The Pact is currently available on video-on-demand and will receive a theatrical release on July 6th. I had a chance to interview Caity Lotz last month and just recently talked with Casper Van Dien about his role in the film. Continue reading to learn how he landed the role, his experience seeing the film for the first time at Sundance, and find out what horror movies scare him:
How did you become involved with this project? Was this something you had to audition for or did the director always have you in mind for this role?
Casper Van Dien: My manager got me an audition for it late at night. He told me I had an audition the next morning, and I tried to push it because I was watching my kids and I had no time to work on it. The next day, I went in and read it a couple of times before the audition. I liked it, but I told them it was going to be a cold read and I had my kids in the car. They asked me if I needed more time, but I told them that if I don’t know what I’m doing after 24 years, I shouldn’t be doing this anymore. [Laughs]
I got the part and it worked out well because it was a character I could relate to. He’s been through a lot in his life and I used some of the life experience I’ve had, whether it was a divorce or some of my other struggles. I kind of projected it on this character, related to him, and used it for my audition and the role.
The character definitely comes off as a good contrast to Annie and someone that can be her protector. What was your experience was like working with Caity Lotz, who is relatively new to the business?
Casper Van Dien: It’s interesting watching young actresses come up. She was so dedicated, thoughtful, and creative. Physically, she was able to do all of her own stunts. She’s such a good actress, but if she wasn’t, she could be a phenomenal stunt person. I was so impressed with what she was capable of doing, and she made my job easier to play off of her. I felt like she was very natural and believable. For the timeframe that we had to shoot the film, it was pretty impressive to see her do such a good job.
Before you started filming, were you able to catch the short film that Nicholas McCarthy directed?
Casper Van Dien: I watched the short and I was so impressed with it. It was a Sundance short and he was asked to turn it into a full feature. He wrote it, directed it, and used most of the crew that worked on the short film. He did such a good job that Sundance took it back and it was listed as one of the top 10 films of this year’s festival.
He’s a fan of horror and has such a respect for the genre. You can see it in the way he wrote script and in the final product. He doesn’t think you need to have only blood and gore to make a horror film. He respects the genre too much to do that and did a really good job.
The movie first screened for a live audience at the Sundance Film Festival. Was it your first time watching the movie? Did you enjoy the audience reaction?
Casper Van Dien: People were literally jumping on the people next to them. I sat next to Haley and Caity, and at the very first scare, they both grabbed me. I was already scared at the first one too, because it was my first time watching it as a part of the audience. For me that was a good sign.
After the movie, there was this one woman who had her back to us and was telling her friend that she was scared and wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was standing right next to Mark, who plays a scary guy in the film, and her friend points to us and the woman turned around and screamed. Sundance was a blast. I loved it.
You mentioned that you like movies that focus on building tension over just blood and gore. What are some of your favorite horror movies? What movies scare you?
Casper Van Dien: I definitely loved The Shining. It’s funny, because there are films that terrified me at different times in my life. I was terrified of Pet Sematary when I was younger, but not so much when I watched it now. I love a lot of the old Dracula movies and Bela Lugosi. I still love The Omen and The Exorcist.
I snuck out to a friend’s house to see Dracula when I was a little kid and I was scared when I walked back home. Even though I knew it wasn’t real, I was terrified. It’s fantastic and amazing what goes through your head.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Before we wrap up, I wanted to learn about upcoming projects you have in the works. Is there anything horror-related?
Casper Van Dien: The next thing I have coming out is noobz, which is a comedy and I play the guy from Starship Troopers. The horror movie I have is called Shiver with Danielle Harris and John Jarratt, and I also did a movie called Assumed Memories, which is a thriller. Starship Troopers: Invasion comes out this summer, which I executive produced. I play a really horrible character in Fugitive at 17, which comes out on June 30th on Lifetime. I also just did a Funny or Die video, which will be out on Wednesday.
The Pact is now available on IFC Midnight Cable VOD and Digital Outlets (SundanceNOW, iTunes, Amazon Streaming, XBOX Zune, Playstation Unlimited) and will be released to theaters on July 6th. We’ve included photos and a trailer below, along with Casper Van Dien’s Funny or Die video for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sequels:
The Pact Synopsis: ”After their mother passes away, sisters Nicole and Annie reluctantly return to their childhood home to pay their last respects. While staying overnight in the house, the sisters sense a mysterious presence in their midst: noises startling them in the night, objects moving about, a fallen picture of an unknown woman posed next to their mother. Annie begins experiencing a series of intense and disturbing dreams – visions that lead her to uncover something terrible about her mother’s past that is finally revealing itself.”