Smoke Signals

From Real-Life Heroes To Movie Actors

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Courtesy of ODEON

Courtesy of ODEON

Courtesy of ODEON

Anna Kim, Staff Writer

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  On Friday, February 9, the film The 15:17 to Paris will be released in theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film, written by Dorothy Blyskal and directed by Clint Eastwood, focuses on the lives of three Americans that discovered a terrorist plot while on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.

  The film is based on the true story of Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, and Spencer Stone. On August 21, 2015, a terrorist attack occurred on a Thalys train going to Paris. The three men prevented the terrorist attempt while traveling through Europe as they tackled and restrained Ayoub El Khazzani. Khazzani was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, a 9mm pistol, and other weapons.  Nonetheless, the heroic act made headlines and they received France’s Legion of Honour, various military awards, and a visit to the White House.

  An anticipator of the movie, William Duan (12) said, “Eastwood made a good decision in choosing the actual people as the actors. Since they actually experienced the attack, I think the emotions and actions in the movie will be very natural and genuine.”

  The film begins with their childhood, their friendship, and leads up to the terrorist attack. While the attack was only about two minutes, Eastwood was determined to recreate the scene as accurately as possible.

  Il Joon Kim (11), aware of the terrorist attack, said, “Although the three men should be praised, I do not think it is a good idea for them to be in the movie. It must have been a very traumatic event for them, so having to basically relive that moment and go through it twice just does not seem like a good idea.”

  Skarlatos, Sadler, and Stone were not the only people who played themselves in the movie from the real-life experience. Mark Moogalian, the man who got shot on the train, and Chris Norman, the man who tied up the terrorist, are also playing himself. On top of that, some of the train employees, police, and the medical team that were present during the attack get to play their own characters.

  In an interview with Military Times, Sadler stated, “This whole journey has been pretty surreal. One thing the three of us were happy with is this is a good presentation of ourselves and our lives, but in movie format. [We are] thankful for the producers for making this happen.

  The 15:17 to Paris will be released in theaters in a couple of days, so make sure to check it out.

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Anna Kim, Co-Editor in Chief

Anna Kim is the Co-Editor in Chief for Smokes Signals and a senior at West High. Kim enjoys listening to The Fray and watching her favorite TV show, The...

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From Real-Life Heroes To Movie Actors