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Based on true events, “Megan Leavey” follows the life-story of a young Marine corporal who has a strong and unique bond with her military combat dog, Rex. Through Leavey’s discipline with Rex, they were able to save the lives of many during their deployment in Iraq.

Leavey was assigned the bomb-sniffing German shepherd that nobody liked. Rex barks, snarls, and breaks the rules, which Megan (and audiences) find they are able to relate too. Leavey is a troublemaker herself being unable to connect with others or find her place in the world. The pair quickly form a bond that is indestructible. Starring Kate Mara as Megan Leavey, the movie’s depiction of their deployments has left audiences across the nation in tears.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the movie’s director, said that above all else, “Megan Leavey” is a movie about “loyalty and friendship, and it’s a film about someone who comes to value herself because she begins to value something else, in this case Rex.”

“Those are the themes that will hit you at your core,” said Cowperthwaite, who usually works on documentaries.

Rex, despite his aggressive nature at first, learns to warm up to his favorite human and goes on more than 100 missions with Leavey. The real-life pair served two deployments, first to Fallujah in 2005 and then to Ramadi in 2006. Rex helped spot hidden explosives and was critical in ensuring that paths were clear for troops to travel on.

Leavey, who is now 33, told Fox News, “our personalities happened to mesh well. He was not soft. He was very protective of me. He was great when he was with me.”

Leavey served as a consultant during the script, and even appears in a scene in the movie, playing a boot-camp drill instructor.

“I’m on cloud nine,” Leavey said about having a film about her and Rex. “It’s hard [to relive], but they did a very good job of getting the bonding that Rex and I had.”

Check out an exclusive featurette about the movie, where actress Kate Mara discusses her role in the movie.

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