As a performer and on the street, Rihanna does love to play around with her look, but she's never gone to quite the same lengths as she did on the set of her upcoming movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. On Sunday, she shared a behind-the-scenes video showing us just a peek at what it took for her to become a sexy, vulnerable, shape-shifting alien entertainer for Luc Besson's film.
"Luc reached out to my manager and I," she says in the publicity clip Rihanna posted to Instagram. "I saw how much he cared about this project. Everybody who loves film is a fan of Luc Besson's work."
The clip shows Rihanna's character, Bubble, in costumes we might recognise from more Earthly performers — a Cabaret style dancer (as she is in the poster), an Egyptian queen, and a blonde bombshell. Then she's something a little less, well, flattering: a blobby CGI alien. Of course, to become that character, she had to get all decked out in a skintight motion-capture sure, which is more flattering on RiRi than it has any right to be.
"She was super sweet, obviously not scared of the camera," Besson says of her in the clip.
In a recent interview with Glamour, Cara Delevingne told a story that describes her co-star more vividly than "sweet."
"There was a moment where Luc was trying to make her cry, to be emotional," said Delevingne, who plays Laureline in the movie. "He was like, 'Imagine that you get told that your song hasn’t gone to number one and your performance is really bad.' I knew she wasn’t going to give a shit — that’s not the way to get into her emotion. And she literally said, 'You’re kidding me? I couldn’t care less.' That was funny. Luc said we were similar in that, once the trust was there, we became clay he could mold."
In a brief snippet, we do get to see Rihanna close to tears when Dane DeHaan's Valerian asks her name, so Besson did find something more moving for her to think of eventually. Perhaps she connected more to the sci-fi elements of the story than he predicted she would.
"He's creating this incredible world," Rihanna says in the video. "When I saw my name on the poster for Valerian, it got real. I'm so blessed to be having this experience."