Last year “Sharknado” became a bit of a cultural zeitgeist and although it is considered largely a “B-Movie” it redefined genre films by being inherently bad by critical standards, it owned up to the absurd premise by winking at you throughout the film with meta references and pure unadulterated fun. And the best part is you can enjoy this romp from the comfort of your own home.
This provided actress Tara Reid (“American Pie” franchise) and Ian Ziering (“Beverly Hill 90210”) another round in the limelight. With arguably one of the most awesomely bad sequel titles of recent memory “Sharknado 2: The Second One” ups the stakes, the danger, the disaster and of course brings more shock and gore to cable television.
“Sharknado 2: The Second One” airs on July 30th.
Red Carpet Crash joined, director Anthony Ferrante and stars Reid, Ziering, Vivica A. Fox (“Kill Bill”) to talk about the highly anticipated disaster flick.
RCC: As fans will know there is a lot of blood and guts in the film. Can you discuss working with a green screen and any other technical aspects in the movie?
TR: “I think when people see the sharks they think there’s a lot more green screen than there really was. There really wasn’t too much green screen at all in the film. It’s more of a – you know, CGI different special effects but not really green screen. So if you were acting with sharks that were coming at you but nothing was coming at you but you were still, like, outside in the city and – you know, it wasn’t like you were acting behind a green screen.”
AF: “Well, Ian had some green screen stuff, but Tara’s right; most of it’s practical. When we get into the green screen it gets into the more complicated stuff like when Ian’s flying to the sky and everything. Man, Ian is an action star. You put him in that harness and he’s there for, like, I think an hour just doing acrobatic things.”
RCC: When you went in to do the first Sharknado movie did you have any idea it was going to become this massive pop culture event? And why do you think it has resonated with so many people?
TR: “It was definitely shocking for all of us. We had no clue signing on to the movie that this would be this phenomenon. So you know, it was – a great and kind of shocking experience.
And it turned into something wonderful. Now to be a part of the franchise has been incredible.”
AF: “It’s hard with these things. You never – you know, you just try to make the best project possible and, you know, what happened on this thing – you know, it’s lightening in a bottle. We didn’t tell people to show up and make it a Twitter phenomenon. It just happened. And that’s kind of cool.
RCC: When you have a movie that is successful, special like Sharknado was, sometimes actors will be, you know, reluctant to do a sequel. Did you guys have any second thoughts or were you on board from the get go?
IZ: I was on board right from the get go. You know, what’s so nice about Sharknado is that it really is not competing with itself and the bar that it set initially is not unattainable. This was a low budget independent film, you know, very campy in nature.
So really the only way to screw it up would be to change it. And the brilliance of Sharknado 2 is the fact that it’s more of the same. It’s a similar formula but it’s a different experience, similar situation in a new environment. And if people liked one they’re going to love two.
TR:When I read the first one and went out to dinner that night with my friends, I told them I thought the script was hilarious. I was – yes, sharks are flying in Beverly Hills and maiming people and jumping out of pools.
And my friends are laughing so hard. They’re like, are you kidding me? This is amazing, you’ll have to do this. So it’s so funny, you have to do it. So the next day I called my agent and I’m like, all right, let’s do it.
RCC: This question is for Anthony, what was the genesis of Sharknado for you to begin with?
AF: I directed previously for Syfy and I’ve written a bunch of scripts and there’s a process for writing – for pitching ideas. And (Jacob Haren) and I, my occasional writing partner, we had pitched a whole bunch of titles to them many years ago, one of them was Sharknado. Nothing happened with it but I – you know, we both loved the title so much, just kind of tickled us.
So when I wrote a leprechaun script for Syfy, it was called Leprechaun’s Revenge and now I think on DVD it’s called Red Clover, I put a reference to a Sharknado in there. They were trying to cover up the leprechaun stuff and they go, we don’t want to have what’s happened that town over, remember, Sharknado, they never lived that down.
And the Syfy team, like – they just – it just popped out at that point to them and they wanted to make a Sharknado movie and they paired up with the Asylum and I had just done a film for Asylum called Hansel and Gretel and then it came full circle where I was doing Sharknado.
So though – just so you know, we started shooting the movie – what’s called Dark Skies because when they tried to go out to cast film and everything, when they put Sharknado on it nobody wanted to do it. You couldn’t get anybody interested in this film because it was just – no one – no one could embrace what it was initially.
And then of course, the actors were about ready to kill me when they found out that it might be called Sharknado. But they love me now, right?
RCC: From an acting perspective, the film has a lot of humor throughout, do you play the role deadpan, or does the humor inherently come out from your respected performances?
VF: I definitely played my character serious and then I think, like, in the moments and what were fighting against and the elements, then the comedy ensued. So I took it very serious that, you know, a Sharknado was coming and we were there to stop it.
TR: So I think you really do have to commit to your character, you know, and also know what you’re playing and being in that situation that you’re in and playing it serious then there comes the humor.
IZ: Absolutely, even though the situations are absurd, you know, in the reality of the imaginary circumstances if you will, you know, you say and do things that – you know, are appropriate for the actions or the scenario. But as a spectator you realize that, you know, you get to enjoy the fun of it because you’re a witness. You’re not there experiencing it. So in that dichotomy, that’s where really the joy of the movie exists because you have to suspend this believe to buy into what you’re doing but yet you still have you foot in the real world so it gives you perspective of how absurd this movie really is.
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