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'Valerian' director says Rihanna is focused, generous on set

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/7/2017 By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer
This image released by STX Entertainment shows Rihanna, who portrays a burlesque dancer named Bubble, in Luc Besson's sci-fi epic, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," in theaters on July 21. (Daniel Smith/STX Entertainment via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by STX Entertainment shows Rihanna, who portrays a burlesque dancer named Bubble, in Luc Besson's sci-fi epic, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," in theaters on July 21. (Daniel Smith/STX Entertainment via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 but worth it in the end.

The pop superstar co-stars in the film as a burlesque dancer named Bubble who performs in a seedy club owned by Ethan Hawke.

Besson says her team was rightfully protective of her at the outset, but that once she was on set, she was focused and generous. Early viewers have hailed Rihanna's small role as a scene-stealer.

The Grammy Award winner had a main role in "Battleship" and had cameos in the films "This Is the End" and "Annie."

"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" hits theaters on July 21.

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