Five Favorite Films with Starship Troopers' Casper Van Dien

Johnny Rico reveals himself to be...a Star Wars geek!

Starship Troopers 3


Having known Ed for a while and worked with him before, how would you describe him as a first-time director, especially in contrast to Paul Verhoeven?

CvD: That's a very good question. Ed Neumeier -- this is a natural segue for him, to go from writer-creator to director, and this is an easier venue for him to do that as his debut. Because he is already known, and this is an established franchise that he's affiliated with and have a lot more appreciation for and from. The advantage for him is as a director, he hired a great team around him. He did a superb job and the people really embraced it and loved him and went for it. But he also had the most incredible training and advantage over most debut directors, because he was on the set every day of RoboCop, and on the set every day of Starship Troopers, under one of the greatest directors of all time: Paul Verhoeven. So he had that instruction. Paul -- even if you watch Black Book today...what a great film that is. Paul continues to grow as a director and his passion is unsurpassed by anybody. Ed was able to witness this and get these lessons and instructions. And also he's a fan of films. Ed's a huge fan of John Ford films, and you can talk to him about just about any film. Differences between them? Paul's a bit more of a screamer, and he has more of an accent. [Laughs]

Paul had a bigger budget, but what Ed had for this was phenomenal. Robert Skotak was the Academy Award-winning special effects guy for Aliens and T2, and he wanted to be on the first Starship Troopers because he was a big fan of the book, and he got to do this one and he did something like 420 more special effects than he was scheduled to do because he loved it so much. The bug that Ed wrote about, he created. The old bugs, he put his little flavors into. For the budget that he had, he did the most phenomenal job. What I also appreciate is Sony, they got Klaus Badelt, who did the music for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, who saw this and loved it and did the music for it. So they really got some remarkable people behind it. And Sony's putting the most incredible campaign I have ever seen together for a DVD release. The Japanese website is incredible, and the posters that you see throughout the world, from Australia to America to Japan, are awesome! And I'm not just saying that because I'm on the cover...

Starship Troopers 3


Where would you place Johnny Rico in the pantheon of great sci-fi heroes?

CvD: Well, being the self-absorbed me...I remember seeing this article that rated different superheroes, and it had me beating Jesse Ventura from Predator, and it had me beating Demi Moore from G. I. Jane -- it had Johnny Rico beating these guys -- and it had Sylvester Stallone beating John Wayne...whatever! And Arnold Schwarzenegger beat me, but then Arnold Schwarzenegger beat Stallone. So I came in third. But right now, I could kick either of their asses, 'cause they're old. I'm sorry! Put 'em down like the b****es they are! Just kidding, I don't know. Arnold Schwarzenegger can still take me out, he's the Governator; Sylvester Stallone, I just saw him in Rambo and he was huge. Huuuuge.

Yeah, but how many of them still do nude scenes like the one you have in Starship Troopers: Marauder?

CvD: [Laughs] I don't think we'd want to see them in a nude scene right now! I hardly want to see myself in a nude scene, but I worked out really hard for that one.

So tell us how Johnny Rico has changed in the near-decade since we last saw him in Starship Troopers.

CvD: Well it's eleven years later, and it's eleven years later for him as well. He's survived -- one of the few in the Starship Troopers world to do so -- men, women, an equal kill factor. It seems like he's become more of a pure warrior. He might be more disillusioned with the higher ranking officers and their willingness to sacrifice good troopers, as many of us are disillusioned with the people in charge who are willing to sacrifice American soldiers who are willing to do their part, and do it well, and who have honorable intentions. I think that is what he's become. He joined the military first for a girl, and was trying to impress her, though that of course didn't work; we always do stupid things when we're young to try and impress girls and it never works, but...he became a soldier, and now he's a pure warrior, and he's very good at what he does. Maybe not as good as everyone else because they get promoted a lot faster, but he's good enough to survive, and that's a definite plus in the Starship Troopers world.



