Real Heroes, True Story Feb27


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Real Heroes, True Story

The 15:17 to Paris, directed by Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood, is the incredible true story of ordinary individuals taking extraordinary action under the most intense, life-threatening circumstances, recreated for the screen and portrayed by the men who lived it—and survived to tell the tale.

In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris—an attack prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The film follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.

The heroic trio is comprised of Anthony Sadler, former Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and former U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, who play themselves in the film.

Anthony, Alek and Spencer recently took time out of there busy schedules to answer a few questions for How did the decision come about for the three main characters to play themselves?

ANTHONY:  For our story, it’s interesting to see our dynamic, to see why we did the things we did on that day and why each person took on their different roles. The dynamic of us in real life is important to why we did it that day.

SPENCER:  The dynamic that we have between the three of us is a naturalness and the authenticity because of our friendship.  How much creative control did you maintain over the script

SPENCER:  We had enormous trust in Clint Eastwood and the people that work with him. Everyone was extremely invested in the story and getting everything right. That’s something we really appreciated.

ANTHONY:  The fact they even asked us—would check in with us while we were shooting—asking “how do you feel?” “Did this happen?” “If it didn’t happen this way, tell me and then we’ll change it.” That made us more comfortable throughout the whole process. We kept thinking, “we actually do have input. He does want to get the story right.”  Faith plays a strong role in the story, but Hollywood hasn’t always been particularly kind to faith-friendly stories. How did you negotiate that hurdle?

ALEK:  The movie is accurate. Down to the weapons that the terrorist used to the clothes we were wearing and the sequence of events, everything was pretty much to the letter how it happened on that day.  The obvious question: How was it working with the legend, Clint Eastwood?

SPENCER:  Never in a million years would we have thought that we would’ve been involved in the terrorist attack and then two years later be playing ourselves in a movie about what happened, directed by Clint Eastwood.

ANTHONY: Working with Clint Eastwood and taking his direction every day, being on one of his sets, that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.