"We thought it would be strong," Williams said. "Her locs would maintain that tie to Africa. She'd keep her accent. She wasn't just going to be some American girl in this movie. Nine Ball is still a Caribbean girl that just happens to be in America."
Rihanna, aka Nine Ball, is the resident hacker of the star-studded "Ocean's 8" cast, which also includes Sandra Bullock (Danny Ocean's criminal sister), Cate Blanchett (the Brad Pitt to Bullock's George Clooney), Mindy Kaling ("The Jeweler") and Helena Bonham Carter ("The Designer"). The highly anticipated film hits theaters on June 8.
Williams said director Gary Ross gave him and Rihanna a lot of creative freedom to build Nine Ball's style as they imagined it.
"We wanted this girl to be cool, chill, and very minimal. She would wear the same things over and over again. But I think the one thing she probably cared about the most was her hair," he told Refinery29. "When people have locs, it's kind of like their crown. It's their pride and joy. It's like a flower ... you gotta nourish it and watch it grow. Hair played a really big part in who Nine Ball came to be."
Williams added that Rihanna loved wearing the locs during filming (except the fact that it "feels like you have a fucking Toyota on your head").
"You know she's from Barbados ― she knows what to do with dreadlocks. It probably was the easiest style she's ever had, since she got to be free and cool and see herself differently," he said.
"She's a huge pop star, and then we kind of stripped her down and gave her locs that we didn't make super, super pretty," Williams continued. "She made them glamorous when she wanted, and then super casual when she wanted. I thought it was cool to see her locs own the night whenever she went out."
Never fear, Williams added, we will be seeing locs on Rihanna at some point in the future: "You will be seeing her with locs again, for sure. I don't know when, but it will happen."
Head over to Refinery29 to read the full interview.