Ian Ziering: ‘My Co-Star The Sharks, They Delivered’

The latest installment of the Sharknado series was unleashed on America on Wednesday, as “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” premiered on Syfy.

The movie, which starred Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, David Hasselhoff, Bo Derek and Ryan Newman, among others, was shot in a matter of weeks. None of the cast members had seen the movie in its entirety until Wednesday night, including Ian Ziering, who plays the main character, Fin Shepard.

Ziering viewed the film during a watch party in New York City, and his reaction to the finished product was quite positive.

“You know what? I always got my fingers crossed because this could go horribly wrong at any moment,” Ziering said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “But my co-star, the sharks, they delivered. They delivered.”

So did the non-computer-generated characters, who had to act more than you might think. In fact, movies like this may require even more acting, as some cast members had to pretend they were being eaten alive by sharks.

“Well, that’s what acting is – the ability to act naturally in imaginary circumstances, and if you can pull it off, you can engage the audience,” Ziering said. “Luckily for me, I get to play an action/adventure hero in the midst of a sci-fi movie. So with all the professionalism and dedication I approach any part, now I’m playing Fin Shepard, so when I breathe life into that character, I have to accept his reality. There’s a lot of fear. I mean, who’s not afraid of sharks?”

Pretty much no one.

In the latest Sharknado installment, an intense tornado unleashes ravenous sharks along the East Coast, from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida. Is that plot believable? Not at all. But given the recent shark attacks in North Carolina – and on surfer Mick Fanning in South Africa – it’s not entirely unrealistic, either.

“There’s no correlation between our movie and that horrible attack,” Ziering said. “That’s really scary. What happened to that surfer shouldn’t happen to anybody. But because sharks are in the collective unconscious – because years ago the Discovery Channel created Shark Week – there’s been an increased awareness of these apex predators. Since then, Syfy has created Sharknado Week. So it’s serendipitous, but I feel horrible for the people that are getting attacked by sharks. It couldn’t be scarier. That would be the most frightening thing in the world.”

Ziering, who has appeared in all three Sharknado movies, almost turned down the part initially. He read the script for the first movie and thought it was “horrible.” Ziering told his wife he felt the film had glaring plot holes, was too reliant on visual effects and had too small of a budget.

Her response? Get over it.

“She said, ‘You need to go to work. We’re having a baby in April,’” Ziering recalled. “And she was right. I’m an actor. I get my health insurance from my union, and you have to make the quota every year to get that top-tier insurance, so I figured I was taking one for the team. I continued to read the script and I saw at the end I got to chainsaw my way out of the belly of a shark and I figured, ‘Well, this might not be so bad.’ I never thought anyone would see this movie, honestly.”

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