'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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Comments • 152

  • matteovrizzi
    matteovrizzi 18 days ago

    There are those who create and those that sit back and criticize. These are called "reviewers" or CRITICS. They are mostly ignorant, unimaginative, and poorly qualified. They also have to be politically correct. In essence, the complete opposite of Paul Verhoeven. Not surprisingly, Paul's movies are often misunderstood and bashed by critics.

    It is rather sad that critics have to exist in the first place (our lazy society demands reviews of everything - movies, books, music, dishwashers, restaurants....) and that people pay so much attention to these reviews.

  • Rico's Roughnecks
    Rico's Roughnecks Month ago

    Verhoeven according to his own words didn't read Heinlein's book and his movie completely failed to understand the source material. Heinlein was not describing fascism, he was describing the opposite of fascism.

  • Martin Dee Wan
    Martin Dee Wan Month ago +2

    I'm from Buenos Aires and here everyone loves Starship Troopers, obviously.

  • DJDevon3
    DJDevon3 2 months ago

    If you actually read the book you will appreciate the movie more. The book paints a much harsher reality, it's brutal, the movie is a quasi-parody. If they made the movie true to the books there would have been a backlash, it might have been banned in Germany. What's ironic and funny about it is that Germany has gone from one extreme to another. Anything Nazi related is banned in Germany. From zealotry for fascism to zealotry against fascism to the point... they're fascist about fascism. Now that would make for a great new plot for the movie series. For example they execute prisoners in a kangaroo court who support keeping old relics like in Equilibrium or even V for Vendetta, both touched upon that subject. History is always worth remembering and teaching so you don't repeat the same mistakes. If you burn books and erase history you're setting up the future of the nation to repeat the same mistakes. Learn from mistakes. The world can ill afford another Nazi regime.

    • motorheadache
      motorheadache 20 days ago +1

      "erase history"? do you think german history textbooks skip the nazi period?

    • valar
      valar Month ago +1

      Germans are well-informed about Nazism. Nazi symbols are banned, yes, but you can use them in artistic productions. Valkyrie, for instance, was filmed in Germany, often at the actual locations where the events unfolded.

  • Joe Smith
    Joe Smith 2 months ago

    27:06 look at Caspar Van Dien's face. It's that face you make when you just heard the biggest pile of bullshit.

  • Rodimus Prime
    Rodimus Prime 3 months ago

    i would love to see a paul verhoeven blade runner movie

  • Rodimus Prime
    Rodimus Prime 3 months ago

    these movies could never be made today. too many sensitive feminists and emo pussies on the internet

  • deaddropsd1972
    deaddropsd1972 3 months ago

    🚀Starship Troopers fans/ Veterans 🕷
    I re-did the audiobook 📚 w sound 🔊 💥 effects and voice acting! 🎤 8.5 hours. Please 🙏🏼listen 👂 and SHARE!!!
    FB page “Starship Troopers the book”

  • James Salinas
    James Salinas 5 months ago +2

    Verhoeven is so humble. He even defends the sequels.

  • Reg Eric
    Reg Eric 6 months ago

    Is not a facist movie

  • Paerigos
    Paerigos 6 months 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 8 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 8 months ago +3

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

  • Leszek Halama
    Leszek Halama 9 months ago +2

    Basil Poledouris !

  • Lee Bee
    Lee Bee 9 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 7 months ago +1

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

  • Parsa Qadimi
    Parsa Qadimi 9 months ago +1

    Best star wars movie since return of the Jedi

  • Matthew Hobbs
    Matthew Hobbs 9 months ago

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

    • Ryan Coke
      Ryan Coke 6 months ago +1

      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 9 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 10 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 11 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..._

    • YareYareJose
      YareYareJose 17 days ago

      I can't blame him though, the book is a fucking bore and the militarism that it pushes for is kinda sickening, lol. Kinda reminds me of books written by ww1 german veterans that saw some glory in dying by the thousands in trenches.

