Director Peter Berg called in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” on Thursday to talk about his latest film “Battleship,” creating the epic scenes, what it was like like working with first timer Rihanna.
On Rihanna, Her Audition, & Work Ethic:
“I can’t believe nobody thought to put her in a film and I got to be her first director. She just came to play and brought such a great energy and such a great creative spirit. She just kicks ass in this movie.”
He tells us for her audition: “She came in, in just a pair of khakis, tank top, flip flops, totally normal and she just started improvising, playing around with the script, and doing all the thing you want an actor to do. She showed a real genuine curiosity for it and I said at the end: ‘I want you to do this.’ And she said: ‘Okay, I’ll do it only if you promise not to go easy on me. Don’t kiss my butt and don’t tell me something’s good if it’s not.’
Peter continues, “That girl was the first one there every morning and the last one to leave. The person she reminds me the most of is Will Smith, who I worked with on ‘Hancock.’ Who’s got that never ending energy and is always positive and you work your butt off and good things happen. Those are the kind of people that good things happen to.”
On Battleship & Creating Those Epic Scenes:
“It’s like a little love story, a little small drama with a couple of mild alien invasions sequences and some big destroyers thrown in for good measure,” Peter tells us. But what was it like to make such an epic battle movie? “I don’t advocate killing elephants, I love elephants. But it’s like killing an elephant with a toothpick. You just have to go one stick at a time and eventually if you’re lucky, you get the whole thing put together and it works.”
“It’s so hard for these actors because they’re literally just staring at a cloud. They’re out in the ocean and you’ve got Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna and they’re staring at a cloud. They want to give everything they have and I’m trying to explain to them that it’s going to be an 800 foot, fierce, bad ass lethal alien warship and they’re like: ‘Peter, it’s a cloud.”
A Twist on Ryan’s Roses:
“I’m a big fan of ‘Roses,’ it’s really one of my favorite things to do is listen to it and just watch the holes people dig themselves into and how you guys handle it. But I think you should open it up to moms and lets see who the favorite kids are,” Peter tells us. “I want to do it to my mom. Because I think my mom loves my sister more than me. So, I want to do ‘Roses’ to my mom and see whether I get the flowers or my sister gets the flowers.”
“Battleship” hits theaters tomorrow, May 18th!