Celebrity spotlight

Ian Ziering talks Chippendales, ‘Sharknado’ and being a dad

 
Denise Truscello / WireImage

Ian Ziering manages to keep himself in the spotlight, 13 years after his star-turning role on Beverly Hills: 90210 ended.

At 49, he’s in terrific shape. But don’t thank good genes; there’s a lot of grunt work involved.

“Eighty-five percent of fitness is diet,” Ziering says by phone. “I feed my body with the right fuel. Most days I'm not eating for taste.”

That translates to few carbs and foods high in protein, low in fat.

Though Ziering wouldn't confirm nor deny if he would be reprising his role in Syfy's Sharknado sequel, rumored to be gearing up to film in New York, he likes to keep toned for his role as Chippendales ambassador.

Unfortunately, he won't be in attendance at the casting call Friday (we’ll have to gaze at Jaymes Vaughn, of The Amazing Race, instead). But he’s fully supportive of the famed male revue opening up at Mansion in Miami Beach, Jan 9-25, 2014.

“I think it's exciting and kind of unexpected for the area,” Ziering says. “It's a company that's been around awhile and they just do it right — a well-oiled machine.”

Ziering also seems to think attending a performance with barely dressed men on stage is something you could bring mom to and not be embarrassed. “The show is flirty, not dirty — this is not jock straps and dollar bills. The dancers are incredibly well-built, amazing athletes, and fantastic singers and dancers.”

Well-built? Ziering knows about that, but he admits to slacking off when his wife, nurse Erin Ludwig, was pregnant with their second child (Penna, 8 months) last year.

“Having babies, you make sacrifices,” says Ziering, whose older daughter, Mia, is 2.

"I would get up early so my wife would have a couple of extra hours to sleep, and those were hours I would have typically gone to the gym.”

A guest MC gig for Chippendales at The Rio in Las Vegas over the summer was a wake-up call.

“I had to start focusing on myself again,” he said. “Now it was no longer about the jelly roll; now it was about the shoulder roll!"

But dad managed to make workout time family time.

“My daughter used to sit on my shoulders when I did push-ups. Fun for her, not so fun for me.”

To be able to don the bow tie and nothing else up top, Ziering logged up to four hours of cardio a day for five days a week as well as targeted weight lifting.

“Health and fitness have always been part of my wheelhouse,” said the actor-producer. “And if you have to rip your shirt off, you want to concentrate on areas people see the most.”

Intense? Yeah, but all part of the gig.

“That's my job. If I were a heart surgeon, I'd be in surgery all day.”

Speaking of his other job, acting: What about that Sharknado sequel? Though he couldn't discuss specifics of the made-for-TV movie about a shark tornado, Ziering does have a healthy respect for the man-eaters.

“If they walked on land we'd be in trouble,” he says, laughing. “I did a dive inside a steel cage off Catalina back when I hosted Beach Patrol. We saw big ones. I was very happy to get back on the boat.”

Madeleine Marr

More info about Friday’s 1 p.m. audition at Mansion, email info@chippendales.com or call 305-432-9293.

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