The director cast the Umbrella singer in his upcoming film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, about two outer space operatives who must save their city from a dark force. Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan play heroes Laureline and Valerian, while Rihanna will take on the part of a character called Bubble, making a small appearance in the new trailer that dropped on Wednesday (29Mar17).

Explaining he didn’t want to hire her for the sake of it, Besson recalled how he met the musician to find out whether she was serious about acting before giving her a role.

“She was definitely serious about it and very low profile about it. The hard part was just to get her on set,” he told Collider.

“(Delevingne and Rihanna) have something in common – they don’t fear. When they trust the director, they really let you in. They let you manipulate them. They’re not scared of looking ridiculous. They don’t care. They just give. For me – it’s just what you want. You want to have someone open up.”

Delevingne too jumped into the world of acting from another craft having made a name for herself as a fashion model. She’s starred in a string of successful films since her debut in Anna Karenina five years ago, with main parts in Paper Towns and Suicide Squad, and she too had nothing but praise for her friend Rihanna, whose first film outing came in 2012's Battleship.

“On set, she was incredible,” Delevingne gushed. “Just to watch her. I always said to (Rihanna) what an incredible actress she could be. She’s an amazing performer but as an actor you have to do it on screen (too).”

Fans of the Work singer can also see Rihanna flex her acting skills in 2018’s Ocean’s Eight, opposite Hollywood heavyweights including Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter.