Ian Ziering feared he'd never work again after 'Sharknado': 'This is the end'

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Ian Ziering’s new Syfy movie Zombie Tidal Wave promises much of the same bonkers circumstances as his successful Sharknado flicks. The difference for him was that playing hero Hunter Shaw was a lot more enjoyable than the first time he portrayed Sharknado’s Fin Shepard.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Ziering said he’d been skeptical since he first read the script for the 2013 project. He didn’t even want to do it after reading a scene that featured a shark — out of the water, no less — chasing his character up a rope.

“I couldn’t see how there’d be any quality to the content,” the BH90210 star said. “If James Cameron came to me with this script, I’d be all over it, but I told my wife, ‘I can’t do this. It’s going to be the end of my career.’ And, with my daughter Mia in her arms and Penna in her belly, she said, ‘Oh, no, you need to go to work.’ And it was a slap of reality to me. All of the sudden, it wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about my career. It was about providing for my family, and that’s a no-fail endeavor.”

So Ziering kept reading the Sharknado script, although he wasn’t happy about it. The final scene, which involves Fin chainsawing his way out of a shark, really made an impression.

“I’m thinking, ‘All right, well, at least I’ll have this to show the kids. This is why daddy doesn’t work anymore,’” Ziering said. “I was so scared.”

In fact, Ziering was so worried about what people would think of the shark movie that he didn’t even mention it during interviews. He only changed his mind after watching it himself.

“I was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t too bad,’ and I kinda agreed with the kitschy sense of humor in which it was received,” Ziering said. “I kinda chuckled at it. I was laughing as a viewer, even though on the day when I was shooting it, I was thinking that, you know, this is the end. This is the end.”

It was just the beginning, of course, because Sharknado spawned four sequels and a partnership with director Anthony C. Ferrante, who also wrote and directed Zombie Tidal Wave. Ziering himself created the story and produced it. Still, Zombie is not just another Sharknado sequel.

“[Hunter] is a much more ambitious character. He fights more with his hands. He is more clever,” Ziering said. “We don’t use a chainsaw.”

Most importantly, “There are no sharks in this movie.”

Zombie Tidal Wave premieres Aug. 17 at 9 p.m. on Syfy.

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