Would You Like To Know More? Dina Meyer And Casper Van Dien Talk Starship Troopers At Toronto ComiCon
If you’re a Starship Troopers fan who likes reading about movies on Reddit (and who doesn’t?) than you may already know the story of director Paul Verhoeven overseeing the filming of a certain scene in the buff. But according to the film’s two stars, Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer, there’s more to that famous naked coed shower scene than mere nudity.
At this weekend’s ComiCon in Toronto, Van Dien and Meyer (aka Rico and Dizzy) confirmed the long-standing legend that the cast refused to strip down unless their director did the same (albeit Verhoeven got to stay behind the camera while his clothes were off). A lot of people would prefer to face an entire hive of Arachnids before baring all on the big screen but, as the 20-year anniversary of the film approaches, Meyer and Van Dien remain unfazed by the experience of being nude among their co-stars. Seeing their director naked is another story.
“It was probably about 100 people in the room,” recalled Meyer, “and Paul’s like ‘Before we start shooting we want you guys to get comfortable with the nudity.’ So he basically had us do a bit of a fashion show without the fashion. We were a little reluctant to disrobe, and Paul was like, ‘I don’t understand you Americans! What’s the big deal? Just do it, it’s fine, no problem!’”
“And Dina,” interjected Van Dien, “says ‘Paul, if it’s no big deal why don’t you do it?’ And so he dropped his drawers and all of us were like ‘Augh, god! Dina! Why!?’ So thanks to Dina, we’ve all seen Paul Verhoeven’s… Verhoeven.”
That wasn’t the end of the shower scene hijinks. The first time Van Dien and castmate Jake Busey dropped their drawers, onlookers were treated to a little something extra. Van Dien describes how they each donned a “Dirk Diggler Boogie Nights extendo-member.” (He says he isn’t sure if he still has the intimate prop, but keep an eye on eBay, because that’s where it’s destined for if it ever turns up.)
Meyer and Van Dien also touched on some of the film’s non-naked aspects, like how during the fight scenes, which involved heavy use of special effects (Starship Troopers was nominated for an Oscar in the category), Verhoeven would run at them with a tennis ball on a stick yelling “KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!” (We’re guessing the “or else” was implied.)
“They took two-and-a-half years to do the special effects,” said Van Dien. “The reason why everything looks so real in Starship Troopers is because every bug, every footprint had dust and sweat coming off it. They won’t take the time to do that now. They make them all cartoony like the Hulk. They really wanted it to look as real as possible. It was a breakthrough in technology back when they did that.”
The highlight of the panel came near the end, when the two actors joined the packed room of fans in a spontaneous Starship Troopers quote-a-long. There’s something so touching about a few hundred people yelling “They sucked his brains out!” in unison.