Three American Heroes Who Stopped Terror Attack Play Themselves in New Clint Eastwood Movie

By Susan Jones | February 6, 2018 | 7:24 AM EST

Clint Eastwood's new movie "The 15:17 to Paris" has the three real-life American heroes playing themselves. (Photo: Screen grab/ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live")

( - Three American heroes who stopped an attempted terror attack on a high-speed train in France three years ago are now starring in a Clint Eastwood movie that opens this Friday.

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler were traveling from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015 when they heard gunshots onboard and jumped from their seats.

As Sadler told the Associated Press at the time: "Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy; Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a boxcutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious."

On Monday night, the three heroes joined Clint Eastwood on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to explain what it was like to star as themselves in "The 15:17 to Paris."

"What was it like being directed by Clint Eastwood in a movie?" Kimmel asked them. "None of you had acted -- had you acted in anything before?"

"Not even a school play. Not even a school play," Anthony Sadler said.

"What was it like?" Kimmel asked again.

"It was weird because the dynamic at first, he's such an icon, so you're looking for a good job," Sadler said. "And I look over at him like after my first scene and his face is really neutral. So I'm like, he hated it because his face just looked like he hated it. But then I realized that his mode is just to move on and that's a good job in and of itself. The first time he told me 'good job,' I was like proud-dad moment, like yes!"

Kimmel joked with Eastwood about not complimenting the actors after each scene. Then Kimmel became more serious:

"And by the way, the gift that you've given these guys," he told Eastwood. "I know you guys did a great thing...And thank you again on behalf of the whole country for making us look great. (Applause).  Kimmel asked them if re-living and re-enacting what happened on the train was upsetting. "Did it feel weird?" he asked.

(Photo: Screen grab/ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live")

"It was a lot of fun," Sadler said. "A lot of people think it's traumatic for us. But we're lucky that nobody lost their lives originally. So basically, to do a reunion with all the people who were there on the train at the same time..."

Many of the people who were on the train or involved in the aftermath also appear in the movie.

"Everybody wanted to come back," Eastwood said. "The nurse that was on the train. The detectives. The cops that came out. Everybody wanted to come back."

"Yeah, of course they did. You're directing a movie!" Kimmel joked.

Alek Skarlatos told Kimmel the movie is true to what actually happened:

"It's so accurate. That's, I think, probably the greatest thing about Mr. Eastwood directing the movie, is that he really cared about the story and every little detail, especially on the train scene, is spot on, where we couldn't be more happy with it."

Kimmel asked Eastwood if he'll use the three heroes in any future movies:

"Not a chance," Eastwood joked.

Asked if they want to keep acting, Stone said doing the movie was the "funnest two months of our lives."

"It might be all downhill from here," Sadler joked. "Clint Eastwood is your first one, you might be all downhill."

"I was actually at an audition an hour ago," Skarlatos said.

"How did it go? Kimmel wondered.

"Well, I hope they watch this," Skarlatos cjoked.

Eastwood told Kimmel that Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler did not formally audition for their movie roles.

"We were just going over the technical thing. They were acting as technicians, telling us exactly what happened and how it happened. And we kept going over it and over it and over it. Finally, as we did it about the tenth or eighth time, I said, would you guys like to do this? And Spencer Stone said, are you -- don't you think we ought to take acting lessons? And I said no, please don't."

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