Ian Ziering was reluctant to take on the lead role of Fin Shepard in Sharknado, but now couldn’t be happier that his wife encouraged him to take the chance on the now-iconic made-for-TV flick.

Ian Ziering On ‘Sharknado’

When Ziering first flipped through the Sharknado script, he read some of the outrageous scenes he’d be asked to do and B-movie dialogue he’d have to say, and didn’t want to pick up the project. His wife Erin Kristine Ludwig, however, reminded him with a daughter and another one on the way, his priorities had to be with taking the work, even if it wasn’t exactly what he saw himself doing.

“When I first saw the script and I read the scene where I had to climb up a rope and there was a shark jumping out of the water and chomping up the rope to try and bite me — I looked at my wife and I said ‘I can’t do this movie, it’s gonna be the end of my career! This is horrible,” Ziering told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “It was in January, and my wife with my daughter Mia in her arms and Penna still in her belly, she very quickly reminded me that I needed to go to work, I needed to make my insurance quota.”

“I get my health care from my union and you need to make certain quotas to get that top tier of insurance. So, Sharknado is on a micro-budget but the salary was enough to get me to that top tier — then I realized ‘I gotta do this’ and I took one for the family,” Ziering added.

Ziering’s wife’s reminder about his fatherly responsibilities proved more fortuitous than either of them could have imagined. Not only was Sharknado an instant hit with viewers, but it has also since spawned a trio of sequels, each more outlandish than the next with more and more celebrities gladly signing on for cameo roles.

“I got to the end of the script — when Fin Shepard actually jumps into the belly of a shark and chainsaws his way out of it — I thought, “Maybe this might not be too bad and I did the movie. I didn’t have any expectations, certainly could not have predicted the success that it enjoys today,” Ziering said. “Hoped for the best. But Sharknado is a global phenomenon. In 190 countries around the world it’s successful, this is like one of the — if not the — most successful television movies in the history of television.”

Ziering continued, “Very proud to be part of a project now that looking back I was so hesitant to get involved in.”

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens will premiere on Syfy on July 31. Ziering and Tara Reid are back in action, joined by newcomers Stacey Dash, Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff.

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