Ana de la Reguera says she “never imagined” she would be starring in movies like Army of the Dead and The Forever Purge, but that roles like that were ultimately the reason why she became an actress.
“You want to become someone else,” de la Reguera told The Hollywood Reporter. “You want to get out of your comfort zone, do things that you don’t do in your normal life.”
In Army of the Dead, the Veracruz-born star, who landed her breakout role in the 2006 comedy Nacho Libre, plays Cruz, a member of a group of mercenaries who sets out to recover $200 million from a casino vault in Las Vegas. All that stands in their way is thousands of zombies flooding the city.
In The Forever Purge, she plays Adela, one half of a Mexican couple who are being hunted by a band of killers who have no desire to follow tradition and stop the annual Purge (legal murders) at sunup.
“[Mexican director Everardo Gout] told me [The Forever Purge was] not going to be like a regular Purge movie,” she says. “It has a lot of layers below of what’s happening in society, between the borders, between Mexicans and Americans, with immigration issues.”
As a Latina working in Hollywood over the last 16 years, de la Reguera says she has questioned whether she should still be trying to make it in the industry, but realized that if she wants to be successful, she could create her own content. Her new TV series Ana, which she co-wrote, debuted on Comedy Central last year.
“I cannot wait for someone else to give me the opportunities that I want to have,” she says. “I need to create those opportunities. As soon as I started working on that, that made me grow a lot as an actor. Being a creator gave me way more confidence.”
Army of the Dead is currently streaming on Netflix. The Forever Purge debuts at theaters July 2. Ana is currently on Comedy Central and streaming on Pantaya.