ROSEBURG — Alek Skarlatos will portray himself in a film about his heroic tackle of a heavily armed gunman on a Paris-bound train.
The Oregon National Guardsman from Roseburg and two friends — Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone — were traveling in August 2015 when they wrestled the would-be terrorist to the ground and disarmed him.
Skarlatos was honored for his courage on both sides of the Atlantic, and his sudden fame earned him a spot on TV's "Dancing With the Stars." He finished third.
Now, Clint Eastwood is making a movie about the event, and the real-life heroes will star as themselves on the big screen.
Variety magazine broke the casting news Tuesday, and reported that the film will be called "The 15:17 to Paris." It takes its name from the book "The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes," written by the three friend along with author Jeffrey E. Stern.
Skarlatos' mother, Karen Skarlatos, said she had been sworn to secrecy about her son's turn on the big screen until after the magazine article was published.
"We're very proud," she told the Roseburg News-Review on Wednesday. "We're excited for Alek, and our happiness is for him. We're just thrilled that he's had these wonderful things come his way, because things could have turned out so differently."
Skarlatos said her son has never acted, not even in a school play.
"As I understand it was a last-minute thought that these boys would play themselves," she said. "I guess no one can be more authentic at being you than you."