'Starship Troopers' Q&A | Paul Verhoeven & Casper Van Dien

  • Published on Mar 7, 2017
  • Director Paul Verhoeven and actor Casper Van Dien discuss their 1997 film 'Starship Troopers' before a screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
    Part comic book-style action adventure, part scathing satire of the military-industrial complex, Starship Troopers is one of the most subversive artistic acts ever perpetrated with a $100 million budget. Welcome to the 24th century, where fresh-faced, idealistic teens are encouraged to join up and become “citizens” by enlisting in the intergalactic army. They’ll grow up, see the universe, and, oh yeah, be slaughtered by the thousands as they battle giant, mutant insects threatening to wipe out mankind. Abetted by seamless special effects and impressively gory CGI carnage, Verhoeven delivers both a thrilling science fiction spectacle and a devastating takedown of jingoistic militarism.
    The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

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  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 131

  • James Salinas
    James Salinas 6 days ago

    Verhoeven is so humble. He even defends the sequels.

  • Reg Eric
    Reg Eric Month ago

    Is not a facist movie

  • Paerigos
    Paerigos Month ago +1

    Funny Verhoven - but that was the point - Bugs ARE NOT HUMANS. that is one of the explicit points of the book.
    Arachnid warrior or worker drone - they aren´t relevant to the hive mind anymore then for humans are skin cells. Without the hive mind, control they dont possess even feral intelligence of a dog.
    and on the other hand - the Hive does not assign any value to individual human life at all. (which in stark contrast in the book - life of any single human was supreme value that was undisputable in the Federation - as beeing said - it does not matter if enemy holds one prisoner of war or a million - you fight till you get them out).
    and well the book is written as tribute to the poor bloody infantry - job in military which noone likes, people in it dont fly fancy aircraft, they dont have impressive ships to show, they dont have luxury of the tank. Heinlein even said that its a tribute to those who do the most in the war, and get the least amount of glory from it.

  • Cam raiD
    Cam raiD 2 months ago

    i saw this at cinema age 12.... It boosted my confidence I think, it's a great film, and clever too.

  • John John
    John John 3 months ago +3

    Everyone in the comment section is a idiot expect for me.

  • Leszek Halama
    Leszek Halama 4 months ago

    Basil Poledouris !

  • Lee Bee
    Lee Bee 4 months ago

    Thanks for uploading. It's fascinating to finally hear the truth about the film from the man himself. It's a shame about Mr Verhoeven's feminist views, but I think he holds those views quite innocently. Just like fascism, feminism is an evil that can corrupt a society without them even realizing they're doing anything wrong.
    As for the film, well, I like Mr Verhoeven's work, but Starship Troopers just isn't for me. I don't like war films, and while I appreciate the political satire (particularly the propaganda commercials), the satire just isn't prominent and strong enough to hold my attention for a whole 130 minutes.

    • AJkunVM
      AJkunVM 2 months ago +1

      I think this was a terrible review. thank you for your time!

  • Parsa Qadimi
    Parsa Qadimi 4 months ago

    Best star wars movie since return of the Jedi

  • Arch Stanton
    Arch Stanton 4 months ago

    11:25 is such an awkward moment, when Paul is smiling at the interviewer, so cringeworthy

    • Ryan Coke
      Ryan Coke Month ago

      Arch Stanton I think you’re seeing things that ain’t there bud, he’s smiling about what Casper is saying about being back in character.

  • willis mckay
    willis mckay 4 months ago

    Paul is a smart man but what he fails to realise, sadly, is that fascism and hysteria today reside in the left and all its narrative.

  • Nihilistic Poet
    Nihilistic Poet 5 months ago +1

    I'd follow John Rico to any battlefield so long he quotes that one line that makes life worth living and dying for.

  • none of your business
    none of your business 5 months ago +1

    Funny how the director of a movie can be so utterly wrong about what his own damn movie displays.
    Mayyyybe he should've read the book before making a movie adaptation, or even _at all..._

  • Christian Lasala
    Christian Lasala 5 months ago +5

    It’s amazing someone who never read the damn book can lie so openly about what narrative it has.
    The novel is opposed to fascism, and this idiot complete shit on it.

