The Umbrella hitmaker will make her acting debut in the big budget spectacular, playing a navy cadet who helps fight against an invasion of alien ships.
Even though director Peter Berg was convinced Rihanna would be perfect for the movie after watching her music videos, he put her through her paces in the audition - and the singer was left frazzled by the process.
Berg tells Total Film, "I saw one of her videos and she was really cocky and sassy, very scrappy. There was a certain inherent toughness to her. Everyone thought I was crazy but I put a call out and asked her to come in.
"She was funny and tough, a natural performer... I wanted a gorgeous girl. I'll be very honest about that, but I wanted someone who could act. I put her through more audition paces than anyone else and wouldn't let her stop until she was crying real tears!"
Battleship is in UK cinemas on 11 April. Watch the trailer here...