BWW Interviews: SHARKNADO 2 Stars Talk About Favorite Kills, Filming in New York, Social Media
Forget superheroes, forget superstars, last summer's biggest hit was Syfy's "Sharknado," and this summer they are doubling down on the cult hit with "Sharknado 2: The Second One." This time, New York City is besieged by the illogical natural disaster. "Sharknado 2" airs tonight at 9:00 pm on Syfy.
Recently BroadwayWorld TV took part in a conference call with stars, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. FOX and director Anthony C. Ferrante. Check out the trailer below, then see what the they have to say about their favorite shark kills, filming in New York, and the Sharknado response on social media.
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?
T.R.: I mean we definitely didn't know it was going to become what happened. 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. But yes, we definitely, we didn't know - we got real lucky.
What can we expect from the second movie?
V.F.: A lot of cameos, a lot of cameos. I mean I was really pleasantly surprised how many people wanted to be a part of this film when they saw it. It's like, famous faces just keep popping up. And it's just an awesome surprise.
A.C.F.: I think the key with the second movie is we want them to - we wanted to kind of amp up what we did - we already did a lot in the first movie for the budget and the schedule. I mean that's the - I think one of the reasons why it stood out just because we were pushing the budget and the schedule the maximum.
And so we pretty much had the same kind of schedule in this one and we were trying to do twice as much as pushing as we did on the first one. So it - it's a lot of heavy lifting to kind of make these things look fantastic and don't have a - you know, we don't have a $200 million budget to pull it off.
One of the best things that Syfy said - there were actually two great things they said when we were developing. One, they started saying, well, we're set it in summer but any weird weather when you're shooting in February make it part of the story, which liberated us. So we didn't have to go, we have to hide the snow. And that really adds to the look and feel of the movie.
The second thing is - is that, they said we want you to shoot this movie in New York, shoot it in New York. We don't want you to go to Canada. We don't want you shoot in the back lots in LA. We want to shoot in New York. And I think that - that makes this movie look gargantuan and it feels authentic. And I think that's what makes this one really special because we're right there in the thick of New York.
So let me ask you, a couple minutes ago you mentioned the celebrity cameos that are in this film. Can you name a few of them?
V.F.: Sure, we had Matt Lauer, gosh, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, and lots more that you have to stay tuned to see.
A.C.F.: Judah Friedlander was one of the people that did the - was one of the big Twitter followers that night who's from 30 Rock and he was writing some really funny stuff.
We kind of became friends with him and he really wanted to be in the second movie and he's one of - he actually was only hired for one line in Sharknado 2 and I called Judah up and going, I don't want to waste you with one line. If we can give you a bigger part would you do it? He's like, of course.
So we actually - we combined three characters at the ballpark into one character so we could keep him around a little longer in the movie. But a lot of the film was we would get calls, like, the night before going, this actor's available, let's put him in the movie. And like, okay. And then suddenly you're writing something for that actor.
And so it - I keep calling these movies living organisms because, you know, you have a script but you go on the set and it's, like, you know, things are changing or you don't have this truck or you don't have that and you have to kind of make it work.
You don't have - you can't pawn off not getting what you did that day on Day 70 because you don't have a Day 70. So it's always - here we are, this is what we got, let's make some magic.
And that includes we have a new actor that showed up and we don't have a part, let's write a part for them because I always wanted the cameos to be integrated into the film, not just be somebody random that gets killed. Not that we don't do that, but I wanted as much as possible to give all these people characters.
This is for all of you guys, let me ask you, in the first film you put a shark pretty much everywhere you could think of. So for this film, where else can you put a shark?
T.R.: I mean they could go anywhere. Sharknado is, you know, wherever it comes. So they could go anywhere from inside hospitals to the Met Stadiums to subways to the street to you name it, a shark could be there. The Empire State Building.
A.C.F.: I think the misnomer about Sharknado is people get hung up on the fact that sharks can't exist in a tornado and tornados can't do what they do and all that stuff. And the simple explanation on our end is that it's a Sharknado; it's like our Frankenstein, our Freddy Krueger, our Jason.
You know, you don't question Jason getting his, you know, neck Chopped off half a million times and then getting shot and getting back up again and all that stuff, that's part of the mythology. And so I think the thing that we've expected is that the Sharknado is our villain and it does what we tell it to do.
So you know, if it shoots through a car window, yes, a shark can't do that but a Sharknado can. So it gives - that opens up the imagination of what you can do and we were able to do a lot of crazy stuff because we were freed by the fact that we could do anything.
Vivica, what was it about the film that made you want to be a part of it?
V.F.: Well, you know, I was saying, wow, I need a little bit of Syfy in my life and action. And wham, there came Sharknado 2. I was really presently surprised when I got the offer to play Skye. I hadn't worked with Ian since back in the day with 90210 and Tara, we had known each other for many, many years.
So the opportunity to work with both of them and hearing the major success of the first Sharknado it just seemed like a win-win situation for me.
A.C.F.: We also changed the character a lot when you came on board and I was so thrilled when you came on board because we were allowed to do an idea that we had early on of making the Skye character Fin's high school sweetheart.
Because we were trying to show this reuniting of Fin and April, but we wanted an obstacle and, man, you guys sold that as such a - it was really - it was a blessing to have you on that film because it just gave us so much more depth.
And those little moments and the things that you guys did - you know, in the middle of the Sharknado - doing things that you don't expect someone to do in Sharknado 2.
I just love that, I love that dynamic because at the heart at it if you don't care about these characters everything starts falling apart. So we had a really nice mix with everybody.
Ian and for Tara, when you have a movie that is successful, special like Sharknado was, sometimes actors will be reluctant to do a sequel. Did you guys have any second thoughts or were you on board from the get go?
I.Z.: 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...one... that's unattainable. This was a low budget independent film, you know, a very campy 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.
T.R.: I agree with Ian exactly. I mean I - he couldn't have said it better. You know, 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.