EXCLUSIVE: Ian Ziering had no idea what he was getting himself into when he set out to audition for “Beverly Hills, 90210″ three decades ago.
The “Sharknado” franchise star, 56, spoke with Fox News about landing the life-changing role of Steve Sanders on the beloved series and said playing alongside the iconic cast was more than he ever imagined.
“’90210,’ oh my God! That’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Ziering, said of the more than 10 years he spent on the series, including the 2019 reboot. “I’m all over the world. People are [waving] telling me, ‘Hey, Steve Sanders!’ But, you know what? Steve Sanders has been very good to me. I’m very appreciative of my time spent and of the relationships that I continue to nurture from that experience.”
The original installment of “Beverly Hills, 90210” ran on FOX from Oct. 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000 and delivered 293 episodes.
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“I’m the luckiest guy in Hollywood,” added Ziering, who is forging a new path of supernatural roles as the “Swamp Thing” in the upcoming DC Comics series.
Ziering went on to recall going in to audition for the part of Sanders, which at the time didn’t come as easy as “Swamp Thing.”
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“I’ve learned very early on that rejection is something you have to deal with as an actor. You’d be lucky to get a fraction of all the things you audition for,” said Ziering. “I’ve also learned that being nervous and being excited manifest themselves in a similar physiology – dry mouth, this kind of excitement. But if you can be present and differentiate that and say, ‘Well, am I nervous about this?’ I’m nervous when I haven’t studied for an exam and I’ve got a biology test at 10 o’clock in 9th grade. That’s nervous.”
He continued: “When I go into an audition, I’m prepared. This is what I do for a living. I’m very focused on getting the job and doing the best that I can. I understand I can’t be the guy every time. I can’t control that. All I can control is what I present to them.”
Ziering stepped back into the moment and laid out how he bagged the role of Steve Sanders.
“I have some objectives and what I see the character as being and I need to achieve those objectives in the room,” he exuded.
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“You got to give great room. You can’t screw up the room. And for me, that’s the win. If I could just do what I set out to do, I can’t be the guy every time and I understand I might not be the right fit. But if I do what I’ve got to do, what I need to do, what I felt like I needed to present, then that’s my win.”
“And that’s how I’ve been able to survive this entertainment industry where it’s always no, no, no, not the guy, not going to go any further,” he pressed of the cutthroat show business. “But on those rare occasions where you do hit one, it’s great to get on base. But when you hit one, you never know it’s going to be a grand slam.”
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Ziering said he doesn’t care what the project is in front of him, he’s always going to give a great performance, especially given the current landscape where every job comes at a premium.
“I have always been open to whatever the universe has for me,” he said. “This is a time where you can’t be picky and choosy about your work. I’m a father and that’s a no-fail endeavor. So whatever the universe has for me, I consider very seriously.”
“You never know when it’s going to turn into ‘Sharknado,’” he added. “You never know that it’s going to turn into ‘90210,’ which has its 30-year anniversary coming up and people are still talking about it.”
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And as for his role in “Swamp Thing”?
“When I got this part, first of all, I pretty much peed my pants,” Zeiring admitted of landing in the DC project. “… I couldn’t imagine how amazing this would be, how my life would change. I didn’t care because what I was experiencing in that moment was true joy.”