Ian Ziering: I Did ‘Sharknado’ So I Could Have Health Insurance

Ian Ziering wasn’t too sure when he read the script for Sharknado, the campy summer Syfy movie that turned out to be a cult smash.

But the former Beverly Hills 90210 star said he was overruled by his wife for an important reason — they needed health insurance.

“I was really apprehensive, but as an actor I get my insurance from the Screen Actor’s Guild by union, and you have to make so much every year to get that type 1 insurance,” Ian told ABC News. “Halfway through the script, I said to my wife, ‘Honey, I don’t know about this.’ She didn’t miss a beat, she said, ‘Look, you’re going to have two babies [by] this spring, you need to go to work.’ “

Without his wife’s pleading, Ian Ziering admitted he probably would have passed on Sharknado.

Ziering said he realized, “Wow, I am going to have to take one for the team’ and I probably would have passed on it. But now it’s not just me, I’m providing for a wife and two kids.”

The 49-year-old actor made the best out of it. He liked the scene where he got to chainsaw his way out of a shark’s stomach, for example.

But for Ian, all that really matters is his family — wife Erin Kristine Ludwig and his two daughters, 2-year-old Mia and 6-month-old Penna.

“I’m in New York right now, but my [older] daughter is in California, I use my cell phone to not only speak to her but to see her,” he said. “We Google hangouts, we Skype … I can take pictures throughout my day and send little messages to be served with breakfast, a picture of dad eating breakfast where ever I am.”

Sharknado ended up being a worthwhile gamble for Ian Ziering. The movie was wildly popular when it debuted this summer and made waves across social media. There is now reportedly a sequel in the works, and Ian is already signed on. That’s at least one more year he won’t have to worry about health insurance.