My generation knows Ian Ziering from his character as “Steve Sanders” on Beverly Hills 90210. It was a show that defined a decade and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has never heard of it.

Now a whole new generation is getting to know Ian as “Fin Shepard” in the Sharknado franchise.  This epic battle of man vs shark is arguably another decade-defining role in his career, but not in the way he thought it would be.

SHARKNADO 5 — Pictured: Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard — (Photo by: Yana Blajeva/Syfy)

Ian tells me when he read the first Sharknado script back in 2013 his immediate reaction was to pass. He thought the sci-fi mash-up of sharks and tornadoes would ruin his career. But thanks to the urging of his wife Erin, who had one child in her arms and another on the way, he took it. Now it’s become a global phenomenon and fans can’t get enough of the campy fish franchise.

Ian, his wife Erin and their two girls Mia and Penna

In fact Ian says a lot of his career choices are different now that he’s a father. He’s casting a wider net (pun intended!) for projects from producing to directing so he can support his family. We also talked about how much the industry has changed since the days of 90210. He says it took three years for that show to gain the public momentum that it took Sharknado to get in one night.

He credits that to the power of social media. Fans can now immediately get on the bandwagon of a show they like and tell the world to watch. And the fans at Comic-Con are a big reason why Sharknado now has a 5th installment. We talked about the power SDCC has to propel new projects into the spotlight and get fans involved. Chris and I went to Comic-Con, as you know, and had so much fun watching Ian and the cast of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming during their panel. The fans really love these movies! Yes they are cheesy, campy, and over the top, but they are fun and the fans love that about them. As Ian says, everyone is in on the joke except for the people in the movie which makes it all the more fun to watch.

We were treated to a sneak preview of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming and the crowd went nuts! This time around Ian and his co-stars Tara Reid (American Pie) and Cassie Scerbo (Bring It On: In It To Win It) are joined by a ton of guest stars. Fabio, Chris Kattan, and Charo are just a few of the stars signed on for this latest shark adventure. Ian still seems in awe of the fact that so many people want to be a part of this Sharknado wave. A wave he says could continue for at least 3 more movies.

And of course I had to ask him about a possible Beverly Hills 90210 reunion. To hear what he says and the rest of what we talked about, listen to my podcast!

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming airs Sunday Aug. 6th on the SyFy Network. Check out the latest trailer below for a sneak peek!