talkin’ crossovers, of course, including multitalented musicians-turned-actors, actors-turned-musicians, models-turned-actors, actors-turned-authors, wrestlers-turned-actors and other hyphenates!

Here’s a look at a few of the stars who are making moves in new directions this year:

Rihanna
We’ve glimpsed her acting chops during performances and dramatic videos, but this year, [artist id="1940303"]RiRi[/artist] is making the big move from music to movies with a role in the expected summer blockbuster “Battleship,” due May 18. Not much has been revealed about her character yet, but we did get a brief look at her in action as a strong, capable Marine in the trailer . We also see her wielding a rather large gun alongside co-star Taylor Kitsch.

Brooklyn Decker
Speaking of attractive “Battleship” stars, swimsuit model-turned-actress Brooklyn Decker continues to carve out a new niche in her career. The blond beauty made a splash in last year’s “Just Go With It,” alongside Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, and will next be seen in the ensemble romantic comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” in which Decker plays Dennis Quaid’s much younger wife. “Expecting” opens one week ahead of “Battleship,” in which she plays Liam Neeson’s daughter and Kitsch’s girlfriend.

Chris Brown
Although he’s still devoting the majority of his time to music, [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] is broadening his horizons with forays into directing and acting. First up is Wale’s clip for “Slight Work,” which Brown co-directed with Godfrey Tabarez. He told MTV News recently that the gig didn’t even feel like work. “This video is just fun,” he said. “I mean, we’re young, so it’s only right to just do what we wanna do.” Brown will also continue to pursue acting jobs in 2012, the first of which is “Planet B Boy,” likely followed by a role in “Think Like a Man,” based on the Steve Harvey book.

Taylor Swift
[artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist] has already has crossover success musically, when she went from a country singer to a mainstream sensation. This year, after her big-screen debut in 2011′s star-stuffed “Valentine’s Day” opposite then-boyfriend Taylor Lautner, it seems likely that Swift will once again be up on the big screen. Rumor has it the 22-year-old has been offered a role in the equally star-studded movie musical “Les Misérables,” alongside Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and possibly Amanda Seyfried. Fan reaction to the news has been mixed, but if she doesn’t end up in that film, we’re confident she’ll wind up in another soon enough.

Honorable Mention: The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson deserves a lot of credit for becoming a successful and exceedingly popular wrestler with the WWE to begin with, the momentum from which he turned into an equally lucrative film career. Then last year he returned to the world of wrestling after a nearly seven-year hiatus, which was received with fans losing their minds, in a good way. Check out the video for proof. A few months later, he returned to the big screen in “Fast Five,” which was one of the year’s biggest hits at the box office. And don’t forget his musical “stylings” on Wyclef Jean’s catchy tune “It Doesn’t Matter.” The man cannot be stopped. Not only that, but after years of being branded simply as “The Rock,” he is just as often referred to by his real name, Dwayne Johnson.

Perhaps we should consider awarding the most successful of this year’s crossover stars with a “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Crossover Star of Achievement” trophy?

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