Kate Mara, Megan Leavey, Gabriela Cowperthwaite

‘Megan Leavey’ Star Kate Mara Reveals How Acting Opened Her Up To Serve A Greater Cause

In Megan Leavey, actress Kate Mara plays the title character, a U.S. Marine who develops a deep bond with Rex, her bomb-sniffing K9 partner. As Kate shares in a recent interview, movies like Megan Leavey have helped her heighten her love for animals and have given her a calling to do what she can to help protect Earth’s animal population.

For Kate Mara, Megan Leavey Is More Than A Story Of A Woman And Her Dog

Kate Mara tells ABC News that she had always wanted to be an actress, even as a shy and introverted little girl. The Megan Leavey actress recalls giving a play at 9-years-old and knowing, even so young, that the play was a “horrible” example of her acting skills. Kate says she was so ashamed of that play that she hid her eyes from everyone.

Ms. Mara has come a long way from bombing that play, having appeared in a number of television shows, such as American Horror Story and 24, and films like The Martian and 127 Hours. Now, Kate takes on the lead in Megan Leavey, a story that is as much about the titular character’s evolution in the U.S. Marine Corps, as it is about the relationship she develops with her assigned K9 partner.

Megan Leavey, Kate Mara
Megan Leavey, played by Kate Mara, fights to get custody of Rex, her German Shepherd partner. [Image by Bleecker Street Media]

“It’s incredibly inspiring. I like that you get to see her as a weak human who finds her voice and finds her strength through joining the Marine Corps,” says 34-year-old Kate Mara. “And then also through finding that she’s really quite gifted at dog handling and forming this bond with this incredible canine Marine.”

Acting Led Kate Mara To Become More Involved With Animal Welfare Organizations

Previously, Mara told W Magazine that, while she has always had a great love for animals, she hadn’t really been exposed to the perils wild animals face from man, until Hollywood exposed her to the truth. While Kate suggests that just becoming a part of social activism has opened her eyes to the injustices committed against animals, movies like Blackfish really opened her eyes.

In fact, her Megan Leavey director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, was responsible for that awakening as a producer on Blackfish, the documentary about the mistreatment of Orca whales held in captivity.

“That’s when I started working more intensely with the Humane Society and different organizations,” said Ms. Mara. “I guess it’s a bigger part of my life now than it ever was.”

That love for animals ultimately led Mara to play the lead in Megan Leavey. The real Ms. Leavey received national recognition, along with Rex, her German Shepherd partner, for the hundreds of lives they saved, while stationed in Iraq. Following her tour of duty, Megan launched a four year court battle to obtain custody of Rex.

We couldn’t agree more! #MeganLeavey, the story of a real-life wonder woman, is in theaters now!

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“To me, it’s just a beautiful story of what can happen if you don’t give up on what you love, and everyone can relate to that at some point in their lives; if you have passion for something or someone,” says Kate Mara.

Megan Leavey, starring Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriguez, and Tom Felton, is currently playing in theaters.

[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]