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The sci-fi movie, which also stars Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, had its London premiere last night (July 24).
Besson, who is known for his iconic movie The Fifth Element, had the superstar singer in mind for the role of Bubble from the very beginning, but producers on the new movie were unsure if Rihanna would even be interested.
“Bubble is the ultimate artist – that’s the part,” Besson said. “And for me, Rihanna is the ultimate – she’s the queen. I thought about her from the beginning. And when we started the cast, I said, ‘For Bubble, I’d love to contact Rihanna.’
“They [the producers] said: ‘What’s your second choice?’ I said: ‘Why?’ They said: ‘Luc, come on.’ I said: ‘Why not? Let’s try it. Let’s see.'”
Besson added that if Rihanna’s manager had come back and said she wasn’t interested they wouldn’t have even sent her the script, as Contactmusic reports.
Describing the singer on set, the director said she was “normal.” “Even me at the beginning, I said, ‘I hope it’s not going to be Rihanna and the great orchestra.’ But on the first day, she looked at her entourage and said: ‘You, out.'”
He added: “She was perfect. My concern with her was if she wanted to be in the film for the right reason or not, and she did.”