The Funny But Key Influence Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead Had On The Forever Purge

Professionally speaking, one of the strangest parts of being a successful actor must be the experience of bouncing from project to project – particularly when said projects have absolutely nothing to do with one another. With a crunched schedule, it’s possible that a performer could be on the set of a western one week, and an alien invasion thriller the next, and one has to imagine that’s a weird thing for an individual to get their brain around.

In rare cases, however, a super tight schedule can actually be helpful – and you can confirm that fact with Ana de la Reguera. In the second half of 2019, she quickly went from making Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead directly to Everardo Gout’s The Forever Purge, and while that surely must have been an exhausting experience, the star feels that her work on the former ended up having a positive and substantial impact on her work on the latter.

Having recognized the close proximity of the two projects’ production schedules, I asked Ana de la Reguera about what it was like going from one film to the other when I spoke with her last week during the virtual press day for The Forever Purge. She acknowledged that playing her character in Army Of The Dead – a military veteran hired to execute a heist in zombie-infested Las Vegas – was in its own way a training experience, and that while there are most definitely differences in the material, she was better prepared for The Purge because of her recent work on the Zack Snyder movie. Said the actor,

Actually definitely. Shooting Army of the Dead for four months, and then a week later I was shooting The [Forever] Purge. was exhausting, but also it helped a lot because in one week I was ready. I went and I trained because my character was completely different. I had a different gun. I have a different background, but it did help me with the action, with the stunts, with the guns, with the blood; all that, it really, really helped me.

In The Forever Purge, Ana de la Reguera stars as Adela, a Mexican immigrant who, along with her husband (Tenoch Huerta), get caught up in the chaos of the Forever After Purge – a post-Purge movement begun by extremists who want to make the established 12-hour period of lawlessness into a permanent way of life. What’s particularly interesting about Adela is that the reason she had to escape Mexico is because she was a part of a group taking up arms against the local drug cartels. As a result, the character required the actor to demonstrate a particular familiarity with firearms and violence, and fortunately for de la Reguera she got that familiarity in the making of Army Of The Dead.

There are plenty of productions that provide limited development and training time for actors due to resource and budget constraints, and The Forever Purge may have otherwise been that way for Ana de la Reguera (according to Variety, the movie only had a reported budget of $18 million). But fortuitous scheduling ended up being a bonus:

I think I am way more comfortable in The Purge because I was like, 'Oh, okay. Now I understand. I know what I'm doing. You guys, I just came from four months of training.’

After being delayed due to the pandemic, The Forever Purge is arriving this weekend to help movie-goers celebrate the July 4th holiday with a nice dose of dystopian horror. The movie arrives in theaters this Friday, July 2, and you can check out all of the features set to come out of Hollywood between now and the end of December by heading over to our 2021 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.