    • Lobos222
      Lobos222 19 days ago

      LoL, only Neo Nazis claim that... So, I guess your it.
      Edit: Just checked, most of your liked videos are far right wing, what a surprise! Hahahaha

  • letsgetverydrunk
    letsgetverydrunk 6 months ago

    I saw this film when I was 12 or so and hated it. It was so needlessly violent and meanspirited and I hated all the humans in it. Only when I re-saw the movie much later did I get the joke.

  • Silvio Victor Campos
    Silvio Victor Campos 6 months ago

    One of my all-time favorites. Funny and depressing at the same time, a critic of society, war, movie making, Beverly Hills 90210... Marvelous.

  • beach whale explosion
    beach whale explosion 6 months ago +1

    amazing film amazing cast amazing creative director

  • Wreck-It Rolfe
    Wreck-It Rolfe 6 months ago +2

    What doesn't the German press hate? Non-white foreigners?

  • 51stcenturygirl
    51stcenturygirl 7 months ago

    What an eloquent, clever man. And that at 26:45 - precisely what I started doing to cope with present situation. I'm glad and encouraged that artist who made one of my favourite films did the same.

  • ytubeanon
    ytubeanon 8 months ago +2

    lol after just rewatching Starship Troopers, Trump would fit into the style of absurdist humor as president of that fascist world

    • willis mckay
      willis mckay 4 months ago +2

      lowest unemployment rate amongst blacks in the last 50 years, economy is doing great, the border is being secured.

  • Blues Boy
    Blues Boy 9 months ago

    I love listening to Paul Verhoeven talk. His accent almost sounds as if he's Asian.

  • memk
    memk 9 months ago +1

    Judging from the box office back in the day clearly everyone EXCEPT American got what it meant.....

  • Novgskua Osbraxus
    Novgskua Osbraxus 10 months ago

    Really disappointing to find out that Casper is not that smart at all. He desperately tries to make the audience laugh and at one point he talks about Verhoeven as if he is not present.

  • RiseAbove TheTide
    RiseAbove TheTide 10 months ago

    Paul V. is a genius

  • darklit
    darklit 10 months ago

    Matt Damon would have been better. Sorry Casper.

    • Janfrans Zuidema
      Janfrans Zuidema 27 days ago

      Nah. Casper is perfect. He disappears in the end scene. One of the many apes who don't want to live forever... ;)

  • Hanniffy Dinn
    Hanniffy Dinn 10 months ago +5

    I've seen this movie so many times, along with ROBOCOP and total recall ..... he's a genius. I have no idea how anyone can misinterpret this movie. I guess most People aren't that intelligent.

  • Raysboss302
    Raysboss302 11 months ago +4

    Now we have Left fascism.
    Who’s becoming more aggressive by the year.

    • sage34832
      sage34832 Month ago

      Obviously he means on Twitter where people have no real power while right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and, outside of the House of Representatives, the right holds all levers of power. Twitter is the real fascism. Look what it did to poor Harvey Weinstein.

    • wjung
      wjung 9 months ago +4

      Where, out of curiosity? Not in the US, where socialist is still a derogatory term. Not in Europe, where the left-wing parties are in disarray. So c'mon, man.

  • kevin willems
    kevin willems 11 months ago +4

    I can't believe that people would take a film that was very clearly antifascist and call it fascist.

    • Wreck-It Rolfe
      Wreck-It Rolfe 6 months ago

      The only difference between fascists and antifascists is whether or not they love their country.

    • polyseed12
      polyseed12 9 months ago


    • HE1NZ
      HE1NZ 9 months ago

      Sure, here you go. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung

    • kevin willems
      kevin willems 9 months ago +2

      polyseed12 thank you

    • polyseed12
      polyseed12 9 months ago +1

      HE1NZ you should look up the definition of Fascism. Wikipedia would be a good start.

