Behind the scenes of the hit movie ’15-17 to Paris’

World Today

It’s a nightmare scenario. You’re on vacation, and suddenly right before your eyes, a man starts to wage a terror attack. What do you do? Do you flee or fight?

The new film, ‘The 15:17 to Paris,’ tells the story of three friends, who leaped into action when confronted with that terrifying ordeal.

The film is inspired by the book written by Jeffrey Stern. As the title states, it’s “the true story of a terrorist, a train and three American heroes.” Stern said he knows what it was that caught the attention of legendary movie director Clint Eastwood.

“In a lot of ways, it’s us, it’s almost any of us, sitting on a train, on vacation and really vulnerable,” Stern said.

“It could have been a disaster, and because people who embody the best of us were there, it turned out to be not even a shootout, where the good guys win. It turned out to be no casualties…It’s no secret so many people could have died, but nobody died,” Stern added

It was August 2015, three young men were on vacation; they had boarded a train bound from Brussels to Paris. Excitement turned to terror when the three friends said they spotted a man armed with an AK-47 and 300 rounds of ammunition entering their car. In moments, they reacted. They prevented a terrorist attack, were hailed as heroes and gained instant fame.

“It was less than a week after the attack that Alek was being introduced on Dancing with the Stars. That’s how quickly the fame machine works,” Stern said.

All three were cast in the film to play themselves. They recently attended the red carpet premier in Hollywood along with Stern. The author said he never imagined a book he wrote would be the source for a Clint Eastwood film.

“It was totally weird. It was a totally bizarre incredible experience from the moment I first heard he was involved to the premier which was less than a year after that. It was just a whirlwind crazy surreal thing,” said Stern.