Director Defends Casting Rihanna in "Battleship"

Jacopo Raule/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Director Peter Berg has seen his share of critical sniping, first for daring to make an upcoming movie based on the board game Battleship, and then for casting Rihanna as a kick-butt U.S. Navy sailor.

However, in an interview with the movie site, Berg said the casting criticism is mispaced.

“You know, Rihanna is part of an ensemble and she is actually quite a good actress," said Berg.  "As was Whitney Houston, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger in Performance, David Bowie, Barbara Streisand, Tim McGraw, and lots of them before her.  So the whole idea of, 'Oh my God, this is the most shocking and outrageous thing, and how dare they put Rihanna in this film,' that all started falling away."

Battleship, which also stars Liam Neeson and True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard, steams into theaters May 16.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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