Showing posts with label Alek Skarlatos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alek Skarlatos. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2018

When Clint Eastwood Calls: Working on 'The 15:17 to Paris'

The 15:17 to Paris
Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone playing themselves in
Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris. (Warner Bros.)

 INTERVIEW 

It’s pretty unbelievable to think that on August 21, 2015, a terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris was stopped by the courageous actions of three Americans traveling through Europe. It is almost equally unbelievable that those three young men were asked by Clint Eastwood to portray themselves in a new movie. But he did and when Clint Eastwood calls, you answer.

While recreating the events that happened on that fateful day in front of a camera was a completely new experience for these men, it was also a risky move for Eastwood as well.

“I’ve used non-actors before in smaller parts,” said Eastwood in a recent press release “but not exactly playing themselves or recreating precisely events in their own lives. But in this case, as we kept going through the whole episode on the train, working out the logistics of how it happened and how we could film it, it was like they were performers playing themselves already. They kept showing us how it had all gone so we could be as accurate as possible, and for me to feel comfortable that it would be like seeing the real thing. It seemed like a rare opportunity, having the real participants available and willing, and then giving them a shot at it. I wanted them to be only themselves, nobody else, and I felt they could do that.”

The movie The 15:17 to Paris retells the story of when Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler left Berlin to meet up with Alek Skarlatos in Amsterdam and how they were faced with one of biggest decisions of their lives aboard the 15:17 trai. At the time, Stone was in the Air Force, Skarlatos was in the Oregon National Guard and Sadler was a student at California State University. Together, the three saved over 500 lives on that fateful day.

“It hasn’t been a conscious choice to tell heroic stories or make movies about everyday heroes,” said Eastwood. “I just do the stories that come along and interest me. Some feats are exceptional, and beneficial to society, and it’s nice when you can tell a story like that.”

The film also 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.

Recently, I got a chance to speak to these life-long friends about their movie-making debut, Clint Eastwood and their faith. Here’s what they had to say: