We know Tove Lo for her hooks about highs and habits, her quirky charm, and her refusal to apologize for her feminism and sexuality. But in Fairy Dust, a film that combines a series of music videos from her Lady Wood LP with personal monologues (à la Beyonce's Lemonade), we meet the Swedish pop superstar at her darkest—and most human.
Released last year, Fairy Dust stars Lo (as herself) and Lina Esco, founder of the Free the Nipple Movement, as her self-destructive alter-ego. In ways, the film echoes the singer's other work—it can be sexy, playful, eccentric—but fundamentally, it is a window into the mind of a person at war with her demons. "It's always been a dream of mine to do something visual like this," Lo says of the project. "[Something] that really gets to all the layers of my lyrics, that makes people both excited and uncomfortable. Writing the script with [director] Tim Erem, acting with Lina Esco, learning choreography—it was all new territory for me. And fuck, I pushed myself. Tim has a way of getting me to dare to just let everything out. After those five days (and nights) of shooting [in Los Angeles], I've never been so emotionally and physically exhausted, and happy all at the same time."
Here, Lo gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film: the physical stunts, the emotional writing and shooting process, and why she struck out on her own for this project.