  • Christian Lasala
    Christian Lasala 11 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 5 months 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 11 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 11 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 11 months ago +1

    amazing film amazing cast amazing creative director

  • Wreck-It Rolfe
    Wreck-It Rolfe 11 months ago +2

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

  • 51stcenturygirl
    51stcenturygirl Year 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 Year ago +3

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

    • Julius C.
      Julius C. 3 months ago

      @willis mckay Immigration from Mexico was already at a net zero, Black wages are down, wars continue, tax breaks for the rich, rise in child birth deaths, climate change

    • willis mckay
      willis mckay 9 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 Year ago

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

  • memk
    memk Year ago +1

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

  • Novgskua Osbraxus

    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

    Paul V. is a genius

  • darklit
    darklit Year ago

    Matt Damon would have been better. Sorry Casper.

    • Janfrans Zuidema
      Janfrans Zuidema 6 months 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 Year ago +6

    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.

  • Rayboss302
    Rayboss302 Year ago +4

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

    • sage34832
      sage34832 6 months ago +2

      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 Year ago +6

      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 Year 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 11 months ago

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

    • polyseed12
      polyseed12 Year ago


    • HE1NZ
      HE1NZ Year ago

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

    • kevin willems
      kevin willems Year ago +2

      polyseed12 thank you

    • polyseed12
      polyseed12 Year ago +1

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

  • Sergeant Camacho
    Sergeant Camacho Year ago +10

    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 +1

    Verhoeven knows how to make a sci fi futuristic thriller

  • Tomherbs
    Tomherbs Year ago +11

    Better than the 3 star wars prequels

    • ZA-7
      ZA-7 2 months ago

      I feel your hate... get over it b i t c h

  • Dan Fors
    Dan Fors Year ago +5

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

    • Dizzy Blu
      Dizzy Blu 8 days ago

      Did you not watch the interview? Lmao

    • irwinisidro
      irwinisidro 6 months ago +1

      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 6 months 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 2 years 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 2 years ago +2

    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 2 years 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 2 years ago +1

    Make it 20 Rico....

  • Paulo Gomes
    Paulo Gomes 2 years ago +16

    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 6 months ago +1

      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 +2

      Exactly! Personally... I love both

  • Danny Harrison
    Danny Harrison 2 years ago +11

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

  • Willaev
    Willaev 2 years ago

    The film was entertaining, but it was a travesty.

  • Stoney Holiday
    Stoney Holiday 2 years ago +23

    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 8 months ago

      guess youre not in it for the species.

    • Bantirat
      Bantirat 8 months ago

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

    • Bantirat
      Bantirat 8 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 10 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 2 years 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 2 years ago +29

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

    • The Monarch
      The Monarch 23 days ago

      @valar Well, since I wasn't too sure if you were a native, or just generally retarded I used the word 'at'. My apologies if this confused you, person from a family that 'didn't get it'.

    • valar
      valar 23 days ago

      "Living at?" Fix your grammar first.

    • The Monarch
      The Monarch 24 days ago

      @valar Let me know once your education allows you to learn the name of the continent you're living at.

    • valar
      valar 24 days ago

      Your IQ doesn't sound too impressive with that idiotic remark.

    • The Monarch
      The Monarch 25 days ago

      @valar It's self-selective for people with an IQ above room temperature. BTW if you're from Canada, you're also from America, just not 'murrica, haha.

  • Arday60
    Arday60 2 years 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 6 months 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 Year ago +4

      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 2 years 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 2 years 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 10 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 2 years ago

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

  • Rui Luz
    Rui Luz 2 years ago +68

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

    • conatcha
      conatcha 4 months ago +4

      @Justin Osborn​
      Precisely, you moron. A movie were people empower violence over rationality as if it was just trivial and right, where people consider that if you don't enlist in the army you are not even allowed to have normal citizen rights like BEING A MOTHER, a world where even KIDS enlist to the army and are treated like shit... You couldn't recognice satire even they put it on your nose...
      Ignorant rednecks like you were those who almost sentenced Marquis de Sade to the guillotine for... well, WRITING SATIRICAL BOOKS.

    • Clostridium Tetani
      Clostridium Tetani 5 months ago +1

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

    • Chris Brown
      Chris Brown 5 months ago +4

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

    • ReddoFreddo
      ReddoFreddo 8 months ago +3

      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

  • 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 Year ago +6

      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?