Cover girl: Everywhere you can see Rihanna in film and TV
The crossover of musicians and film has had mixed results. Sometimes Lady Gaga and Jared Leto end up with great film and television careers that score them awards (which of course mean nothing, but that’s beside the point). Other times, Mariah Carey shows up in your movie and it bombs.
Rihanna is somewhere in the middle of the pack, but not necessarily because she’s a bad actress. With a red and green checkerboard of good and bad movies, Rihanna’s film and TV career is nevertheless interesting.
Now Rihanna’s decided to quit music, we have to hope her career in Hollywood isn’t over yet. With such an eclectic mix of films in her catalog, and a surprising TV appearance, everyone can find a Rihanna performance to his or her liking.
Moon Goddess: Annie (2014)
Talk about a “blink and you’ll miss it” performance. In the Quvenzhane Wallis-led version of the iconic musical, Rihanna appears quickly as the Moon Goddess in a movie-within-a-movie called MoonQuake Lake. She has fangs and a blue tongue. Why put Rihanna in a musical and not let her sing? What a waste.
Bring it On: All or Nothing (2006)
The whole point of the cheer-off in this Bring it On movie is the winners become backup dancers in Rihanna’s new music video. So of course Rihanna had to make an appearance right at the end. She calls someone out for calling the underfunded high school team “ghetto”, telling the team to prove they’re better on the dance floor.
Tip: Home (2015)
Rihanna’s first and only animated voice role, Rihanna stars as a young girl who’s lost her mother after aliens invade the planet. Of course, she gets stuck with the Sheldon alien (Jim Parsons doing Sheldon as an alien) who helps her find her mom. While not her strongest performance thanks to a weak script and Parsons being annoying, it’s still fun. Plus, new music from Rihanna fills the soundtrack.
Kofi Novia: Guava Island (2019)
Another collaboration between Donald Glover and his younger brother Stephen, Guava Island features Rihanna as Glover’s love interest. The Amazon Original gives Rihanna a chance to go back to her island roots. The last time that happened, everyone got angry over “Work”.
This is the End (2013)
Rihanna bitchslaps Michael Cera in cameo-studded apocalypse comedy This is the End. What more of a reason do you need to watch this?
Petty Officer Weps: Battleship (2012)
Battleship walked so The Lego Movie could run. By casting Rihanna in her first major film role, Battleship’s producers knew what they were doing. Rihanna surprisingly does a great job, mainly because you can tell she’s not taking this movie seriously either.
Bubble: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
This is actually Rihanna’s audition tape for a new Burlesque. Bubble is introduced with a full-on burlesque dance, but as Valerian (Dane DeHaan) gets to know Bubble, he realizes she actually hates performing. Also she’s actually a giant, gooey alien.
Nine Ball: Ocean’s 8 (2018)
The sexy hacker suit really fits Rihanna, and gives her a chance to be the smartest one in the room while also being hot as hell. Plus, with such a star-studded cast around her, Rihanna is on fire with everyone else.
Marion Crane: Bates Motel
Rihanna only has one TV credit to her name, and it’s as one of the most iconic horror victims in history. Bates Motel is based on Psycho, so it would be wrong to not make room for Marion Crane. Don’t worry, she does take a shower – except instead of getting murdered, she gets out and ends up getting kicked out of the motel by Norman, so Rihanna lives to see another day.