  • Sergeant Camacho
    Sergeant Camacho Year ago +6

    Wow Casper Van Dien looks the same

  • Pavel Mecer
    Pavel Mecer Year ago +4

    The book was far from fascist. The movie, however, indeed was like that

  • Erik Truchinskas
    Erik Truchinskas Year ago +1

    I love both but as different things. If you compare the movie to the book you will find the movie severely wanting

  • Tomherbs
    Tomherbs Year ago

    Verhoeven knows how to make a sci fi futuristic thriller

  • Tomherbs
    Tomherbs Year ago +10

    Better than the 3 star wars prequels

  • Dan Fors
    Dan Fors Year ago +3

    They should have Verhoeven to direct the next Star Wars. He's great with Sci-fi!

    • irwinisidro
      irwinisidro Month ago

      The ironic thing is that he actually doesn't like sci fi despite that he is known for it.

  • Z LA
    Z LA Year ago +8

    this was the first movie I ever saw with titties in it. Changed my life.

    • Zycho
      Zycho Month ago


  • deaddropsd1972
    deaddropsd1972 Year ago

    🚀Starship Troopers fans/ Veterans 🕷
    I re-did the audiobook 📚 w sound 🔊 💥 effects and voice acting! 🎤 8 hrs. Please 🙏🏼listen 👂 and SHARE!!!

  • PlasmaKong2
    PlasmaKong2 Year ago +1

    17:55 - 20:05 That was brilliant. I love Verhoeven!

  • David Burroughs
    David Burroughs Year ago

    Amazing and informative to me when from the same source a talented movie maker can give a completely different take than I did. I don't say he did poorly making his film, I thought he did great, but his result missed Heinleins focus. I think he missed that the military effort was never more than secondary to the total, and that citizenship was voluntary and not for most people, and citizenship was available in a number of paths.

  • Peer165
    Peer165 Year ago +1

    Took the humor out of the 2nd one? I don't know... I was laughing my ass of for the entire movie, for the wrong resons but still.

  • Oink ards
    Oink ards Year ago +1

    How fuck, Casper's upper face hasn't aged one bit, but his lower face looks like a gruff 60 year old.

  • Hardc0reGamer92
    Hardc0reGamer92 Year ago

    Make it 20 Rico....

  • Paulo Gomes
    Paulo Gomes Year ago +12

    We all know it was a movie based on the book, but in the end we got 2 separeted things and they are both amazing as it is.
    Stop complaining "ahh it is not like the book" a movie will never be like the book and vice versa just know how to admire both otherwise you will never be satisfied with cinema now days

    • Beau Jones
      Beau Jones Month ago

      Yeh I think they're two different things and love it.
      Will love to see a movie eventually based on the book proper but I also want proper sequels to this movie

    • Sergeant Camacho
      Sergeant Camacho Year ago +1

      Exactly! Personally... I love both

  • Danny Harrison
    Danny Harrison Year ago +7

    If they ever do a flashback scene in Game Of Thrones they should cast Casper as Rhaegar Targaryen

  • Willaev
    Willaev Year ago

    The film was entertaining, but it was a travesty.

  • Stoney Holiday
    Stoney Holiday Year ago +21

    This movie shaped my lifelong politics as a 15 year old. It opened my eyes to the dangers of fascism. Turned me into a progressive. I have no idea how it went completely over peoples heads that it is a satire.

    • Eitan Ben Dor
      Eitan Ben Dor 3 months ago

      guess youre not in it for the species.

    • Bantirat
      Bantirat 3 months ago

      +catoblepag id disagree to an extent
      id heavily disagree with the notion that communism = nazism

    • Bantirat
      Bantirat 3 months ago

      +SPTX how are we heading for a 3rd world war

    • It's No Use - Yours will be a stillborn
      It's No Use - Yours will be a stillborn 5 months ago


    • Sergeant Camacho
      Sergeant Camacho Year ago

      Ironically... progressives would censor this movie... don't be a colectivist my friend. Progressives just like fascists and communists want a "perfect world"...

