Press Play Star Clara Rugaard on Time Travel Romance & Lewis Pullman

Clara Rugaard's star is quickly on the rise since her debut in 2013's My African Adventure. Since then, she's appeared in several projects across several films, including Good Favor (2017), Teen Spirit (2018), Netflix's I am Mother (2019), and Love Gets a Room (2021). On the television side, Rugaard also appeared in Disney's The Lodge and ABC's Still Star-Crossed and currently stars in Sky's The Rising. The actress spoke with Bleeding Cool about her latest project in the sci-fi time travel romance thriller Press Play from The Avenue. Rugaard plays Laura, who falls in love with Harrison (Lewis Pullman) over their mutual interest in music. Following a deadly accident, Laura is given a chance to save Harrison when she discovers that their mixtape can transport her back in time.

Press Play Star Clara Rugaard on Time Travel Thriller & Lewis Pullman
Lewis Pullman and Clara Rugaard in Press Play (2022). Image courtesy of The Avenue

Bleeding Cool: What intrigued you about 'Press Play?'
Clara Rugaard: When I read the script, it was one of those things where on page six, it already starts putting on your heartstrings. I'm such a sucker for movies like that with rom-coms and romantic dramas. I'm such a romantic through and through. So getting to be able to be a part of a movie like that I love so much that can bring me up when I'm down was just too good to be true.

Press Play Star Clara Rugaard on Time Travel Romance & Lewis Pullman
Lyrica Okano and Clara Rugaard in Press Play (2022). Image courtesy of The Avenue

BC: What are the challenging aspects of having time travel as a narrative?
Rugaard: I think the most challenging thing about the time travel element was probably shooting out of chronological order, obviously. Having to keep track of where Laura was at mentally, what had happened prior to it, and keeping track of the timeline that was quite challenging. We would often times shoot the scene that we had watched as an audience before Harrison's death. Then we would shoot the scene where she travels back in time to the exact same moment on the same day [laughs]. That was a little stressful.

Press Play Star Clara Rugaard on Time Travel Thriller & Lewis Pullman
The Avenue

BC: How do you describe your chemistry with Lewis?
Rugaard: We spoke on Skype I think it was back then. We met in Hawaii face-to-face, and luckily we had some time to bond. We had to learn to surf for the movie. So we went out on the weekend with the surf instructor, instantly hit it off, and had a great time. It wasn't hard, really. We just had great chemistry.

BC: What was the set like under director Greg Björkman?
Rugaard: Greg is just amazing. His devotion and love for this story were so admirable and passionate, and everyone on set could feel it. He brought so much joy and energy to set because of this passion for the story. It was really amazing getting to work with him.

What can you tell me about the upcoming 'Mary's Monster' that you'll star opposite Kit Harington?
Rugaard: That's happening in August. I think we're going to start shooting. Honestly, I don't know much more about it. I know it's very exciting, and I'm doing prep for it now. So that's great.

Rugaard will play "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley in the biopic. Press Play, written by Björkman and James Bachelor, also stars Lyrica Okano, Matt Walsh, Christina Chang, and Danny Glover. The film comes to theaters on-demand and digital on June 24th.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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