July 2022 saw the premiere of Salvage Marines, a new SF action show about a group of dedicated soldiers who undertake a perilous quest to secure a better life for themselves and their families. And while you might have missed the show because it never ended up on any major streaming service, you’ll be surprised to know that a true science-fiction legend is actually starring in the movie. Casper Van Dien, a legendary American actor best known for the role of Starship Trooper Johnny Rico from the cult classic 1997 science-fiction movie Starship Troopers, plays the main role of Samual Hyst, a character very similar, but also profoundly different from Johnny Rico.
Now, we at Fiction Horizon have had the opportunity and the pleasure to talk to Mr. Van Dien about his newest project, but also a bit about his career in an exclusive interview. We’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Van Dien for a quick chat in which we discussed his newest project, the character he’s playing, as well as his career in general. Of course, Johnny Rico and Starship Troopers were also mentioned because they’re an inseparable part of Mr. Van Dien’s life and career and also an inseparable part of our youth. We’re going to reveal all the exclusive information that Mr. Van Dien has told us, happy that he’s taken the time to sit and have a chat with us.
FH: I first wanted to say I am a big fan of your character Rico and the movie Starship Troopers. For me, the book is nowhere close to the movie, which is really rare. But, let us talk a bit about your new show Salvage Marines. What inspired you to produce and star in the Salvage Marines show and how did you decide to adapt the Necrospace book series?
CVD: I was approached to do a sci-fi show by Philippe Martinez, who had already been given the rights to adapt the book to the screen. He said it was time for Johnny Rico to return to space. I read the script and was hooked. I wanted to help bring this story to life as best as I could.
FH: We really liked the story of Salvage Marines, it reminded us of the Warhammer series and has some nice Starship Troopers vibes. Was that done on purpose or is it just something that came out on its own?
CVD: The writers were Starship fans and fans of that time in sci-fi as well. They created a world so different, but so relatable. I think their love for the genre really shows up on the pages.
FH: How did the team come to the decision to stream the show on Popcornflix and Crackle? Can you tell us a bit more about the deal?
CVD: That’s way above my pay grade, but I was so happy for the team to gain the love of Popcornflix and Crackle. They have been a dream to work with.
FH: It is a shame that the production budget for the show couldn’t be bigger, the idea of megacorporations running the show really sounds amazing. Do you think the show could get a second season with a possibly bigger budget?
CVD: That would be the dream. We did the best we could with what we had and that’s a promise. Every moment was given our all. Every stunt, we pushed to the limit. We were dying of heat exhaustion, but we all knew this was our dream and that’s pretty lucky. I’ve been blessed in my career, and luckily experienced this before. I never take it for granted. I love this dream today as much as I did at 19. So yes, season two! Let’s go!
FH: Can you tell us a bit more about your character Samuel? Have you, perhaps, taken some inspiration for him from your earlier work? Maybe Rico? *laughs*
CVD: Yeah, I think I got a little bit of it from Rico, but he’s older now. Has a lot more wisdom… I hope. Sam does it for his family. A higher purpose. Rico, joined to get the girl. Two very different motivations and I relate to them both. Anytime that I have the honor to play a military man, I look to my dad. He served in the Navy as a Pilot and a CDR. He is my hero and I always wanna do right by him and those who served.
FH: Do you think your family’s military history helped you nail these military roles, as well as your own college prep?
CVD: The men of my family who served, gave me the freedom to do what I love. For us to all be here and getting a shot. It’s the least I could do, to give it my all, after the sacrifices of those brave soldiers.
FH: You’ve starred as a soldier/officer many times, but what is your favorite movie role? Is it Johnny Rico, the role that actually made you famous and the one you most often return to? Or is it, perhaps, some other role?
CVD: It will always be Johnny Rico for me. That movie has given me a career. I will forever be thankful for that.
FH: Do you think we will see more of Starship Troopers in the future, and what do you think about a reboot? Could we see one in the future and would you be interested in returning for it?
CVD: I am always ready to do my part.
FH: Finally, could you tell us a bit about your future projects on the big and small screens? Will you be working on some games in the future?
CVD: I have a bunch of films coming out this year. Daughter, Mad Heidi, County Line No Fear and Battle of Saipan. I am excited about all of them. I would love to work on some games.
FH: Mr. Van Dien, thank you so very much for the interview, it was a pleasure and an honor. We wish you all the best in your future career and we hope to see you in more great roles in the future!
This is how it all went down. It was a short chat, but Mr. Van Dien has given us some exclusive information about the series and in-depth insight into his character, which was a true pleasure. Samuel Hyst is a layered and complex character and it was a true pleasure talking about him with the actor himself. Well, we hope Salvage Marines is going to return for a second season that is going to do the story more justice and that Mr. Van Dien will land even more memorable roles in the future!
Until then, you can check out our review of Salvage Marines, which, even though it had a very low budget, has a very interesting premise and some nice acting.