The singer will star in a retelling of the classic Swedish novel, which was the basis for a 1971 Oscar-nominated film of the same name

By Benjamin VanHoose
August 19, 2020 12:58 PM
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Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Tove Lo just might make a habit out of movie stardom.

On Wednesday, Deadline reported that the Swedish pop star, 32, will make her acting debut in an upcoming big screen adaptation of the 1949 Swedish novel The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg.

Lo (born Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson) will play the role of Ulrika, which was portrayed by late Swedish singer Monica Zetterlund in the 1971 film version, which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Liv Ullmann, who starred opposite Max von Sydow in the 1971 movie, will also return in a different role.

The "Habits (Stay High)" singer told Deadline that she is "very happy" to join the project, which begins production in September. “It’s a classic told from a female perspective, which I love. I also love the character Ulrika, she’s a fighter but still vulnerable,” said Lo.

SF Studios' Fredrik Wikström Nicastro told the outlet that the "Cool Girl" singer will be "unforgettable" in the role.

“We would not be doing the books justice if we didn’t have the ambition to make this project the major Swedish film of the decade,” said Nicastro. “Kristina and Karl Oskar’s story will take audiences on a life-changing journey as we see the love and struggle they undergo when they embark together to start life over again in America, and Ulrika has a central role to play in telling this story. I am convinced that Lo will be unforgettable in this role.”

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Lo — who surprised fans last month when she revealed on Instagram that she tied the knot with Charlie Twaddle — said she's confident the Emigrants shoot in western Sweden will be safe amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Swedes are good at social distancing, but they’ve clearly taken a different approach that I’m not sure would work in other places," said the singer, now based in Los Angeles. "I don’t really know how I feel, but all the meetings [and] rehearsals so far around the film have been very careful, and I trust the team to make sure we all follow the rules.”

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Emigrants director Erik Poppe said the retelling of the classic story will have a "new perspective."

“By getting to know the female characters and the relationships between Kristina, Ulrika and Judit, we get a new perspective in the understanding of The Emigrants journey, which I think will bring new dimensions to this well-known story,” Poppe told Deadline.

On Instagram, Lo shared the casting news with her followers, expressing her sincere excitement: "I CAN’T BELIEVE I GET TO BE A PART OF THIS!!" The singer's latest album is 2019's Sunshine Kitty featuring her hit "Glad He's Gone," which scored a Grammy nomination for best music video. She has also co-written numerous songs, including the Fifty Shades of Grey tune "Love Me Like You Do."

Back in 2016, Lo opened up to PEOPLE about being "reckless" and owning her sexuality. “Whether it’s love or drugs or getting onstage, I tend to try to always do thing in a way that makes me feel the most alive. I always want to feel, as much as I can,” she said at the time. “And that comes with downs too. The higher you get, the more extreme the low is going to be.”