Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play LAPD cops who tangle with the wrong cartel in the intense End of Watch, in theaters Friday, and they tell our Christina McLarty that the real-life men in blue who protect each other's "six" are "pretty extraordinary."
Video: 'Watch' Cast Details Scary Police Ride-Alongs
"I was really amazed at the professionalism of the LAPD and the sheriff's department," says Jake, who spent five months with Michael training and observing with the real deal. "They're pretty extraordinary."
End of Watch tracks two hot-shot officers who unwittingly tangle with a deadly cartel. Marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms, the pair find themselves in the fight of their lives just to make it home to their loved ones at the end of the watch.
"That's something that just stays with you," says Michael of some of the real-life reality check encounters he and Jake experienced during their ride-alongs with the LAPD. "You start getting into it and you build a thicker skin … we saw some people that were shot up."
Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez play the love interests of Jake and Michael, respectively, and America Ferrera also stars in the David Ayer film (director of Street Kings and writer of Training Day).
Exclusive Photos: Gyllenhaal's 'End of Watch'
"I have a friend, her husband's a cop," says Natalie. "They're just very strong women, and they kind of have to take a lot. Their husbands go out there and put themselves on the line, not only for them but for their neighborhoods … You don't know what they go through daily. You don't know if they're going to come back home because they put themselves in such danger."