On Saturday April 28th, 2012 GamerFitNation’s Antwand (BlackBible) Pearman interviewed Singer Rihanna and Gregory D. Gadson on their new upcoming 2012 film Battleship, based on the board game by Hasbro. This interview took place at the Knight Hawk Cinema in Brooklyn, New York.
GFN: What attracted you to this role?
Rihanna: It was something out of character from my real life. I liked the fact it was not a role that portrayed a glamorous life. It was also a small enough role for me to handle.
GFN: Was there any scene with Brooklyn Decker that was awkward or a fun moment?
Gadson: There were no awkward scenes with her. Brooklyn did a wonderful job, and she helped me relax and be myself. I had a lot of physical parts in the film and she helped me out. She’s a strong woman who let me put my hand on her shoulders when I had trouble walking or just getting my balance. I think she was great.
GFN: What did you learn while working with Peter Berg?
Rihanna: He’s very spontaneous, and fearless. He threw me out there and pushed me to the limit on day one. I didn’t even get a chance to get settle in on the set. In fact, the first day on set I didn’t even have lines prepared. I was instantly thrown into character and before you know it, I was already 12 lines in. I had to learn to improvise real quickly. I would watch him on the set and learn how to interpret his direction. Even between shots he would come over and give me tips. Peter made us do so much. He actually made me cluck like a chicken, it was just awful. He makes you do the craziest things. He’ll get you really mad then have you say the line, and it would work. It was a good learning experience.
GFN: What was it like working with Peter Berg?
Gadson: I couldn’t ask for a better director. Even though this was my first film I thought of Peter more like a coach. I’ve been around sports all my life, and Peter really exemplified himself as a coach. I watched him direct not only myself but others. He’s always trying to get the most out of people.
GFN: Going from singing to acting, what was your biggest obstacle?
Rihanna: Singing for me is my real life. When you play yourself everyday you don’t have to think about it. With acting you have to embody a totally different personality right from the core. You have to figure out how the person you’re portraying thinks and how’d they react to certain things. I’m definitely not used to that so that was the most challenging part.
GFN: What mental and physical challenges did you have making this film?
Gadson: The physical challenges were working in Hawaii. I hadn’t walked on a lot of off road terrain. I had to mentally focus on making sure I didn’t fall too much, and let my emotion truly come out. Acting was a sufficient challenge for me.
GFN: How did you physically prepare yourself for this role?
Rihanna: I trained with a soldier, and he was psychotic. He really broke me down and had no remorse. It was like I was a soldier in war, and he wanted me to have that emotional connection to the character. At one point I got so scared of him that every time he’d come over to train, I’d hide all my high heel shoes, pink IPod, and anything that was girly. Still, he really helped me. I trained with weights and sandbags on set. I also did a lot of training with a female soldier. She was a weapons experts. She taught me a lot about body language.
GFN: Do you believe that there is extraterrestrial life out there? If so, do u believe they would be peaceful or aggressive?
Gadson: Our universe is big, so I wouldn’t doubt it. It’s most likely that we’re not the only ones out here. Also, just as we have aggressive and peaceful people, they most likely have the same characteristics. If there are extraterrestrials, I wouldn’t be surprised.
GFN: How much about the game did you know before making the film?
Rihanna: I remember playing this game very roughly. I think I had the travel version that came with a happy meal. When I got on set they had a lot of Battleship, board games setup.
GFN: Do you believe that your role could inspire other disable people?
Gadson: I hope that’s one of the messages that comes across. It is really about moving forward, and letting go on what happened in the past. It is obviously apart of who you are, but your future is always forward and never backwards. Whether I have my legs on or off, I don’t think I need them to move forward in my life.