The new movie Megan Leavey is based on the true life story of a young woman who enlisted in the Marines and formed an emotional bond with a bomb-sniffing dog during two tours of duty in Iraq.

For cast members Kate Mara, Common and Ramon Rodriguez, portraying someone in the military was a big responsibility.

“I think after making this movie and, you know, really talking to Megan Leavey and trying to tell her story in the best way we can, I have just that much more respect for people that go through this sort of thing,” Mara said.

“When you take on the honor and opportunity to play a character and then you take on the honor to play a Marine, someone who served the country, you want to give it as much attention and as much detail and reverence and respect as possible,” Common said.

Mara spent a lot of time getting ready for this role.

“I trained a lot. I was really prepping physically for the role before we ever got into any rehearsals or anything and by the time we were a couple weeks out, the training really consisted of bonding with the dog, which was a huge aspect.”

She also struggled with the weight of the uniform.

“It feels like, 100 pounds. I don’t know if it’s 60 pounds or what, but then the dog weighs probably as much as I do and that alone makes you feel, ‘Oh my god, how do I get through this? How do I get through a day where it’s over 100 degrees out, and I haven’t really begun the search for explosives’ and all that. Instantly, I felt like, ‘Ok, wow, this is just a taster of what [that] must feel like.’”