Rihanna Had ‘Guts To Take Chances’ In Big-Screen Debut

'There's probably no more single important skill that you can ask for in an actress,' 'Battleship' director Peter Berg tells MTV News.

With the much-anticipated “Battleship” set to release May 18, some are still skeptical as to whether Rihanna can make a successful transition from music to film. But even in the beginning stages of the movie, director Peter Berg never doubted the pop singer’s talent.

“I’m a big believer in musicians-turned-actor,” Berg told MTV News, proceeding to list many of the musicians who went on to make it on the big screen.

“You could do a great MTV special about all the musicians that have acted,” he continued. “It starts for me with Frank Sinatra, who won an Oscar for a movie called ‘From Here to Eternity.’ Mick Jagger was in a film called ‘Performance.’ David Bowie was in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth.’ Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand. Did you see a film called ‘Precious’? Mariah Carey — remember how awesome she was in that film? Terrific. Lenny Kravitz. The late Whitney Houston was in a film called ‘The Bodyguard.’ “

Houston, however, played a musician in “The Bodyguard,” which was a role very familiar to her. If the “Talk That Talk” singer were to depict the beloved singer and actress in a Whitney Houston biopic — as she told the U.K. Press Association she “would give her entire life to do” — she would no doubt have more experience to draw on than someone who was just an actress. But Rihanna’s role of FBI agent Raikes in “Battleship” is unfamiliar territory.

The thought never worried Berg. “Well, look at Mariah Carey in ‘Precious.’ I mean, my God, you would never have thought that was Mariah Carey,” he said.

Berg says that what helps musicians as they cross over into acting is that they already have many of the same skills actors possess.

“They’re very artistic. They’re expressive. They’re honest. They’re willing to take chances,” the director explained. “And I knew from the second I saw Rihanna in her videos that that girl had real charisma. She came in and had a long meeting with me. We just played around, and she really didn’t even know what was going on, but what was apparent is that she really has the guts to take chances. There’s probably no more single important skill than that, that you can ask for in an actress.”

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

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