Ian Ziering did the so-bad-it's-good Syfy movie "Sharknado" for the money — but not to support a flashy celebrity lifestyle. Rather, he did it to give his kids health insurance!
When the former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star first read the script, he was "apprehensive," as he told ABC News. But then his wife reminded him, "Look, you're going to have two babies [by] this spring, you need to go to work."
[GIFs: 10 of Pop Culture's Best Sharks]
"As an actor I get my insurance from the Screen Actor's Guild by union, and you have to make so much every year to get that type 1 insurance," he explained.
He realized he had to "take one for the team" and take on "Sharknado."
"I probably would have passed on it," the 49-year-old star admitted. "But now it's not just me, I'm providing for a wife and two kids."
That's one great father — in fact, Ziering was named Daddy of the Year by DaddyScrubs. The actor clearly dotes on his daughters, 2-year-old Mia and 6-month-old Penna. He couldn't stop gushing about them to ABC.
"It's so fun. Being a dad is the best role I've ever played, with all due respect to Steve Sanders," he said. "It really is the best thing ever."
Ziering didn't become a parent until his mid-40s. It wasn't until he met his wife, nurse Erin Ludwig, that he felt ready to become a father. And when that happened, Ziering didn't waste any time.
"When I met my wife I was forty-six and it was love at first sight. Every day my love grew deeper as I found out about her family values, that her parents were still together, that she wanted kids," he told BabyZone. "So we fell in love, got engaged, got married, and a month later we were pregnant!"
Now, with two young kids, Ziering gratefully takes the work that come his way. "Sharknado" is the just latest in a line of some questionable projects, from cheesy TV flicks like "Tyrannosaurus Azteca" to the American Girl movie "McKenna Shoots for the Stars." Then again, he was in an Adam Sandler movie "That's My Boy" that totally tanked, while "Sharknado" became a huge sensation on Twitter.
"I'm never sure what's next," Ziering told Newsday. "As an actor I've learned every opening night comes with a closing curtain."
He hopes to be do another stint dancing with the Chippendales in Las Vegas (which he did after TMZ called him fat), and be part of "Sharknado 2."
"We're in talks right now for the second one," he said of the sequel, which is titled "Sharknado 2: The Second One." This one would be set in Manhattan and Syfy hopes to debut it next summer.
"I hope we are able to come to terms, it would be a lot of fun."
See Ziering in "Sharknado":