Megan Leavey director Gabriela Cowperthwaite joins her cast to discuss this Friday’s military biopic
This Friday, Bleecker Street is set to release in theaters Megan Leavey, a military biopic that focuses on the relationship between the title marine (Kate Mara) and Rex, a military combat dog with whom Leavey forms an intense bond. Behind the camera is a director who is no stranger to true animal stories. Gabriela Cowperthwaite helmed the acclaimed 2013 documentary Blackfish, which explored the troubling mortality of keeping orca whales in captivity. Cowperthwaite recently joined Mara and her Megan Leavey co-stars Common and Ramón Rodríguez to chat about bringing Megan’s true story to the big screen. Check out the interviews in the player below and catch Megan Leavey in theaters June 9.
Also starring Edie Falco, and Bradley Whitford, Megan Leavey was scripted by Pamela Gray and Annie Mumolo & Tim Lovestedt and is based on the true life story of a young marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.
During World War II, the United States Defense Department officially launched the K-9 unit. Currently, there are roughly 2,500 dogs serving in active duty with roughly a third of them serving overseas. While the vast majority of military dogs are German Shepherds, other breeds are also utilized. Such was the case with Cairo, a US Navy SEAL Belgian Malinois, who became the only named soldier in the team that successfully captured Osama bin Laden. You can learn more about military dogs at the official Megan Leavey movie site.