Watch: Clint Eastwood on Casting Real-Life Heroes to Play Themselves in ‘The 15:17 to Paris’

     December 27, 2017


Normally, when Hollywood dramatizes real-world examples of tragedy and heroism, the actual folks involved in those events are played by professional actors, with the exception of the occasional cameo opportunity. Clint Eastwood, and his four Oscars, have decided to do away with that practice in favor of casting real-world heroes to play themselves in The 15:17 to Paris. Eastwood and the leads talk about that decision in a newly released behind-the-scenes video, courtesy of Warner Bros.

The heroic trio is comprised of Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, who play themselves in the film. Starring alongside them are Jenna Fischer; Judy Greer; Ray Corasani; PJ Byrne; Tony Hale; and Thomas Lennon. Paul-Mikél Williams plays the younger Anthony, Bryce Gheisar plays the younger Alek, and William Jennings plays the younger Spencer. Look for the film to hit theaters on February 9th.

Check out the behind-the-scenes video featuring Eastwood and the real-life cast from The 15:17 to Paris below:

From Clint Eastwood comes “The 15:17 to Paris,” which tells the real-life story of three men whose brave act turned them into heroes during a highspeed railway ride.


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 attempt 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.


Eastwood (“Sully,” “American Sniper”) directs from a screenplay by Dorothy Blyskal, based on the book by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern. Eastwood also produces the film, along with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier. The film’s executive producer is Bruce Berman.


Behind the scenes, the creative team includes frequent collaborators Tom Stern, who served as cinematographer on 13 of Eastwood’s previous films, and Deborah Hopper, who has served as Eastwood’s costume designer on 17 prior films; editor Blu Murray, who most recently cut “Sully,” and that film’s composer, Christian Jacob. Veteran art director Kevin Ishioka, whose work can be seen in “Sully” and in “Dunkirk,” serves as production designer.


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