Astrid Smeplass – who is better known as Astrid S – is a Norwegian pop singer-songwriter who made the leap from reality TV hopeful to international hit maker. After placing fifth on the Norwegian version of the music competition show “Pop Idol,” she released the single “Shattered” and it went Top 5 on the Norwegian charts. The hits have continued and in 2018, Astrid S won Artist of the Year at the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys.

When it was announced she would be taking on the title role in the Norwegian film “Three Wishes for Cinderella,” it was a natural assumption that she would be singing and dancing her way through the production. There is a musical history when it comes to Cinderella’s story.

Astrid S does sing the song she wrote over the closing credits by that is her only musical work in the film that is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and through digital platforms. The film from director Cecilie A. Mosli (“Grey’s Anatomy”) leans more into the magical and fanciful world of Cinderella played out against a snow-covered Norwegian backdrop.

 “Three Wishes for Cinderella” is a remake of a 1973 East German movie. Mosli came to her project with a love of that original version having grown up with it. She wanted her version to give a new generation a positive role model like the one that impacted her as a youth. Her Cinderella emerges in this modern interpretation of the classic story as being kind and beautiful while at the same time being strong, independent and active in forging her own path.

Astrid S had not been actively considering a move into acting. It was Mosli who reached out to her in regards to taking on the starring role. To make sure the pop singer would be able to handle the acting duties, a workshop was held.

Mosli says, “I needed to see if she had the skill set. I knew she had the aura and look and personality I wanted. She is a very good musician and was active in sports so she has this training attitude.

“She showed me that quite early on. When I gave her a task, she was not giving up. She kept trying and trying. I could see that she knew how to respond and she was listening.”

Astrid S knew from the beginning that this version of the Cinderella story would not be a musical. She is certain that had this film been a musical, she would have been less inclined to be part of the project. Astrid S likes keeping her singing and acting worlds apart.

There was a delay before Astrid S fully committed because she didn’t know if she could take time away from his musical career. Mosli was bombarded by other actors who wanted the part but she held firm until Astrid S finally committed to the production.

Saying yes was the easy part. Once on board, Astrid S had to find the way to make a transition from popstar to actor. That was a real adjustment for her.

“I really feel like I am acting more when I am not on stage,” Astrid S says. “I feel like on stage is where I feel like myself the most and transparent. I am telling my own stories.

“Acting is pretty different from being on stage.”

One thing that gave Astrid S the confidence to tackle such a massive role was the way the character of Cinderella was to be portrayed. She is far from being the damsel in distress that has been the tendency in past versions.

Astrid S fell in love with the idea that her Cinderella would be such a strong and smart person. To be able to play that version, Astrid S went through long training sessions including riding a horse for the first time.

This is the first major acting role for Astrid S but she got some help from a very talented supporting cast that included Cengiz Al, Thorbjørn Harr, Nasrin Khusrawi, Bjørn Sundquist Kristofer Hivju and Ellen Dorrit Petersen.

Petersen was drawn to the stepmother role because she has been the blueprint for wicked characters from fairytales to rom coms.

“There is always this mean mother,” Petersen says with a laugh. “This is a woman who married for love and married for money and for status like women did in those days.

“She lost her love, her man, her stability. People handle loss differently. Some get stronger. I don’t know if it is personality issues that she has but she does not handle the loss. She is not projecting her ambitions onto her daughter to become someone one.”