"It's rare as an adult that you get to spend that amount of time with your parents, so that was really special,” says Clara McGregor
Bleeding Love is “a gritty, emotional tale about healing familial wounds through reconnection,” per a synopsis from its distributor, Vertical. Directed by Emma Westenberg and written by Ruby Caster, the story was constructed by Clara, 27, herself, along with Vera Bulder and Caster.
“After a drastic incident in her life, a young woman (Clara) embarks on an impromptu road trip with her estranged father (Ewan),” the synopsis adds.
“En-route to their destination of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the two are forced to confront the issues of their past that have led to their frail relationship, while encountering an eccentric array of characters along the way, in order to bring them closer together again.”
PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the trailer for Bleeding Love, which offers glimpses of the sometimes strained, sometimes playful dynamic between Ewan and Clara’s characters. The latter, it transpires, is recovering from a recent overdose — and accusing her father of passing his addiction problems onto her.
The film premiered at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, under the title You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder. Also previewed in the trailer is the father-daughter acting duo singing along on their road trip to Leona Lewis’s song “Bleeding Love.”
“There was something special about [Ewan] being a part of a film that I was also producing and had put together,” Clara tells PEOPLE of the “incredible experience.”
“It's rare as an adult that you get to spend that amount of time with your parents, so that was really special,” she adds. “I'd always admired my dad as an actor and getting to act with him showed me how good he is at what he does.”
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As for navigating a different father-daughter dynamic while cameras were rolling, Clara says “the characters were their own people — they weren’t us.”
“We would get to do these scenes together, some of them quite heavy scenes, but the minute Emma would yell cut we would all be laughing,” she continues. “It didn't feel as though our off-screen relationship was anything but a positive addition to the work.”
“Clara told me about it, but not much about the script,” said Ewan, 52, in an interview with Deadline about Bleeding Love published in March. “Just that she had been developing a story that was about us.”
While the film’s plot draws from “other relationships and other dads too,” the Scottish actor said, “Clara was also drawing from our story. From the moment I read it, there was no question that I wanted to do it.”
Ewan added he felt “so proud” of Clara while filming together. “I had this feeling of pride all the time as I watched her.”
Ewan and Clara previously collaborated on the big screen together on the 2021 movie The Birthday Cake, which Clara also co-produced. The actress-producer has also appeared on American Horror Story and will next star in the 2024 film A Dream Beyond the Dark.
The Bleeding Love cast also includes Jake Weary, Kim Zimmer and Sasha Alexander.
Bleeding Love is in theaters and on demand Feb. 16.
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