Starship Troopers, Then and Now
It’s been two decades since the premiere of Starship Troopers, one of the most underrated sci-fi films from the ’90s, featuring a red-hot group of up-and-comers. The movie is set a fascist future where fearless teens enlist in basic training to fight off giant bugs that are trying to destroy Earth. Ever since its release, the Paul Verhoeven-directed film has become a cult favorite thanks to its perfect mix of soapy storylines, gigantic ruthless insects, and violent explosions. Check in with the still-hot and famous cast ahead.
Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico)
Van Dien had a successful TV career before taking on the leading role of Johnny Rico, with a resume that includes appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210, Saved by the Bell, and Married with Children. Starship Troopers proved to be Van Dien’s breakthrough and landed him follow-up leading roles in successful movies like Tarzan and the Lost City and Tim Burton’s acclaimed Sleepy Hollow. More recently, he starred in the 2013 YouTube series Mortal Kombat: Legacy and has made appearances on Hawaii Five-0 and Con Man.
Dina Meyer (Dizzy Flores)
Meyer’s resume includes roles on popular shows from the ’90s like Beverly Hills, 90210 and Friends. After taking on the role of Dizzy Flores, she appeared on dozens of shows throughout the early 2000s (like Six Feet Under, Monk, and Nip/Tuck) and landed the leading role in the short-lived cult favorite Birds of Prey, playing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. She is also known for playing Detective Allison Kerry in the Saw franchise. Recently, Meyer landed a key role in the third season of the hit fantasy series The Magicians.
Denise Richards (Lt. Carmen Ibanez)
Richards wasn’t particularly unknown prior to her role as Carmen Ibanez, the sexy and smart lieutenant of the fleet. She had been a fashion model early in her career and appeared in a number of smaller films before finding success as a guest star on shows like Saved by the Bell, Married with Children, Beverly Hills, 90210 , Seinfeld, and more notably, Melrose Place. Starship Troopers was her breakthrough and landed her a role next to Kirsten Dunst in the iconic film Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999). She quickly became a household name after being included as one of Maxim’s 50 sexiest women in 1999, timed to her appearance as Bond girl Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough. She soon scored a memorable guest turn on Friends as Ross and Monica’s cousin and, after her marriage to Charlie Sheen, she starred in her own reality show Denise Richards: It’s Complicated from 2008 to 2009. In 2010, Richards joined the cast of the Spike comedy Blue Mountain State and has most recently appeared on Bravo’s Girlfriends Guide to Divorce and The CW’s Jane the Virgin.
Jake Busey (Ace Levy)
The son of Gary Busey, the actor played the smart-mouthed soldier in Starship Troopers but his most notable role came in 1997 as a religious fanatic in Contact. He has appeared in a few dozen films and TV shows, landing the memorable role of Professor Aiden ‘Sex Machine’ Tanner from the cult favorite From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (2014-2016). Recently, he’s appeared in the critically-acclaimed Showtime drama Ray Donovan as Acid Man and in Hulu’s new series Freakish. He’ll also appear in 2018’s The Predator.
Neil Patrick Harris (Carl Jenkins)
Long before NPH’s career resurgence as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, he attempted the beginnings of a post-Doogie Howser comeback with Starship Troopers. Since then, the actor has established himself as a powerhouse in the entertainment industry thanks to his work on HIMYM and appearances as a television host of the Emmy, Tony, and Academy Awards. Always a champion of musical theatre, Harris also earned raves and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the title role in the acclaimed revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010; today, he’s taken on the role of Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Michael Ironside (Jean Rasczak)
Ironside began his career back in the ’80s and quickly became known for his portrayals of villains and tough heroes. He is well-known for his role in the movie Top Gun as “Jester” and his murderous appearance in Total Recall. Ironside also landed a role in the first season of the hospital drama ER as Dr. William Swift and was cast to replace Roy Schneider in the third season of SeaQuest as Captain Oliver Hudson. His later roles included Walker, Texas Ranger, Smallville, and Ransom. Presently, he has ten projects in development over the next year.
Clancy Brown (Sgt. Zim)
Before joining the cast of the sci-fi film, Brown was known for his role as the Kurgan in the fantasy Highlander. The actor gained notoriety for his portrayal of Captain Byron Hadley in the critically-acclaimed drama The Shawshank Redemption. After his role in Starship Troopers, Brown found his best success in voiceover performance, lending his voice to icons like Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants and a variety of characters in Star Wars: The Clone Roles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Avengers: Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man, and many more. Most recently, Brown voiced the horned demo Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok.
Seth Gilliam (Sugar Watkins)
Gilliam’s career took off in the ’90s when he played Aaron Dexter, Erika Alexander’s boyfriend, during the seventh season of The Cosby Show. Since then, the actor has landed guest roles in a number of shows including Nurse Jackie and The Good Wife. He’s primarily known for his role on The Wire as Sgt. Ellis Carver, and also memorably starred in the award-winning film Still Alice opposite Julianne Moore. Recently, Gilliam found success on two hugely popular shows, playing Father Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead and Dr. Deaton on Teen Wolf.
Patrick Muldoon (Zander Barcalow)
After early roles on Saved by the Bell and more than 200 episodes of Days of Our Lives, Muldoon went on to play the role of Richard Hart in the groundbreaking drama Melrose Place before getting cast in Starship Troopers. His work on film has been frequent since, and he notably reprised his role as Austin Reed on Days in 2011.