Ana de la Reguera joins an ensemble cast in Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead, a zombie-heist film of epic proportions that is now streaming on Netflix

By Alexia Fernández
May 21, 2021 02:21 PM
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ANA DE LA REGUERA as CRUZ in ARMY OF THE DEAD
Ana de la Reguera in Army of the Dead
| Credit: CLAY ENOS/NETFLIX

Army of the Dead's ensemble cast underwent a zombie boot camp in preparation for the film and actress Ana de la Reguera lived to tell the tale.

The Mexican actress, who stars as Maria Cruz in the Netflix zombie-heist film, out today, tells PEOPLE the experience, led by director Zack Snyder, felt like "being in a video game."

"We trained the first couple of days only with guns," de la Reguera, 44, says. "We went to a ranch just to learn how to shoot properly with a gun, get used to them, comfortable with them."

After getting the hands-on training to make their zombie-killing spree believable on screen, de la Reguera says the training focused on making the kill shots of the undead.

"It was a lot of fun because we were all the cast. And then they would build these kind of fake scenarios, like, 'Okay, you're getting into this house and there's probably a zombie inside. Who will go first? How would you divide as a group? How would you do it?'" she recalls. "We started training as a team, that's what we're doing the whole movie, because a lot of the scene, it was just about us. Zack wouldn't say, 'Oh, you have to go here' — we would figure out."

"It was very helpful to do that and fun. [We] had no idea at the beginning [what it would be like] obviously," she adds. "It was like being in school or being in a video game, you know?"

ANA DE LA REGUERA as CRUZ in ARMY OF THE DEAD
Ana de la Reguera as Maria Cruz in Army of the Dead
| Credit: CLAY ENOS/NETFLIX

The cast includes Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Matthias Schwighofer, Omari Hardwick, Nora Arnezeder, Samantha Win, Tig Notaro, Huma Queshi and Hiyoyuki Sanada. 

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De la Reguera says Bautista, who stars as Scott Ward in the film, "was a great leader as the main character."

"He had experience in action movies, and also he's huge, so you just want to be behind him," she says. "And he's so right for the character that he was already believable since day one. We were kind of following him a little bit and trying to work together."

Army of the Dead follows a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, after which a group of mercenaries have to break into a zombie-infested Las Vegas casino to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked. 

In January, Snyder gave an amusing preview to Entertainment Weekly about what fans can expect from the movie.

"It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it's genre-on-genre in a great way," he said. "So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It's going to surprise people that there's a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters."

Army of the Dead is now streaming on Netflix.