For more info, photos and news, check out our Starship Troopers: Marauder page.

Comments

IBelievedInHarveyDent

Jim Huete

he may not be that good of an actor, but he sounds like a really cool guy

Aug 4 - 05:29 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

I was rather impressed by his favorites - a pretty solid bunch of flicks, and his Star Wars story is adorable.

Aug 4 - 05:30 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

The first one is definately a guilty pleasyre of mine, I know its stupid but I cant help not being mildly entertained. I didnt see the 2nd one, maybe I will rent this someday. Also no 2001 what the deal?!??!?
My top Sci Fi Movies
1-2001: A Space Oddyssey
2-Blade Runner:Final Cut
3-Back to the Future
4-Terminator 2
5-The Matrix
6-Aliens
7-Dark City:Director's Cut
8-Alien
9-ET
10-Close Encounters

Aug 4 - 05:51 PM

aconline

Adam Collins

Nobody asked.

Aug 4 - 08:26 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Star Trek 2 a guilty pleasure? It's freakin 92%!

Also, what's with all this 2001 hate? sigh

Aug 5 - 01:39 AM

the whole idea

MooN AlAn

yea! going to try to get the trilogy tomorrow on blu-ray awesome// when the second one came out i was kind of reluctant to see it but it had richard burgi who was doing a show i was watching at the time called 'the sentinel'
it turned out to be pretty good! so i'll just go ahead and get all 3

Aug 4 - 06:34 PM

markbart0305

Mark Bartoszek

I was going to get the trilogy on Blu-ray until I heard that the third one sucks. Even fans are saying it's terrible. And since I hated the second one, there's no point in getting all three films. I'm just going to get the first one.

Aug 4 - 06:50 PM

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

The first 20 minutes of 2001 are boring.

Aug 4 - 07:21 PM

dazultrachallenge

Darren Ladbury

the first 20minutes of 2001 were boring? How can you say that? its supposed to be slow paced.

Aug 5 - 03:15 PM

dazultrachallenge

Darren Ladbury

the first 20minutes of 2001 were boring? How can you say that? its supposed to be slow paced.

on a side note, according to IMDb, if you take LSD at the start of the film it kicks in when he goes through that space gate thing. and its supposed to Amazing.

Aug 5 - 03:18 PM

emoticant

big unit

Casper Van Dbag.

Aug 4 - 07:35 PM

mouse_clicker

Eric Baker

I agree with jokerboy, minus the overuse of punctuation. Any list of the best science fiction films that doesn't include 2001: A Space Odyssey is a pretty crappy list. Although his is pretty good for a crappy list.

Also, as much as I love Star Wars, I will always maintain that it is much closer to the fantasy genre than science fiction.

Aug 4 - 08:18 PM

Thelastholdout

Douglas Wake

*ahem* this isn't his list of the best ever. This just happens to be his favorites.

Aug 7 - 12:14 PM

mouse_clicker

Eric Baker

Oh, and Empire is better than New Hope any day.

Aug 4 - 08:19 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Oh crap I forgot to put Empire on my list!

Aug 4 - 08:26 PM

aconline

Adam Collins

Nobody asked.

Aug 4 - 08:26 PM

P'city Psycho

Lee Collins

2001 is so yesterday.

Aug 4 - 08:29 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

How Dare You!??!??!?!?!?!?!

Aug 4 - 08:59 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

How Dare You!??!??!?!?!?!?!

Aug 4 - 08:59 PM

Product_of_You

Steven Edwards

i don't get the love for 2001; never have

Aug 4 - 09:13 PM

mouse_clicker

Eric Baker

It's easy to not get why 2001 is so highly regarded if you don't pay attention to every little detail. There's only dialogue in about a quarter of the movie, and it's one of the few modern films that is really, truly visual. And not only visual, but made with the assumption that the viewer is smart enough to pick up on things as the story progresses. It's not a movie you can watch once and really appreciate. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect example of how movies should be made, taking full advantage of the medium and affecting the audience in a way other methods of storytelling can't.

