The three Americans who helped stop a terrorist attack on a French train spoke about portraying themselves in Clint Eastwood's upcoming movie about the 2015 incident, The 15:17 to Paris, on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday.
The civilian trio – Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone – had never acted before. Sadler spoke about what it was like to do so not just for the first time, but with a director like Eastwood.
"The dynamic at first, he's such an icon, so you're looking for a 'Good job,' and I look over at him after my first scene and his face is really neutral, and I'm like, 'He hated it!,'" Sadler recalled. "But then I realized that his mode is to just move on and that's a good job in and of itself. The first time he told me 'Good job,' it was like a proud dad moment."
Along with Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler, The 15:17 to Paris features other passengers who were actually on the 2015 train, including Mark Moogalian, who tackled the gunman and was shot in the back. Eastwood said he was somewhat concerned about asking people to relive and recreate a potentially traumatic experience, saying, "I thought maybe it would be a bad memory or something, but it acted as a catharsis for some people, especially Mark because he got shot. He felt like it was getting rid of something."
Eastwood also sat down for a solo interview with Kimmel, during which he spoke about his decision to cast Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler with no audition or prior acting experience. In fact, Eastwood encouraged the trio not to take any acting classes, saying, "Acting lessons are great if you're gonna go into it professionally and you're gonna stay with the program, but for this I just want you guys – I don't want anybody interpreting something else."