‘Sharknado’s’ Ian Ziering now rides ‘Zombie Tidal Wave’ | TribLIVE.com

‘Sharknado’s’ Ian Ziering now rides ‘Zombie Tidal Wave’

You can blame (or thank) President Donald Trump for the wave of zombies that will hit Saturday. It was Ian Ziering’s time on “The Apprentice” that gave the “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Sharknado” actor the confidence he needed to produce his own sci-fi/fantasy film, “Zombie Tidal Wave.”

“After I was a successful project manager for others on ‘The Apprentice,’ and learning that I had a skill set I didn’t know I possessed, I decided to employ those skills for my own projects,” Ziering says. “Using those attributes, I put a project together. I put all of the puzzle pieces together and created something I could get the interest of a network to get behind.

“I came to them with a project that had the star from ‘Sharknado.’ One that used the same director from ‘Sharknado.’ One that partnered with the original writer of ‘Sharknado.’ And, it was a pretty desirable package.”

Once Ziering knew he could handle the needed elements to put together a movie, he pitched the project to Syfy because he had a good working relationship with the network through the “Sharknado” movies. He was ready to take “Zombie Tidal Wave” to other studios if necessary, but the Syfy team was on board immediately. It took a couple of years to get the project made because Ziering was busy making the last “Sharknado” films.

Ziering had added pressures with “Zombie Tidal Wave” because it was his project, but the movie and all the “Sharknado” offerings have been fun acting jobs.

“Zombie Tidal Wave” hits at the same time Ziering can be seen in the short-run Fox series “BH90210.” The New Jersey native and most of the cast members from the ’90s series have reunited for the series that has the actors playing heightened versions of themselves. The idea is they are responding to fan demands to reboot the series.

Cast members have been asked for 19 years to return to the roles. Ziering’s theory to why the show remains so popular is when it originally aired, it was one of the first productions to seriously deal with issues young people were facing.

“We did it with the backdrop of Beverly Hills, where there is a built-in allure of glitz and glamour. But that ultimately became the backdrop to the characters in the stories. That was the framework for the art,” Ziering says.

Two people know Ziering better for his days battling sharks than issues like smoking pot and being accused of date rape on “90210”: his daughters, who are 8 and 6.

“My kids don’t know ‘90210.’ Many of our kids don’t know ‘90210,’ other than the billboards and all the ads they’re seeing driving around town. They know ‘Sharknado’ pretty darn well, but they don’t know ‘90210,’ perhaps the biggest thing I’ve done in my career until now,” Ziering says. “And having them understand that daddy did this show before mommy, before you guys were born. There’s something that they’re starting to wrap their heads around.”

Ziering plans to bring his daughters up to speed on “90210” once they get older as he has every episode on a hard drive.

After “Beverly Hills 90210” ended in 2000, Ziering bounced between guest-starring roles and voice work on projects such as “Biker Mice from Mars.” He was excited about being part of the DC streaming series “Swamp Thing” because it gave him the chance to be a superhero, but the show was canceled after one season.

It was the 2013 tongue-in-cheek cable film “Sharknado” that sent a new charge into Ziering’s career. The outlandish tale of sharks caught up in tornadoes to become killing weather phenomena spawned five sequels.

“It was quite the storm,” Ziering jokes. “I certainly didn’t see it coming. I don’t think anyone saw it coming. The fact that we did six movies is just a testament to the voracious appetite the audience for that genre has.

“For those who like ‘Sharknado,’ likes that genre, this movie is a perfect follow-up to that kind of thing.”

Now that Ziering has one film under his belt that he took from idea to final product, he’s looking for similar projects to produce. Until then, his “BH90210” airs 9 p.m. Wednesdays, and “Zombie Tidal Wave” debuts at 9 p.m. Saturday on Syfy as part of an “Off the Deep End Weekend,” which will also include all of Ziering’s “Sharknado” movies.

Getty Images
Actor Ian Ziering arrives at Fathom Events Presents The Premiere Of The Asylum And Syfy’s “Sharknado” at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in 2013. He stars in the upcoming “Zombie Tidal Wave.”
Categories: AandE | Movies TV
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