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Army Of Thieves Stars Reveal How They Knew Matthias Schweighofer Loved The Scene - Exclusive

The new comedy heist thriller "Army of Thieves" was a unique experience for all of the actors and filmmakers involved for many reasons. The most obvious takeaway was that it was a prequel to the zombie heist and horror film "Army of the Dead," a story set in an entirely different genre. In addition, "Army of Thieves" was shot around Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions in place worldwide, which meant stars like Nathalie Emmanuel and Ruby O. Fee, as well as star-director Matthias Schweighöfer, communicated with producers Zack and Deborah Snyder over video calls for progress reports and feedback.

Set in the early days of the zombie epidemic as it spreads throughout Las Vegas, "Army of Thieves" concentrates on a brewing set of heists across the pond, where an expert thief, Gwendoline (Emmanuel), recruits a lonesome bank teller and safecracking enthusiast, Ludwig Dieter (Schweighöfer), to join her crew. Hoping to crack a set of seemingly impenetrable safes designed by the legendary Hans Wagner, Dieter joins Gwendoline and her crew, Korina (Fee), Rolph (Guz Khan), and Brad (Stuart Martin), as they dash across Europe to pull off the scores before the owner of the complex contraptions removes them from their locations because of the instability the distant zombie scare is causing.

With the Snyders hunkered down in the U.S. finishing up production on "Army of the Dead," Schweighöfer passed along their notes to his cast. However, because the effervescent German actor and director was on set with the ensemble at all times, he could react in real time to the fun that was going on around him — and the cast members loved his enthusiasm.

Ruby O. Fee was energized by Schweighöfer's 'rocking' comments

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Fee, joined by Emmanuel, said there was no need to do any improvising on "Army of Thieves" because the script "was so amazing." Still, Fee added, Schweighöfer allowed for the cast to get creative to bring the film's fast and funny scenes to life — and the atmosphere was infectious.

There were small little details and Matthias was always having fun with trying new things out — and he was so energetic and sometimes he started screaming when he loved the scene," Fee enthused. "Sometimes, he came over and he was like, 'Oh my God! This is amazing!' Or he'd come and tell us all like, 'Yeah, Zack and Debbie saw the material. You guys are rocking, keep on going!' and stuff. So, we felt like people were really there and watching us and cheering for us, which was amazing."

Nathalie Emmanuel felt the Snyders' influence during the production

While the cast couldn't be in the company of Zack and Deborah Snyder during the production of "Army of Thieves," Emmanuel said the filmmaking team's spirit was definitely felt at all times.

"We didn't actually, physically get to feel their energy and their presence, and their input in person. But we very much felt it, even though in their absence — with just the world that we were creating, the notes that we were getting, and the feedback we were getting, and the things that they really wanted for the film — we got to enjoy and be a part," Emmanuel recalled for Looper. "So, yeah, it was a shame that they couldn't be there. But like I said, their input was just so instrumental. We felt it very, very much."

"Army of Thieves" and "Army of the Dead" are both streaming exclusively on Netflix.