74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival: director Paul Verhoeven posing during a photocall for the film 'Bendetta', on July 10, 2021. (Photo by: Depoilly X/Alpaca/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Paul Verhoeven Has Mixed Feelings About His Casting For Starship Troopers
Based on Robert Heinlein’s novel of the same name, Paul Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” was a big-budget parody of a sci-fi action blockbuster. The film starred two classically beautiful actors, Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards, whose over-the-top acting style matched the jingoistic tone and achieved the social commentary Verhoeven was aiming for.
While discussing why he chose Van Dien and Richards, Verhoeven shot down the rumor that he intentionally used less accomplished actors. The director explained that both actors looked “like the people you see in Leni Riefenstahl’s movie ‘Triumph of the Will,’” a Nazi propaganda film that attempted to showcase the superiority of the Aryan race.
Verhoeven admitted, “I probably was looking too much to the streamlined bodies and sculpted faces and perhaps paid not enough attention to all the acting stuff.” Regardless of the director’s intentions, Van Dien and Richards’ casting was superb, as the roles were based more on visuals that would fit into a much larger composition.