Aug 4 - 09:27 PM

barryzuckercorn

Barry Zuckercorn

I'm the biggest Starship Troopers fan and goddamn was Marauder a disappointment. I mean just fookin' terrible :(

Dien does seem a cool cat though, good list!

Aug 4 - 10:07 PM

pinkincide

jon doe

AFAIC Kubrick screwed up the ending of 2001. He blew off the whole point of the story with his psychedelic light show, and incomprehensible David Bowman metamorphosis. I've actually had to defend Clarke's novel against people who think the story degenerates into an acid trip at the end because they only saw the movie. The fact that a lot of people in '68 loved watching it on drugs doesn't make it OK. 2010 was a MUCH better movie--very true to Clarke's vision and it explained the ending of 2001 better than 2001 did.

Aug 4 - 10:26 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Well I think Kubrick always intended to have the ending be based on somebodies opinion, so nobody can really be right or wrong about the ending. If its a movie you dont like, I understand it. I think its amazing but if someone says it isnt I wont get in there face about it because I can understand why some people dont like it. I did have to watch it like 20 times to really get it.

Aug 4 - 11:36 PM

mouse_clicker

Eric Baker

2001 wasn't JUST Clarke's vision, it was also Kubrick's. I'm sure you already know this, but just so we're on the same page, the movie wasn't based on the book, and the book wasn't based on the movie. The two of them got together and fleshed out an idea for a science fiction story. Stanley Kubrick made a movie to tell the story while Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book to tell the story. So talking about "defending Clarke's vision" is just hogwash.

Aside from that, just because the ending of the movie is ambiguous and allows for different interpretations, as opposed to being explicit about everything, doesn't mean it's just some acid trip. As I said before, movies are a VISUAL medium, and Kubrick utilized this to make watching 2001 a much more visceral experience. It's not like reading a book. A book could not have told the same story the movie did, and that's why Clarke's novel is fairly different in parts, especially in the end.

And finally, and this doesn't even apply directly to 2001 for reasons I've already state, but I'm really sick of people judging book-to-movie adaptations based purely on how similar the plots are. Movies and books are two completely different mediums, and to really produce something good you have to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Unfortunately, movies have become much more like books-on-tape in their heavy use of dialogue that people forget that that doesn't really work too well on the screen; I personally get bored when movies are just a bunch of people talking. The way I've always felt you have to adapt a book to a movie is to look at the ideas and themes the book was trying to convey, look at how the story told those ideas and themes, and then come up with a new way to tell those same ideas and themes in your movie that takes advantage of the medium. Almost paradoxically, the story HAS to be changed to tell the SAME story. Otherwise you'll end up with a movie that is, technically speaking, very close to the book, but completely flat and lifeless in its utter inability to do anything more.

Aug 5 - 10:18 AM

Admiral_N8

Nate L

I think Casper Van Dien did a great job in both of the ST movies he was in, I remember watchin Starship Troopers again a few years after it came out and wondering why he wasnt starring in more movies I always thought he'd be a good leading actor in other stuff.

I remember the episode of Married with Children i think it was where he played a successful guy at a high school reunion, and he did some PAtrick Bateman stuff that never made it into the movie. Overall hes a cool guy.

Aug 4 - 10:28 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Well I think Kubrick always intended to have the ending be based on somebodies opinion, so nobody can really be right or wrong about the ending. If its a movie you dont like, I understand it. I think its amazing but if someone says it isnt I wont get in there face about it because I can understand why some people dont like it. I did have to watch it like 20 times to really get it.

Aug 4 - 11:36 PM

Lux Obscura

jonathan brazeau

he actually seems like pretty stand up guy.
very surprising.
almost makes me want to see the movie....almost.
good choices too.

Aug 5 - 12:09 AM

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