Ocean’s 8 is hitting theaters June 8, and the female-lead cast features big names like Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Mindy Kaling. The Warner Bros. film follows Debbie Ocean (Bullock) as she assembles a team of cons to help her steal jewels from the coveted Met Gala. Also among the cast of Ocean’s 8? Rihanna, who’s coincidentally co-hosting this year’s Gala.
Who does Rihanna play in Ocean’s 8?
Rihanna plays Nine Ball Bajan, a Caribbean hacker with long, twisting dreadlocks and street smarts.
“She has such an incredible sense of personal style,” costume designer Sarah Edwards told The Hollywood Reporter, “and here I was putting her in these huge baggy jeans with boots and an Army jacket, which she embraced completely.”
Nine Ball Bajan in Ocean’s 8 was reportedly inspired by Rihanna’s island roots, something that she and director Gary Ross decided together.
“Rihanna is so bravely authentic,” Ross told Vogue for its June issue, on which Rihanna graces the cover. “She doesn’t care what people think of her; she’s fully invested in being herself. She also has a seriousness of purpose and focus that not a lot of people have. It’s all about the work, and it doesn’t come with any excess personal baggage.”
— Oceans8Movie (@oceans8movie) April 11, 2018
Bullock told Vogue that costarring in a movie with Rihanna is a “combination of being starstruck and being immediately put at ease. She also has this warmth, and when she shines it on you, it makes you feel pretty damn amazing!”
Watch the Ocean’s 8 trailer
And because everyone is asking: Are Rihanna and Drake dating?
Plain and simple: no. In the Vogue cover interview published today, the megastar said that the on-again, off-again duo “don’t have a friendship now, but are not enemies either. It is what it is.”
And when Drake professed his love for her (i.e. “she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old…”) while presenting her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, Rihanna apparently wasn’t so pleased. (Watch it here.)
As Vogue related, “Rihanna winces slightly at the mention of the rapper’s name before her eyes glaze over with cool indifference.”
“Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part,” she told the magazine. “I don’t like too many compliments; I don’t like to be put on blast.”
Rihanna actually has a new beau, though she wouldn’t reveal a name to Vogue. (PEOPLE speculated that it could be Saudi businessman Hassan Jameel, since the two have recently been a rumored couple.)
She did, however, hint that he — whoever he may be — is worth it. “I used to feel guilty about taking personal time,” Rihanna admitted, “but I also think I never met someone who was worth it before.”