The Evolution of Rihanna’s Film Career!

Rihanna is no stranger to mainstream success, with over 250 million records sold worldwide and nine Grammy Awards to her name. But she has also successfully transitioned into other areas, including movies. Let’s take a look at the evolution of her film career!

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Rihanna’s first acting gig came in the third installment of the Bring It On film series, Bring It On: All or Nothing, in 2006. Throughout the film, two competing cheerleading squads battle it out to earn a spot in the singer’s new music video for “Pon de Replay,” a No. 2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 the year before. Rihanna only makes a cameo appearance as herself in said video, but her song “SOS” is also featured on the soundtrack. Check out the clip (in all of its mid-2000s glory) down below!


Rihanna returned to the big screen six years later for Battleship, a 2012 movie based on the famous board game of the same name. Rihanna played petty officer Cora “Weps” Raikes, a no-nonsense weapons specialist who has to help defend the earth against aliens, thus proving she had what it takes to command the screen in a blockbuster.

This Is the End

This Is the End comes from the mind of Seth Rogen and his longtime writing partner, Evan Goldberg. The movie is about a religious-based apocalypse that occurs out of nowhere, and how different celebrities, like Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, for example, deal with it. Rihanna is one of many fictionalized stars in this comedy flick, and her screen time comes during a hilarious party scene in the beginning of the movie.


In the 2014 remake of the classic Broadway musical, Rihanna only has a few lines, appearing alongside Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher in MoonQuake Lake, a fake movie created just for Annie. As Moon Goddess, we briefly see Rihanna sticking out a blue tongue in a totally over the top, but laugh out loud “coming attraction.”


Rihanna dabbled in voice work for the first time on Home, a science fiction kids film from DreamWorks. The pop star plays Tip Tucci, a teenage girl who befriends Oh, a member of the friendly alien race, Boov. In addition to her cheery showing in the movie, Rihanna also performed, co-wrote, and co-produced songs from the soundtrack album, also titled Home.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

After her super short cameo in Andy Samberg’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Rihanna starred in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a space opera based on a French graphic novel. Rihanna acted as Bubble, a shape-shifting alien who famously captivates the audience with a terrific dance sequence.

Ocean’s 8

Rihanna was one of the many talented members on an ensemble cast in the all-female spinoff of the Ocean’s series, Ocean’s 8. Playing the security hacker Leslie “Nine Ball” Jordan, Rihanna was able to hone her acting skills thanks to a plot that blended comedy and heist antics. RiRi’s comfortability in this role specifically could be attributed to the fact that Nine Ball’s background was partly inspired by the singer.

Guava Island

This 55-minute movie seemingly came out of nowhere in 2019, earning a solid 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and even being called “a shorter, tighter Purple Rain” by Variety. Written by Donald Glover and his brother, Stephen, Guava Island crafts a vibrant story around music, political aspects, and bright, beachy colors – and lots of it. Deni and Kofi (Glover and Rihanna, respectively), truly look natural on screen in this equal parts music video and Caribbean fairytale film.

Upcoming Projects

It’s been a few years since Rihanna has starred in a feature film, but that’s not to say she doesn’t have anything lined up for the future. Rihanna seems to be heading back to the animated movie world, as she’s set to voice Smurfette and create original music for The Smurfs Musical, coming out in 2025. Moreover, a project called Rock the Cash Bar and an untitled film with Lupita Nyong’o – presumably the buddy movie that was nearly made by Netflix a few years back – seem to be on the horizon!

About the Author

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Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes is a Junior at Iona University, majoring in media and strategic communications, and an intern at AfterBuzz TV. In his free time, Robert loves to spend hours practicing the bass guitar and hunting for his favorite artists at vinyl record shops.