After moving to Los Angeles, Casper Van Dien landed a number of small parts in various television series and movies. Two early breaks were recurring roles as Ty Moody on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live and the prime time drama Beverly Hills, 90210. Keen to expand his acting talents, Van Dien took a bit part in the video game, Wing Commander IV.
In 1996, Van Dien played King Tal in Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus, the second sequel to the 1982 cult classic, The Beastmaster. Van Dien also starred in the 1997 James Deanbiopic James Dean: Race with Destiny. Soon after, he got the breakthrough role of Johnny Rico in Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 science fiction action film Starship Troopers. His success in Starship Troopers subsequently resulted in his casting as Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City (1998). Van Dien next played Brom von Brunt in Tim Burton’s 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, a reworking of the classic Washington Irving tale.
In 2000 Van Dien appeared in Cutaway as well as Aaron Spelling’s short-lived NBC prime time soap Titans with Yasmine Bleeth, John Barrowman, Perry King and Victoria Principal. He filmed several scenes as Patrick Bateman, in 2002’s The Rules of Attraction. However, the scenes were unused in the final film.
In 2008 Van Dien returned to the role of Rico in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, a direct-to-video sequel to Starship Troopers.
Van Dien replaced Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage for the second season of the YouTube webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
In 2020, he joined the cast of the independent film Daughter. In 2022, Van Dien played the role of Samual Hyst in the series Salvage Marines, where he was also credited as a producer, an adaptation of the Necrospace book series; in an interview, he favorably compared this role to that of Johnny Rico.