Video Interview: Real-life heroes portray themselves in Eastwood’s ‘15:17 TO PARIS’


Preston Barta // Features Editor


Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler stopped an armed terrorist aboard a train to Paris in 2015. In THE 15:17 TO PARIS, the film about their act of valor, the three friends were asked by legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood to portray themselves. Never having acted before, they stepped up in hopes of bringing more authenticity to their story.

I sat down with the real-life heroes, now actors, to discuss the fascinating concept of them playing themselves, what they learned about themselves and each other after doing so, and what the film says about bringing a community together to conquer despair.

THE 15:17 TO PARIS opens Friday in theaters nationwide.

Also check out my full review of the film at the Denton Record-Chronicle.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.