LOS ANGELES — “Love Lies Bleeding,” starring Kristen Stewart and Katy M. O'Brian and directed by Rose Glass, draws together American institutions that have animated movies since the beginning — crime and romance — as well as the heavy weights (literal and metaphoraical) that we carry.

“Love Lies Bleeding” is set in a small New Mexico town. It is the story of a reclusive gym manager, Lou (played by Stewart), who falls hard for Jacky (played by O’Brian), an ambitious bodybuilder who is on her way to Vegas to pursuit her dream.

Their newfound love ignites a wild chain reaction filled with violence that pulls them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family.

In an interview with Spectrum News, Stewart says “Love Lies Bleeding” is a love story that bares its teeth.

“It is relatable to everyone, not just queer people,” she said. “It is nice that we are not underlining the gay, gay, gayness of it all the time. These are [characters] who you love sometimes and sometimes you are very afraid of and potentially not like at all. We are not doing anything other than fighting for our right to be passionate.”

Rose Glass, left, director/co-writer of the film "Love Lies Bleeding," poses with cast members Kristen Stewart, center, and Katy M. O'Brian at the Four Seasons Hotel, Monday, March 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Glass tells Spectrum News she was drawn to the world of bodybuilding because it felt like something that was so far removed from what she is herself.

“There’s just something fascinating and strange and beautiful about it. It sort of seemed psychologically quite interesting territory, and I felt I hadn’t seen that woman [Jacky] on screen before, and I wanted to,” she said.

And speaking of bodybuilding, O’Brian had a grueling regime to get in shape to play Jacky in “Love Lies Bleeding.”

She told Spectrum News that ever since her role in “Ant-Man,” most people expect her to be in shape, but she says she lifts weights for her mental health. For her role as Jacky, she was already in shape, so it was more about toning and cutting down some weight.

“It was an hour of lifting every day for six days a week. Thirty minutes of abs, and hour and 10 minutes of cardio every day, plus a whole shoot day,” she said.

O’Brian says she was able to get her workouts done on set on days her character had workout scenes or had scenes at the gym.

This image released by A24 shows Katy O’Brian in a scene from "Love Lies Bleeding." (Anna Kooris/A24 via Spectrum News)

As to what the three hope will resonate with the audience when they watch the film?

They want the audience to have fun.

“Watching films myself, I always enjoy films where you understand the people who are making the terrible moral decisions … people being pushed to do weird, strange, crazy things. Hopefully people recognize more of themselves in those decisions than they might like to admit,” said Glass.

“Love Lies Bleeding” is now playing in theaters. It also stars Ed Harris, Dave Franco and Jena Malone.

Click the arrow above to watch the full interview with Academy Award nominee Kristen Stewart, Katy M. O’Brian and director Rose Glass.


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