  • CloudierCloud
    CloudierCloud Year ago +5

    I was 11 when I first saw this movie and I thought and still think its the funniest sci-fi out there. 10/10 in my top 3 movies

  • James Neave
    James Neave Year ago +15

    Jesus Christ.
    I saw it in the cinema when I was 18, I got it, it's pretty obvious.

    • shruk4
      shruk4 Month ago +1

      Maybe a lot of people were real fucking stupid in the 90s

    • Arch Stanton
      Arch Stanton 4 months ago +1

      I watched it in theaters with my grandmother and mom, when I was 12? Yeah that was a good time.

  • Arday60
    Arday60 Year ago +15

    Verhoven keeps proving over and over that he doesn't get the book or Heinlein's intent with the book. I'll admit, it's not the easiest book to transfer to screen considering how most of it is a series of inner-monologue morality discussions but to say you were struggling with the book because of its advocacy of fascist politics is pretty much the same thing the reviews did to the movie when it came out. Starship Troopers the book always was a commentary on Soviet Russia and totalitarian regimes.

    • Beau Jones
      Beau Jones Month ago

      I think you have to look at it as different things.
      The movie originally was an unrelated script and they tacted on the starship troopers name and character names as a marketing move.
      It shouldn't be seen as a true adaptation of the book which is unfortunate, but this is how Hollywood is.
      I for one am happy the film exist and made.me search out the book

    • valar
      valar 10 months ago +3

      Communism is extreme left, fascism is extreme right. They look similar but there are important differences. The Nazis came to power in part because they strongly appealed to conservative, right-wing elements in Germany, including the aristocracy. The Bolsheviks only came to power due to the upheaval of war and the weakening of the existing conservative power structure that would otherwise have stopped a communist takeover.
      Even the 'socialist' part of National Socialism is true only in a limited sense. Free-market capitalism was tolerated in Nazi Germany as long as it aided the goals of the regime, which it did. The biggest reason that nobody tried to stop Hitler until it was too late was because they hoped he would be a bulwark against communism, including some prominent people in the USA. Joe Kennedy and Henry Ford both supported the Nazis in the 1930s. Would these walking incarnations of capitalism have ever supported a leftist regime?
      Stalin haunts the extreme left, and Hitler haunts the extreme right. I'd say that's a powerful warning to either side.

    • portadorde nanismo
      portadorde nanismo Year ago

      The movie is great and it doesn't matter if Verhoeven didn't understand Heinlein's philosophy and created something different. Just analyze each work as a stand alone piece of art. Don't use comparisons between each to criticize either. They should be criticized by their own merits. And Starship Troopers is a great and a very smart film.

    • Scinzon
      Scinzon Year ago +1

      The movie is indeed "Based On" the original novel rather than being an adaptation of the original novel as for example "Hunger Games" is an adaptation of the novel by the same name. However, it is not merely "Inspired By" the original novel as "Aliens" for example is.

    • charley downey
      charley downey Year ago

      Arday60 And you keep proving, over and over, that you don’t understand there’s a difference between a book and a movie

  • ᄋᄋ
    ᄋᄋ Year ago +1

    Masterpiece[Noun] : A thing that is still looking awesome even it is made in 20 years ago.
    ex) Starship troopers VFX,CGI

  • Splattermelt
    Splattermelt Year ago

    Casper's Verhoeven impression is hilariously spot on!

  • Frederick-Nrunk Kamara
    Frederick-Nrunk Kamara 2 years ago +14

    I saw the movie and I loved it - fascist! Nazi! No way!

    • Adam Cassidy
      Adam Cassidy 5 months ago +3

      you're commenting under a video in which the director himself says its a parody of fascism, you absolute fucking moron

    • Scinzon
      Scinzon Year ago

      Exactly. Fascism and Nazism are ideologies, not clothing styles. ;)

  • Rui Luz
    Rui Luz 2 years ago +55

    The movie aged well, 20 years later people finaly get the satire, the propaganda, the metaphors of war and politics.

