Yesterday, when the Syfy channel announced that Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman, and Ann Coulter, the conservative columnist, had both been cast in “Sharknado 3,” the Washington installment of the campy disaster movie, we had one question: Um, why? But not for Syfy’s top executives.
The “Sharknado” francise is built on seemingly random impossibilities (hello, shark tornadoes?). But why would Cuban and Coulter, who’ll appear as the president and vice president, sign on for “Jaws Does D.C.”?
“I think Meryl Streep started her career with something similar,” joked Coulter, whose 11th book will be out in June. “Sharknado 3” premieres on Syfy in July.
Obvious cross-promotion aside, Coulter said fun was a deciding factor. She also managed to get a dig in when she told us the inspiration for her role: Joe Biden, “but without the hair plugs.”
“We were laughing the whole time,” Coulter added.
That turned out to be a bit of a problem. You’re not supposed to be smiling when a great white shark is trying to take a bite out of you. But then again, this is “Sharknado.” Breaking during a “serious” “dramatic” scene can only highlight the high camp, which was Cuban’s favorite part.
[Related: “‘Sharknado’ alert! The campy franchise is coming to D.C.“]
“I love anything that’s campy,” said Cuban. “The crazier the better, and what’s crazier than ‘Sharknado’?” You’ve got us there, Mr. Cuban.
As an added bonus, Cuban, who shot his save-the-world scenes with Coulter just last week in Los Angeles, got to do most of his own stunts.
“I got to shoot guns, fire rifles, throw grenades, and jump out of windows. It was a blast,” said Cuban, before adding that he loves acting (we assume no matter how bad or good) because it uses a different part of his brain.
For its part, Syfy’s decision to cast President Cuban and Vice President Coulter is completely in line with “Sharknado’s” proven formula for success: Camp plus cameos equals lots of social media chatter.
Chris Regina, senior vice president of program strategy at Syfy, described Coulter as “buzzy, edgy controversial” and Cuban as “a maverick.”
According to Regina, “Sharknado 2: The Second One” was the channel’s most watched original movie ever with 3.9 million viewers.
“It was complete lightning in a bottle,” Regina said.