An Interview with Casper Van Dien
Working for Bulletproof Action has connected me with action fanatics the world over, it has also given me the opportunity to interact with some of the actors, the actresses, the stunt coordinators, the writers and the directors that make action movies come to life. But every once and a while an opportunity comes along that blows my mind… like the chance to ask Johnny Rico some questions!!
Casper Van Dien, the man who brought Johnny Rico to life in the classic Starship Troopers, has been making the rounds promoting his latest film, Showdown in Manila. In my interview with Casper we do discuss the all-star actioner Showdown in Manila, an upcoming big summer blockbuster he is a part of, his pick for the best movie Tarzan of all-time and more!
CTB: Showdown in Manila boasts a star studded cast. What was it like working on a film with so many fellow action movie veterans?
CVD: It was pretty cool to be around so many martial arts experts. Kind of humbling and inspiring when you know you have some fight scenes coming up!
CTB: Showdown in Manila paired you up with the physically imposing Alexander Nevsky. What was it like working with Alexander and would you be open to working with him again?
CVD: Alexander is the biggest gentleman in the business. We had so much fun. He is larger than life. I would love to work with him again anytime.
CTB: Mark Dacascos made his directorial debut with Showdown in Manila. Having directed a few films yourself, did you have any words of advice or encouragement for Mark?
CVD: Mark is a true master of everything he sets out to do. He is a great man and an even better friend. I would have totally tried to encourage him to hire me but he had already done that so I had no further advice.
CTB: You actually worked with Mark a few years back on the series Mortal Kombat: Legacy where you played Johnny Cage. Were you a fan of the iconic video game before stepping into that role and any memories you can share from the series?
CVD: Mark and I had the best time working with each other. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mortal Kombat and playing Johnny Cage supported my ego in a way that no other role has in the past. For this I am grateful and humble.
CTB: We are coming up on the 20th anniversary of your portrayal of Tarzan in the movie Tarzan and the Lost City. In your opinion who was the best Tarzan of all-time?
CVD: Johnny Weissmuller will forever be my Tarzan. I was fortunate to play the hero of my hero. My dad is my hero and he has always loved Tarzan.
CTB: This year, you will be a part of a movie that has some buzz around it, Alita: Battle Angel. I have seen the trailer and it looks like nothing I have ever seen before. What can you tell us about it?
CVD: It was a blast to play on that set. Legendary artists involved and I can not wait to see it. It is cool when you are a fan of what you are working on. I have been lucky that way and hope it continues for me.
CTB: Another upcoming project of yours that caught my eye was Chokehold. What can action fans expect from Chokehold?
CVD: I am actually going to the premiere for Chokehold on February 8. I loved working with the director Brian Skiba and the producers. It is always a blast to get to do choreographed fights with some real fighters.
CTB: Lastly, do you think you will forever be associated with the character Johnny Rico from Starship Troopers? And do you think we have seen the last of Johnny Rico?
CVD: I have had the honor and privilege of being Johnny Rico for over 20 years now! I hope I get to do more with this awesome character in the amazing world created by Paul Verhoeven, Ed Neumeier, Phil Tippet, John Davison and the man who originally wrote the novel, Robert A. Heinlein. My being a part of the Starship Troopers world has been amazing.
CTB: Thank you Casper for your time and best of luck on your future projects.
CVD: Thank you Chris. And… Welcome to the Roughnecks!