Photo: REX USA/Rob Latour.
Tara Reid has been on the shlock path since she first stepped in front of camera as a vampire in 1987’s cheesy A Return to Salem’s Lot. Despite some mainstream success in 1999's American Pie, Reid's next two roles earned her Razzie nominations.
No one could have predicted the runaway phenomenon that was the first Sharknado, which for all intents and purposes was a bit of a shlockfest, too. Tara is grateful to be along for the ride, though. She reprises her role as April Wexler in Sharknado 2: The Second One, which airs July 30 on Syfy. We spoke to Reid about the challenges of filming such an absurd movie and her start in the biz.
How hard is it to act opposite a giant shark? "First of all, we didn’t see the shark. So, when you’re saying, ‘Shark! Shark!’ we’re looking in the direction where we’re hoping the sharks are, and we don’ t really know what the size of the shark is. You didn’t really know what was going on, so it’s unpredictable. But, I think we went with it, having fun, and doing the best of what our imagination could be on that film."
Were there moments where you just couldn’t keep a straight face? "I think [that happened] a couple of times for me. [Once] was when we were at the pool, and the shark eats my then-boyfriend. No one really reacts. We just leave, and all of a sudden I’m with [Ian Ziering's character]. I didn’t even mourn this guy. So, I think during moments like that, it doesn’t make sense at all. I was laughing. It's ridiculous and absurd, but you just go with it. It’s the kind of movie where you’re like, 'We’re already here, and we’re doing it. Let’s just go with it.'...And, we got lucky."
You started acting in films when you were a child. Did you find it intimidating? "When I was six years old, I played a vampire in A Return of Salem’s Lot, so I had fangs and everything. If you start when you're really young, you're really free as an actor, and you don’t fear it. When little kids start to ski, they’re fearless. When you’re young and you start acting, you don’t know to be afraid yet."
Did you have high standards for yourself as an actor? "There’s always high expectations, and you do your best to deliver what you think is your best. I think there’s always room to grow with your craft. You can always learn. So, I think of every movie I do as a challenge. I’ll give it all my heart, and hopefully people will like it."