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In THE PACT (opening theatrically today and also on VOD from
IFC Films), Casper Van Dien plays Bill Creek, a small-town police officer
embroiled in a supernatural mystery. It’s the latest authority-figure role for
the actor, who plays a similar part in the upcoming SHIVER and served as an
executive producer on STARSHIP TROOPERS: INVASION, the latest sequel to the
sci-fi epic in which he starred—and he discussed all three roles with Fango.
THE PACT (written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, based
on his well-received short of the same title) stars DEATH VALLEY’s Caity Lotz
as a young woman who returns to her childhood home following her mother’s
death. As she tries to solve the mystery of her sister’s disappearance in the
same house, she enlists Creek’s help in confronting the house’s horrible
history. In Julian Richards’ SHIVER, Van Dien’s Detective Delgado becomes
involved in the case of a serial killer (played by WOLF CREEK’s John Jarratt)
and his latest potential victim (Danielle Harris), while INVASION (coming
August 28 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) is the first animated feature
in the STARSHIP TROOPERS franchise, for which Van Dien played heroic Johnny
Rico in the first and third movies.
FANGORIA: Can you tell us a little bit about THE PACT’s Bill
CASPER VAN DIEN: He’s a cop who’s had some life experience,
and is kind of a rougher-edged guy. He maybe sees salvation in helping this
girl played by Caity Lotz, and it’s about the struggle that goes on with
actually stepping up and being there to help someone. He’s had his own
struggles in his life, at least with what I’ve put into this character. Some if
it was already written, and some of it came from my own imagination and the
things I’ve been through in my life. This character has wrestled with alcohol,
and I’ve had my own battles with that in the past, and with relationships, and
I’ve had struggles with that too. And then dealing with children—there’s a line
where he says to this girl that she reminds him of his daughter, and I could
totally relate to that, being a father of four daughters and one son, and
knowing what it’s like to got through that.
FANG: Were you familiar with the short version of THE PACT
before you came on board the feature?
VAN DIEN: Yeah, I did. I got to see the short, and I thought
it was really good.
FANG: How did Nicholas McCarthy handle directing his first
VAN DIEN: He was an awesome man to work with. I loved that
he was so knowledgeable about this genre, that he put his heart and soul into
this and that he was able to turn it around and use the same crew he did on his
short. I loved the way he treats the audience, too, when I saw the final
product. You know, sometimes I’ll see a horror movie, and it doesn’t make any
sense and it’s all crazy and there’s lots of blood that doesn’t really seem to
fit. This one is more intelligently done, and treats the genre with more
respect than some horror films have lately.
FANG: Do you think that was a function of McCarthy doing it
independently, as opposed to with a studio on a larger budget?
VAN DIEN: Well, I think when anyone is trying to make a
film, their intent is to do something good; I don’t know too many people who
try to go out and make something bad. But you could see Nicholas’ fandom when
it came to this genre. You could see it in his short, in the writing of the
[feature] script and in the end product; you could see that this is somebody
who truly respects and likes this genre. I don’t know whether that would be
lost on a greater budget, but I can tell you that his intentions, in my
opinion, would be strong no matter what the budget was, because he really is a
huge fanboy [laughs]; you can see that he loves this genre.
FANG: Do you think you might reteam with McCarthy
on future films?
VAN DIEN: Good question—please ask him! I would love to work
with him again on anything he does. He’s a great guy, really solid director,
fun to work with and I completely believe in him.
FANG: Can you say a few words about your part in
VAN DIEN: Sure. I play a cop again, and it was a lot of fun
to work with Danielle Harris; she’s a very passionate actress. And it was great
to work with Rae Dawn Chong; she plays my partner, and she’s just phenomenal
too. I really enjoyed working with those ladies. I had a good time working with
Caity on THE PACT, too. She did her own stunts, and was amazing.
FANG: Was John Jarratt scary to work with when he was in
VAN DIEN: He was not scary for me at all. He was a total
gentleman and a very professional actor. I thought he looked fantastic, and did
an amazing job in the role.
FANG: You’re also back in your third STARSHIP TROOPERS movie
VAN DIEN: I just saw INVASION on Friday, and I loved the
suits! I wish we could’ve had those for real [in the previous live-action
films]. It was really cool to see them, and the weapons were amazing. So it was
just exciting to be part of.
FANG: This is your first time as a producer on a TROOPERS
film. How did that come about?
VAN DIEN: They just wanted to have me and Ed Neumeier, the
writer of STARSHIP TROOPERS and director of STARSHIP TROOPERS 3: MARAUDER, be a
part of it. It’s been an interesting process, being an executive producer. A
lot more going in and talking to different executives, so it was a completely
different hat. They asked me questions and had me participate in the creative
decisions; it was fun.
FANG: The original STARSHIP TROOPERS was a little bit ahead
of its time when it came out, but it’s had real longevity. Do you think that
time has now caught up to that film, in a sense?
VAN DIEN: You know, people still say how well it’s held up,
as far as the special effects and the humor. I still have people who stop me
all the time and quote the movie, and they’re always tweeting lines from it on
my Twitter account, @CasperVanDien. I just did a Funny or Die thing with
[TROOPERS co-star] Jake Busey—which was a blast to do and hang out with him—and
he gets the same thing. It’s a film that, for some reason, people still seem to
love or hate or whatever it is; it continues to get a lot of attention. And I
have this comedy coming out called NOOBZ [about videogamers competing in a
championship tournament] where I play “that guy from STARSHIP TROOPERS.” So it
seems to follow me a little bit [laughs].
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