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Casper Van Dien on His Villainous Turn in Hunt Club

Apr 5, 2023


Casper Van Dien is back — and back again! The Starship Troopers star seems to be everywhere these days and has a new film that’s out today. Co-starring Mickey Rourke (Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Mena Suvari (American Beauty), Hunt Club follows Cassandra (Suvari), who just lost her girlfriend and daughter and is desperate to find help.

In walks Carter (Van Dien), who offers her the chance to win $100,000 if she participates in the “hunt” on his island. She soon finds other women who are there for the cash but who have been tied up, only to be released as the hunted. With the help of other captives, Cassandra turns the tables on the men — showing that women can be better hunters.

We recently caught up with Casper Van Dien, who is fresh off his acclaimed turn in Daughter, plus a starring role in the more kid-friendly Heart of a Champion. He also spoke about working with Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge on a separate project.

This article contains minor spoilers for the film Hunt Club.

Improvising With Mickey Rourke

MW: You’re quite busy these days. How did you come to be involved in Hunt Club?

Casper Van Dien: I’ve known David Lipper — who wrote it and was the one of the producers and was also in it as one of the characters — I’ve known him for 30-some years. And he goes, “I got a script I wrote, and I think you’re perfect for it”. And I read it and I was like, “What are you talking about?! Why am I perfect for this?!” And then he goes, “Casper, the only person who could pull this off is somebody who is not this person.”

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You know, it has a woman director, woman 1st AD, 2nd AD, women producers, women costume, makeup We had more women in this crew than a lot of movies. And you know, it’s women-empowerment in the end. It’s a woman’s revenge, empowerment movie, but the process to get there is pretty intense and difficult to watch as a man. Even for me, it was really hard. But we had the screening, and the audience at the screening was mostly women, two-thirds were women. And they were shouting so loud when the men were taken out. I was like, “I was just acting!” [laughs]

MW: You have some fun scenes with Mickey Rourke. What was it like working with him?

Casper Van Dien: We have two scenes where we got to improv, once by the chain link fence and once by the tree […] After a couple of the scenes, I went, “OK, this is why he’s Mickey Rourke.” He’s The Pope of Greenwich Village, and he’s Diner, and he’s The Wrestler. He’s these all these amazing roles that he’s been able to play throughout his career. And I think this is some of his best work that he’s done in a while. At least, I mean, it was so much fun for me […] because, to be in a scene with somebody of that caliber, when they’re bringing it when we were improvising, that was fun.

MW: I was thinking about how Mickey Rourke has worked with Robert Rodriguez, and so have you. Was there ever a project where you guys had overlapped?

Casper Van Dien: We came close. Many years ago, we were going to do this biker movie together. And I’d filmed with Patrick Muldoon, and Theresa Russell played my mother. And William Forsyth was in it. There was a lot of really cool people in it. And then the day [Mickey Rourke] showed up […] they ran out of money. So he was there, and then they’re like, “Well, you guys are going home.” They’d flown him out… It was so surreal. I hadn’t experienced it like that. So I almost worked with him. And I think it was in like 2000, 2001 maybe?

Working with Mena Suvari and Tom DeLonge

Latigo Films

MW: I grew up watching your movies, and also a lot of Mena Suvari classics. You and her shared a bunch of scenes in Hunt Club. What was it like working with her?

Casper Van Dien: She’s a very talented actress, and she brought some nuances to the character as well that I thought were quite genius. And it’s always a pleasure to work with somebody who has her level of talent too, which is awesome. I also enjoyed Will Peltz, who plays my son. I loved working with him. He was just wonderful. And David [Lipper], and Jessica [Belkin]. The London brothers were so disturbing to me. I was so distracted by both those guys in their scene. I couldn’t even watch […] It’s not overly graphic, but it’s enough to where it disturbs. And then when they cut away, it’s at the right point where it leaves your imagination going to the wrong place.

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MW: What else are you working on these days?

Casper Van Dien: Currently, I’m working on All American, doing the season finale of that, where I get to be a bad dad again […] I also have a County Line: No Fear with Tom Wopat from Dukes of Hazard […] I have Heart of the Champion that’s out […] Somebody in an interview compared me to Gary Cooper [for that film], and I’m like, “I can retire.” [laughs]… Tom DeLonge did a film called Monsters of California, and that’s coming out soon. And that was incredible. He’s super talented, too.

MW: That’s great. Blink-182 is arguably my favorite band. What’s Tom DeLonge like as a director?

Casper Van Dien: Tom DeLonge would come up to me [on set], and he would go, “OK, this scene…” and he started [humming] this music, and then he played [music] for me, like, “This is what’s going to happen.” So every scene, I’m not kidding, he already, musically, knew where the levels were gonna go up […] so he could direct with all this. And it’s a good movie, I saw a rough cut of it. It’s like an Amblin movie. It goes back to like, you know, when you feel like you’re watching E.T. in a way… And he’s just a genius. I can’t wait for people to see this film. The young cast are so talented, and I get to work with Richard Kind. And it was just a lot of fun for me.

From Uncork’d Entertainment, Hunt Club is now available on demand, digital and DVD.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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