It’s Summer! That means sun, beaches, blockbuster movies, and of course… shark infested tornadoes! That’s right, it’s time for another Sharknado! Back in 2013, the original Syfy channel film from the schlock studio kings The Asylum debuted, and became an instant hit on social media developing a huge following on twitter. The film’s two big stars were 90s icons Ian Ziering (90210) as Fin Shepard and Tara Reid (American Pie) as his ex-wife April Wexler. The craze around the first film has led to a new sequel each year since then, each one more ridiculous than the one before, and each featuring more and more celebrity cameos. The Sharknado films have taken these characters to space and back, across the United States, and now in the 5th installment, Global Swarming, around the world. Geeks of Doom got a chance to speak with April herself, Tara Reid, to discuss the upcoming Sharknado film, the franchise and her career.
Check out the interview below.
Geeks of Doom – Hi, how are you? It’s a pleasure to speak with you today.
Tara Reid – Thanks! The pleasure is mine.
Geeks of Doom – My first question is one I feel you may have gotten before. You made a name for yourself back in The Big Lebowski, and obviously the American Pie films. You’ve been a household name in films and on TV for a long time now. So when you are pitched and first hear the word “Sharknado,” what starts going through your mind?
Tara Reid – Well, I was offered two movies. One was called Dark Skies and I remember thinking I’d take that one because Sharknado sounded so bad. Then I went out with my friends and I told them about the options, Dark Skies and Sharknado, and they started laughing hysterically saying, ‘Tara you have to take this movie!’ Everyone said the same thing, ‘You have to take it. It’s so funny, it’s so ridiculous.’ So I called my agent and I told him I’d do it. I kept thinking, ‘Oh my god, you gotta be kidding me, now I’m going to put this horrible thing on my resume.’ But then as I read it I started to think, this can work, and here we are.
Geeks of Doom – Sharknado holds a special place in my heart because Sharknado 2 was actually my first movie review for Geeks of Doom, so we celebrate the anniversary every summer and it’s hard to believe that Global Swarming is going to be the fifth Sharknado movie. Did you guys realize you caught lightning in a bottle that way you did?
Tara Reid – To this day, I’m like ‘Oh my god, what the hell!’ It’s like winning the lottery and it’s so freaking awesome to be a part of it. It’s so exciting and the fans are so unbelievable and loyal. People throw Sharknado parties every year. They look forward to it like it’s the Super Bowl. I love it that people come together every year, and they talk about it on the internet. These movies, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They know how to have fun. They’re so bad they’re good, but they have a lot of heart in them too.
Geeks of Doom – You’re right about the party. My family gets together and watches every year. It’s like a major event. Now yeah, these films are light hearted, they’re fun, but they also have some crazy stunts in them. What’s the craziest thing or most physical stunt you had to do on any of the Sharknado films?
Tara Reid – It was Sharknado 3, when I gave birth to my baby inside the shark in space. That was insane, that was the craziest thing you’d ever see.
Geeks of Doom – That was the one where at the end, your character April was left in a cliffhanger, and it was left up to the fans to vote on if she lived or died. What does it mean to you that the fans gave you their support, and here you are ready for the premiere of Part 5?
Tara Reid – It’s amazing, this series has the best fans. The fans created this movie by going on social media, and binging it, and caring like they do. So for them to have my back was just an amazing feeling, and to know that because of them I was going to come back and keep playing this character. It’s just awesome to see the impact these movies have on people, and they feel like they’re a part of the movies.
Geeks of Doom – One of my favorite things about your character is that you share a similar trait with one of my favorite characters ever, Ash from The Evil Dead, and since April lost her hand in part 2 you’ve had an array of different weapons from razors to swords to even lightsabers. What can we expect in Sharknado 5 for you in terms of new weaponry?
Tara Reid – Haha, you have no idea. My character is just a total badass, a true heroine who finds her power and basically becomes a superhero. She can do anything, she can fly, she has super strength, I can’t even explain to you, you’ll just have to see it in the movie.
Geeks of Doom – Well, I can’t wait. Sharknado has been all over the US, to outer space and back, and in the previews for this one, you go all around the globe, so I guess my question is… where else can Sharknado go in the future for the inevitable Parts 6 and 7? Have you discussed what’s next?
Tara Reid – We have, but it’s so difficult to discuss it with creative because they come up with stuff no one in the world can come up with. I don’t know how they come up with these ideas but they’re absolutely “what were you thinking?!” ideas. And every time you think it can’t get better, they somehow manage to pull it off. I can’t really tell you, but let’s see what they come up with. If there’s a Part 6, it’ll be something no one has ever done before.
Geeks of Doom – I just imagine these movies having the most fun sets, because you’ve worked with the same director, Anthony C. Ferrante and a lot of the same cast members throughout, Ian Ziering of course, what is it like on set, filming these movies?
Tara Reid – It’s like family. And it feels like we never finish the movies. We’ve already come back and reunited, and it’s I’ve been working on the same movie for the last five years. It really is a family.
Geeks of Doom – My last question to come full circle for me… I was 17 when American Pie came out, the literal target audience, and those movies were so important for a lot of people, and now nearly two decades later, you have this other pop culture phenomenon in the Sharknado films. What does it mean for you as an actress to be a part of two franchises that have impacted so many fans worldwide and have become part of their lives?
Tara Reid – It’s an honor and I’ve been truly fortunate to be a part of both. To do hit movies and then be in this cult franchise it is such an amazing experience. A cult franchise is much different than a hit movie because as you said, it stays with people their entire lives. It impacts them and their lives, and to be a part of that is so humbling and I appreciate it as much as anything in my life.
Thus concluded my interview with Tara Reid, and I wish I could go back in time and tell my 17-year old self I’d be interviewing Vicky from American Pie! She was totally cool and completely self-aware when it comes to the Sharknado films. Reid shows no signs of slowing down. Along with Sharknado 5, she has nine other projects listed as filming or in post-production on IMDb. Close to her heart is the September release, Worthless, which focuses on an issue Reid knows too well – bullying. In Worthless, Tara plays Talia Medici, who is invited to her high school reunion and bullied like she was in high school. Reid was constantly the subject of bullying and body shaming by tabloid media throughout her career. As she continues her acting into her 40s, and has another successful franchise with Sharknado, Tara has become a role model in the anti-bullying campaign.
As we celebrate the 4th of July, a holiday marked by millions of Americans hitting the beach, we all should all keep watch for the annual Sharknado!
Tara Reid stars in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, debuting on Syfy Channel, Sunday night August 6th.
Sharknado 5 Global Swarming: Teaser Trailer | SYFY
Sharknado goes international this Summer in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. Coming to SYFY August 6.