Published on July 21, 2022 | by Gareth
As part of our coverage of SDCC, I spoke with Casper Van Dien about his new series Salvage Marine. We talk about the new show, the joys of working in Armor over the summer, and more.
Which part attracted you to?
I love the scifi genre and appreciate the return of the shows I grew up with
What kind of training and preparation did you do?
I trained with an LA-based trainer who specializes in kinesiology, Brian Schuster. He was incredible and changed my diet and routine in such an effective way.
One theme I found was the notion of being able to contribute, whatever your age. Will we see that your character is older than their team and comes into play?
I love Heist, because his campaign for his family inspired him to be fearless. To reach excellence and put your best foot forward. The age of ambition and drive trumps. I’m in my 50s now and find that I push harder sometimes because there’s more to prove.
How challenging is it to work in a combat suit?
In the heat of a Louisiana summer, we found the bottom of our energy tanks and you still have to get the shot. It was a fight against the elements and I think we gave it our all.
The whole team was steadily rising to another level. It was inspirational. When one person felt down, the group picked them up. Peter Shinkoda and I lived together. We refused to leave the job. As Lead, we wanted to set a positive example, no matter how difficult. Peter was a rock.
Where did you film combat missions for factories and training courses?
throughout Louisiana. The sets were impeccable. We were fortunate to have that authentic experience brought by these places.
I found soldiers being billed for medical care, as was the blatant professionalism of war. Will we learn more about the corporations going forward?
Absolutely. Such an important issue. Medical debt hurts so many families and we find out how you can be subject to it.
How would you like to see your character grow?
Being a father is the most rewarding role of my life. I’d love to see Heist get to protect his family in a more practical way.
Looking at the VFX on the show, how have things changed since your work on Starship Jaws in terms of filming?
So intricate work was done in every detail. Nothing was noticed or in a hurry. That’s why it holds so much. I’d love to make way for it, but I doubt a project will ever take that long. It is expensive and time consuming. That’s why Starship Troopers is a masterpiece. I am thrilled to be a part of that legacy. Who knows… maybe we can get Phil Tippitt for season two.
What are your plans for SDCC and what are you most looking forward to?
I’m excited to finally share this project with everyone. So much blood, sweat, tears and love went in this. SDCC is very special to me. I have been going since 1997. It’s changed a lot, but the passion is contagious. The energy is unmatched.
What were some of the biggest challenges and biggest wins so far with filming?
It is always difficult to work within budget constraints. Money, time, and weather played big factors with the filming process. The biggest part was relationships. You can tell that many of us are good friends. Makes it all magical. I am a child at heart… This business is always going to take me back to my childhood. I am blessed to do what I love. It’s a beautiful thing.
Any memorable moments from filming to share?
Bath scene with me and my brothers… Jenny oiled us and we were all laughing and having a lot of fun. It took me back to the shower scene with Verhoeven.
The actors seem to have good chemistry, did you train or hang out with each other?
We worked out in the park near our homes. Many of us hang out outside of work. It’s good to have brains that work hard and know how to have fun.
What can we expect in the future with the series?
If fans want season two, we’ll answer the call. It’s a job!