    • Clostridium Tetani
      Clostridium Tetani 12 days ago

      +Justin Osborn totally. afterall there is no such thing as satire. its just people trying to cover their ass

    • Chris Brown
      Chris Brown 20 days ago

      +Justin Osborn wow hurt feelings brigade! Top 10 best movie. Deal with it snowflake

    • ReddoFreddo
      ReddoFreddo 3 months ago +2

      Most striking similarity to today is the classroom scene at the beginning where the teacher says the "Social sciences had failed and brought Western civilization into chaos" that could be something directly taken from the mouth of Jordan Peterson

    • Justin Osborn
      Justin Osborn 6 months ago +1

      There is no satire you idiot. The only satire is that the director says it is satire to cover his own ass. He made a movie about facists who were heroes those are his words.

  • Darwin E
    Darwin E 2 years ago +9

    Casper Van Dien awesome guy, great b movies. Oh god facist give me a break frickin europe. Starship Trooper one of my favorites seen it at a out door drive in theatre.

    • valar
      valar 8 months ago +4

      Dude, the movie was intended to be a satire of militarism and fascism, so of course it would be easy to misinterpret. Did you not just watch the interview?

  • scambune
    scambune 2 years ago +3

    when I saw the trailer in the theater, my jaw hit the floor

    • Alexander S
      Alexander S Year ago +1

      scambune remember the soundtrack? Blur - song 2

  • OneEyedJack1970
    OneEyedJack1970 2 years ago +2

    As I recall, Buenos Aries was hit in the book, but Juan Rico was actually Filipino.

    • H C
      H C Year ago +5

      D Cavalli in the book the bugs have space ships

    • D Cavalli
      D Cavalli 2 years ago

      OneEyedJack1970 Does the book explain how the Bugs ended up on different planets? Did they have space travel or were indigeous to each planet?
      ADDENDUM: Saw the film again on cable. The biology teacher explains the bugs are able to send their spores throughout space.

  • TPH1988
    TPH1988 2 years ago +1

    Please release a 20th anniversary edition blu-ray

  • Paul 81
    Paul 81 2 years ago

    Top film,love it!😀

  • Brian Olson
    Brian Olson 2 years ago +59

    It was a Sci Fi book and movie and I never, until now, knew anyone thought it was fascist. Or Nazi. It isn't. It was a science fiction theme and very well done. the critics who said so are fricking morons.

    • Zycho
      Zycho Month ago

      yes... but did you ever think, while watching the movie, is this wrong?

    • valar
      valar 10 months ago +2

      I was pretty disturbed by the movie when it came out because of the militaristic themes and the fascist symbolism - although now it is obvious that there are fascist elements as well, although less so. Only years later did I realize it was a satire. Yes, people both throw the word around too much, but also don't apply it where it is appropriate. Verhoeven lived under Nazi occupation as a child so he knows what fascism looks like.
      Starship Troopers' satire has helped it hold up much better than Verhoeven's other famous 90s films, Showgirls and Basic Instinct. I don't buy that Showgirls was a satire too, or if it was, it was so badly written that the satire was lost in the campiness. Basic Instinct is a standard thriller that stood out because it relied a lot on shock value, which was effective by 1992 standards but not after 20 years of the Internet and premium television, and has a lot of scenes that are cringey now.

    • kevin willems
      kevin willems 11 months ago

      I will check this out deaddropsd1972

    • deaddropsd1972
      deaddropsd1972 Year ago +2

      🚀Starship Troopers fans/ Veterans 🕷
      I re-did the audiobook 📚 w sound 🔊 💥 effects and voice acting! 🎤 8 hrs. Please 🙏🏼listen 👂 and SHARE!!!

    • Zarkow
      Zarkow Year ago +3

      It makes fun of fascism. Some critics thought it wasn't on-the-nose enough, especially the ones on the extreme left, and as such criticized it that it may have pro-War.