Michael Ironside: Acting has to be a bit of a challenge

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Traversing Genres

Michael Ironside- Starship Troopers – Courtesy of TriStar Pictures,Touchstone Pictures,Big Bug Pictures

1428 Elm: In your career you have done quite a bit of work in horror and science-fiction as well as mainstream productions. What is it about the subgenres that attracts you to those types of films?

MI:  The quality of the writing and the directors. In the case of Starship Troopers, it was a right-wing manifesto, the original book was. So, I sat down with Paul Verhoeven and told him I was a little nervous about it.

I wanted to know his take on it. He took that manifesto and spun it into a caricature. I liked that. Paul and I have done a few films together. We actually talked last fall about doing another project. He is a good storyteller.

I choose projects based on the material. Back in the 80’s, I worked on 2 movies. Both of them were for money. I have to tell you, I was so frickin’ miserable. One of them was a big budget film. It was so shallow. I frickin’ hated it.

For example, The Alienist that I did for TNT last year, I really liked the material and the people involved. I do 3 to 7 projects a year. I get to travel around the world, work with new people and if we get along, I will work with them again.