“You really can’t top chain-sawing your way out of the belly of a shark.” Ian Ziering talks Sharknado 2: The Second One

July 28, 2014

It’s a ludicrously cold day in Brooklyn, NY, but the production of Sharknado 2: The Second One hasn’t slowed a bit. The gallons of (fake) blood may flow a bit more slowly, but the cast and crew are working intensely to create an even more over-the-top sequel to last year’s social media sensation. The film’s star, Ian Ziering, was kind enough to step out of his (thankfully) heated trailer to answer some questions about The Second One.

What are some of the differences that you’ve noticed so far in shooting Sharknado and Sharknado 2?

We’re filming here in New York City, where’s it 9 degrees outside. I don’t know what that translates into Celsius, but it’s enough to freeze your face. When I’m outside running and having to stop and talk, it’s kind of challenging because my face freezes up. It’s hard to get your lips to move over your teeth and gums when they’re frozen. I’ve actually had to stand in front of a heater just to warm my face up. That’s been one of the challenges.

Here in New York City we’re dealing with a much bigger landscape to play in. There’s much more action in this, and we’re all over New York City. It’s a much more rigorous effort this time for me. I’ve been keeping in shape and working out and staying flexible, and I’m happy to say that every challenge that they’ve thrown at me, I’ve been able to accomplish, and I’m having a blast doing it.

Is it fun for you to shoot around New York? You’re originally from New Jersey.

I grew up in New Jersey, and I’ve been living out in California for the last 24 years, so it’s nice to be home. It’s interesting to be filming here in New York City, which is so familiar to me. It’s pretty incredible to have this same perspective, but a different experience in the same city streets that I’ve been walking for years.

There are gallons of blood on the street over there. How are you topping the first Sharknado in the crazy factor?

You know, you really can’t top chain-sawing your way out of the belly of a shark, so we’re not going to try and top that. We’re just going to do something different that is equally amazing. What, are you going to chainsaw your way out of two sharks? Once you do that, that’s the top! That’s the pinnacle of science fiction.

Thunder Levin, our incredible writer, and Anthony C. Ferrante, our amazing director, have put together a script and are telling a story that is equally incredible and astonishing. I’m confident the fans, not just here in the United States, but globally, are going to be clamoring for a Sharknado 3. They’re already talking about it!

The first film turned into this huge hit…

Well, it’s a family movie you know [laughs]. It’s a movie of this unwitting hero who really is just trying to get his family back together. We saw glimpses of that in [the first] Sharknado and it continues. It’s a thread in the fabric of this second movie as well.

[My character] Fin Shepard’s never been comfortable with the glory. When he was a surfer, being famous cost him his family. Now he realizes the value of that family and he’s doing everything he can to not only save the world, but get his family back.

Is it difficult to act inside a Sharknado? Is it difficult to flesh out a character with all of this craziness?

No. This is what I do for a living. The ability to act naturally in imaginary circumstances is what we actors do. Once you commit to the material, you have to express the humanity within it. Life or death situations bring out a very base human side to the characters. When the end is near, things become very real between people.

Though Fin Shepard never thinks the end is near… for Fin, the end is fear!

Sharknado 2: The Second One premieres Wednesday, July 30 at 9/8c on Syfy (Ch. 244).