Casper Van Dien is convinced military upbringing helped him become a big-name actor

·2-min read

Casper Van Dien is convinced his military upbringing helped him become a big-name actor.
The ‘Starship Troopers’ star, 54, grew up with a dad in the navy, went to a miliary school and thought he was destined for a career in the army before he turned to showbiz.
He told Closer US magazine about how it gave him the “discipline” to succeed in Hollywood: “I was born in Florida and then we moved to Japan.
“My dad was in charge of handling the naval base for the Japanese from 1969 to 1963.
“I thought I was going into the military. I chose to go to a military school when I was 16.
“My mom said, ‘Don’t go away to school.’ My dad was like, ‘I’m proud of you.’
“Having that background gave me discipline, which has been extremely helpful in the industry.
“There are some producers I’ve worked with multiple times. I’m always prepared. I’m always early.
“I can’t not do that, otherwise I’d feel like I’m not being me.
“That background gave me great tools as an actor. I’ve been very lucky, but I also think it’s the structure and discipline that helped me.”
Despite his love of discipline, Casper says one of his greatest regrets wasn’t letting himself go and having a cigarette on set with Johnny Depp when they worked together on Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’.
The three-times married dad-of-four added: “That was so surreal. In my experience, Johnny Depp was one of the greatest gentlemen and a kind, giving actor.
“I had just quit smoking cigars, and he was rolling a cigarette one day. He asks, ‘Hey, Casper, do you want a cigarette?’ I always regretted that I said no.
“I should have gone and smoked a cigarette with Johnny Depp.
“At the time, he was representative of what a real Hollywood star should be.”