Published on July 21st, 2022 | by gareth


SDCC 2022: We Talk With Casper Van Dien About His New Series Salvage Marines

As part of our coverage of SDCC, I spoke with Casper Van Dien about his new series Salvage Marines. We talk about the new show, the joys of working in armor in the summer, and more.

What attracted you to the part?

I love the SciFi genre and I appreciate the throwback to the shows I grew up with


What kind of training and prep 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 got was the notion of being able to contribute no matter your age. Will we see your character being older than his team coming into play more?

I love Hyst, because his drive for his family inspired him to be fearless. To reach for excellence and put his best foot forward. Ambition and drive trumps age. I am in my 50’s now and find that I push harder at times because there is more to prove.


How challenging is it working in combat suits?

In the Louisiana summer heat, we found the bottom of our energy tanks and you still have to get the shot. It was a battle against the elements and I feel like we gave it our all.

The whole team was continually rising up another level. It was inspiring. When one person felt low the group held them up. Peter Shinkoda and I stayed side by side. We refused to quit. As the leads, we wanted to set a positive example no matter how difficult. Peter was a rock.


Where did you film the combat missions for the factories and training courses?

All over Louisiana. The sets were impeccable. We were lucky to have that authentic feel brought by these locations.


I found the notion of the troops being billed for medical care to be chilling as was the blatant commercialism of war. Will we learn more about the corporations going forward?

Absolutely. It’s such an important issue. Medical debt hurts so many families and we explore how you can be taken under by it.


How would you like to see your character develop going forward?

Being a dad is the most rewarding role of my life. I would love to see Hyst get to protect his family in a more hands-on way.


Looking at the VFX in the show, how have things changed since your work on Starship troopers in terms of filming?

There was so much intricate work put into every detail. Nothing was looked over or rushed. That’s why it holds up so much. I would love for this to be the way, but I doubt a project will ever take this time. It’s expensive and time consuming. That’s why Starship Troopers is a masterpiece. I’m 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 looking forward to the most?

I’m just excited to finally share this project with everyone. So much blood, sweat, tears, and love went into this. SDCC is very special to me. I’ve been going since 1997. It’s changed so much, but the passion is contagious. The energy is unmatched.


What were some of the biggest challenges and greatest triumphs with filming so far?

Budget constraints are always hard to work within. Money, time, and weather played big factors with the filming process. The greatest part was the relationships. You can tell many of us are good friends. That makes it all magical. I’m a kid at heart… this business is always going to transport me back to my childhood. I’m blessed to do what I love. It’s a beautiful thing.


Any memorable moments from filming to share?

The shower scene with me and my bros… Jenny oiled us up and we were all laughing and having so much fun. It took me back to the shower scene with Verhoeven.


It seems like the cast has a good chemistry, did you train or hang out with one another?

We had cast workouts in the park by our residences. Several of us hang out outside of work. It’s nice to have like minds who work hard and know how to have fun.


What can we look forward to in the future with the series?

If the fans want a season two, we will answer the call. THIS IS THE JOB!




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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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