‘Valerian’ director says Rihanna is focused, generous on set

LOS ANGELES — Director Luc Besson says getting Rihanna’s team on board for her role in the sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” was a little painful at first.

Rihanna’s manager Jay Brown was a fan of Besson’s films like “The Professional” and “La Femme Nikita” but they had to make sure they trusted Besson and his crew before they committed.

The pop superstar co-stars in “Valerian,” out July 21, as a burlesque dancer named Bubble who performs in a seedy club owned by Ethan Hawke. Although it’s a relatively small part in the film starring Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, it’s already being hailed by early viewers as a scene-stealing performance.

Rihanna, who wasn’t available for an interview, was the director’s first choice for the pivotal role and he figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. She’d had a main role in the 2012 film “Battleship” and the animated “Home,” and cameos in “This Is the End” and “Annie.”

He was surprised at how involved her team was at the outset.

“They’re very protective of her,” he said “So before you get in, you have to prove that you’re honest and you’re there for a good reason … . It’s a little painful at the beginning, but after a while you go, ‘Yeah, we get it.’”

Once the Grammy winner’s team decided to move forward, Besson said Rihanna “was lovely.”

“What was good was when she was on the set she’s 200 per cent focused with you, no entourage, she’s there. When she’s there, she’s there,” Besson said.

“The problem, sometimes, is to have her there,” the French director added with a smile, to which his wife and producer Virginie Besson-Silla quickly jumped in and said, “No, no, she’s was good!”

“She was good,” Besson agreed. “She was amazing and so focused. I was surprised by how much she was ready and open to the director … She was at my service and I was surprised at the beginning. She was so generous.”

Just Posted

Red Deer photographer captures rare spirit bears

As part of a Canada 150 project he toured some parts of Canada

Updated: Man shot dead by police near Alix, ASIRT investigating

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating after a man… Continue reading

Flu clinic opens on Monday at Westerner Park

Free vaccine to all Albertans six months of age and older

Number of changes to Central Alberta constituencies recommended

Several Central Alberta ridings will have a new look if the Alberta… Continue reading

#MeToo campaign spreads to Red Deer

CASASC continues iRespect.info campaign

Business of the Year Awards celebrate local achievement

Olymel, The Bra Lounge, 360 Fitness and Postma Electrical Services Ltd. are the winners this year

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Owner of medical marijuana dispensaries challenges constitutionality of law

The law under which the owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries was… Continue reading

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Updated: Central Alberta Election Results

Unofficial results from Monday’s municipal elections in Central Alberta. Not all results… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month