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Tara Reid gears up for 'Sharknado 5'

It was the one of the worst scripts she had ever read.

That's what actress Tara Reid recalls about seeing the script for a film called "Dark Skies" a few years back.

"I read it and thought 'are you kidding me?," the actress said on a break between costume fittings on a recent day off. "It's the silliest movie I've ever read. It's so bad, so stupid and so silly. "

She turned it down and went out to dinner with friends. As she relayed the story to them, she got an unexpected reaction – they loved it. "They were cracking up and told me it is genius and you have to do the film. So I called my agent," the actress recalled. "I thought no one would ever see it, it's a movie on TV, it's on Syfy. I'm four days into filming and they changed the title to 'Sharknado.' I thought I would never work again."

Funny how things work out. "Sharknado" premiered in July 2013 on Syfy and was such an immediate internet sensation that the network changed its schedule to repeat the film within days.

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She was on vacation in Mexico when she got a call that "Sharknado" was trending No. 1 on Twitter when the movie premiered. " We did no press for the film. Never did I think this would happen," Reid said.

She also never thought "Sharknado" would lead to a sequel, let alone four sequels.  "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" premieres at 8 p.m. Aug. 6 on Syfy with the irreverent tagline of "Make America Bait Again."

Joining Reid in her return as the tough – and bionic - April Wexler is Ian Ziering as the heroic everyman Fin Shepard. The film will have the requisite number of cameos including Fabio as the Pope, Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Margaret Cho and Bret Michaels.

Tara Reid and Ian Ziering return to save the world in "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming." (Photo by: Yana Blajeva/Syfy)

"We had a great time on it and seeing the world. I can't believe I'm in front of Big Ben and shooting 'Sharknado.' " Reid said. "The fans are gonna love it, it's so silly it's so fun. I think this is the best one."

Reid doesn't only act in "Sharknado 5," she produced it as well. "It's not just being in front of the camera, but having a bigger say in things, creative ideas and more input in your characters and putting the whole team together. You're not just the actress; you are part of the team on the inside."

Viewers tuning into the Syfy channel's annual "Sharknado" week programming, which starts July 30, will see Reid star in another original shark-themed film, "Trailer Park Shark," premiering at 8 p.m. Aug. 2. "It's silly. I think people will like it," she said.

"Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" travels the world with Billy Barratt as Little Gil, Tara Reid as April Shepard, Ryan Newman as Claudia Shepard and Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard. (Photo by: Simon Mein/Syfy)

The shark films are just two of a full slate of movies for Reid. "I'm busy, busy, busy," she said. She calls "Worthless," a film about bullying, "one of the most important films I've ever done. People don't realize when they say something the great effect it has on people. People need to be aware of it especially with kids with cyber bullying. I also was executive producer on that movie and that means a lot to me."

"Party Bus to Hell" is about kids going to a music fest who face demons in the desert. "It's an action movie – a scary kind of movie and people love that," she said. "A Second Chance" is a Christmas movie in the tradition of "A Christmas Carol" directed by Christopher Olen Ray.

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The former "American Pie" star is pleased by the diversity of these roles. "It's where I want to go with my career. I don't want to be typecast," she said. "As I get older I'm getting a chance to play roles I couldn't before. Now I get to play moms and it's cool."

And, she promises, one of those moms, "Sharknado's" April is fiercer than ever. "They really made her strong. They made her a superhero, it is unbelievable. That's why I love the role so much. I love who April is, who she started out as and who she has become," Reid said. "She becomes a powerful human being who will do whatever she can to save her family and save the world. Wait until you see her. You are going to love it."

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