The 15:17 to Paris is a true story of a terrorist, a train, and the three American heroes who thwarted the attack. The stars of the movie – Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spenser Stone – are the three real life heroes who play themselves in this Clint Eastwood-directed film.
The story is one of lifelong friends who were “just doing what we needed to do to survive” (Alek Skarlatos). Meeting first in middle school, the trio forms a bond that lasts through life changes and separations. In August 2015, Anthony is in college in Sacramento, Alek in the Oregon National Guard, and Spenser in the United States Air Force. The trio decide to vacation together in Europe. The film tells the story of their lives, from their initial meeting outside of the principal’s office at their private school, all the way to that day on a train.
As a military spouse, I understand (to an extent) the training our military service members go through. Military training and instinct are supposed to kick in when you need it the most – and that was certainly true for these men. Martial arts, first aid, and intimate knowledge of firearms coupled with the lifetime of trust, support and loyalty were prevalent in the fight scene.
I got to sit down with the gentlemen a few weeks ago and they said they were very happy with how they were portrayed; their biggest concern was the accuracy of the fight sequence. While the three were initially reluctant to portray themselves in the film, they realized they brought a sense of authenticity actors wouldn’t be able to reproduce.
Alek, Anthony and Spenser are now looking to continue their careers in acting. They are excited to see where life may lead them next!