Rihanna Wanted To Be ‘Badass,’ Not A Love Interest In ‘Battleship’

'I didn't imagine that it would be grungy, like, straight Navy soldier, no makeup,' the pop star admits.

Rihanna is no stranger to the tough-cookie persona. With songs like “Rockstar” and “Rude Boy,” the femme fatale likes to play up her fiery side. And in this summer’s much-anticipated “Battleship,” she’s no different.

While Rihanna showed us her softer side, laughing and smiling, during our MTV interview, it was her tougher side that she wanted to bring out in her debut big-screen performance. With only two female leads in the action flick, the pop singer landed the part of undercover FBI agent Raikes (the part of the sexy love interest Samantha went to the lovely Brooklyn Decker).

“I think that’s what I really wanted to do. I wanted to do something badass,” Rihanna said.

As it turns out, the role was a lot more vigorous than she expected, but Rihanna was up for the challenge. “I didn’t imagine that it would be grungy, like, straight Navy soldier, no makeup,” she admitted. “[But] I enjoyed it. It was a brilliant surprise for me.”

The “Talk That Talk” singer also revealed that the filmmakers used real weapons in the movie in lieu of fake, plastic props. The actors were taken out to train before shooting a scene in order to get acquainted with the artillery. Asked how comfortable she was handling a bazooka, the singer joked, “I have one of those at home.”

“We would train up and down, just speeding the boat, turning and learning how to shoot and handle the weapon. Two hours later, we’re shooting that scene,” she explained.

It’s clear Rihanna enjoyed the role, but what initially convinced her to turn from singer to actress?

“A couple [of] things,” she said. “I met with Peter Berg, the director of the movie, and went through the entire film and he talked me through the story. He showed me some of the characters and some of the aliens and what they would look like. He was so enthusiastic and when someone is passionate about something that much, you trust them.

“He certainly was very enthusiastic about me playing this part and I just felt like, ‘OK, well, if you’re sure, then I believe you. I think I can do it. And if you think I can do it, then let’s try,’ ” she recalled. “And it was as simple as trying and it being a role that wasn’t too big for me to pull off.”

With “Battleship” set to hit theaters on May 18, Rihanna now has her eye on a starring role, telling the U.K. Press Association this week that she would give her “entire life” for the opportunity to play Whitney Houston. The pop icon died in February and rumors of a biopic have been floating on the Net ever since.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Battleship.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.