Bryan Steffy / WireImage
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Stripped bare to the waist wearing just a bowtie and flexing his muscles, actor Ian Ziering doesn’t look anywhere near his age of 50. But, yes, Steve Sanders, who ruled on “Beverly Hills 90210” in the 1990s, has hit the half-century mark.
It doesn’t faze him one iota. He’s so full of energy, he’s ready to tackle “Sharknado 3” after he starts promoting “Sharknado 2” when it debuts July 30 at the end of his new six-week run as guest host of Chippendales at the Rio.
Ian and I have been pals since his heartthrob days on “90210.” He swears that I haven’t changed. We know that ain’t so, but I know that he hasn’t. He’s still physically fit and wooing the ladies with or without his shirt on or slaying sharks thrown into Los Angeles rivers from a tornado in the made-for-TV disaster horror movie on Syfy.
After getting a bear hug that squeezed the living daylights out of me, we caught up at his VIP opening night of the adult-male revue.
Is 50 the new 30, the new 40? What is 50 to you?
I had some tests done, and there was this one scale that measured my weight and body composition and also told me my metabolic age. It said my metabolic age based on my physiology was 34.
Fifty is whatever you make it because when you’re young, you get the body you’re born with, but when you’re older, you get the body you deserve.
It’s still pretty good getting out of bed in the morning — I don’t have any aches or pains.
Because you’re only 50.
I suppose, and I know it’s coming, but hopefully I’m doing things at this age that prolong it for as long as possible.
You look trimmer, fitter this time for Chippendales than you did the last time, and that was still a shock then.
That was three months of preparation to get 35 pounds off.
And this time?
It’s a lot easier to keep it off than to lose it in the first place.
So you’ve kept it off?
I maybe put just 8 pounds back on.
But you look slimmer and trimmer. Is it because you’re buffer, more toned?
I don’t know, possibly; 31- to 32-inch waist is where I’m at right now. I didn’t have as much time to prep this time, but luckily I didn’t have as far to go. I’m at Chippendales, so it’s not about the jellyroll, it’s about the shoulder roll.
Once I wrap my mind around that, I’m conscientious about everything I put in my mouth and then exercising and working out twice a day. An hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, but then also eating five or six times a day. Quality proteins, good fat, the right kind of carbs, just so I can maximize my time.
I dig this Chippendales gig. Robert De Niro had to put weight on for “Raging Bull.” Christian Bale lost a tremendous amount of weight for “The Mechanic.” This is another role for me. I’m playing in Chippendales. I can’t stand onstage next to those guys with a muffin top, Robin. It’s not happening!
For the one person in the world who’s never seen “Sharknado” or knows little about it ...
You need to watch that crazy movie; it’s insane. I don’t know why it had the popularity that it did, but one thing I know for sure: Sci-fi fans are the most supportive fans in all of entertainment.
I actually did “Sharknado” first before I was done with my first guest run with Chippendales. First it was “Sharknado,” then it was Chippendales, then “Sharknado” aired. I did press for five months because it kept opening up in a different country, and it was equally popular in other countries.
It’s a whole bunch of sharks drawn out of the ocean in a tornado, and they get dropped off in the flooded areas inland and people are forced to deal with it. They are getting eaten left and right, and I am on a mission to save my family.
“Sharknado 2” airs July 30, but this time it’s going to be a global storm because they’re launching it all around the world on the same day. Twitter will probably explode. If they are smart, they should increase the bandwidth because the storm is coming, and it’s going to be a huge wave!
And you have an option for “Sharknado 3”?
They’ve already green lit it; it’s just an idea right now. I know that they want to do another one. It’s on Syfy, but then it goes to movie theaters. The other way around than normal release of movie theaters and then television. This film is doing something that it doesn’t always know it can do. It’s bigger than most summer blockbusters.
It’s amazing. I’ve known you for more than two decades, and it’s never seemed to me you planned your career. And here you are going stronger than ever.
No, I did, I tried to plan my career and was unsuccessful in targeting things, and it ended up creating disappointment. When I did “Dancing With the Stars,” I realized that I just have to be open to what the universe allows me. Once I realized that I wasn’t just an actor and I could be an entertainer, it opened up my eyes to all the other opportunities that there are.
I screen tested to host “The Price Is Right” years ago before they got Drew Carey, and my first thought was no way. I can’t do that, but then I thought, “Oh my gosh, host a party twice a day, change people’s lives, work for 40 days out of the year, earn enough money to finance my own projects, what’s bad in that?”
Am I an acting snob or do I want to work? Now that I’m a husband and a father, I’m also a provider. I want to have fun, I’m very fortunate that I get to do different things. I feel that doing “90210” gave me a taste for lightening in the bottle. It was a globally successful show that ran for 10 years.
I think working with Chippendales changes the perspective people have of me. Never before people have looked at me as a sexy character, but this is what it’s all about. The men here are very helpful in helping me bring the sexy and fine-tuning my attitude.
What was the most fun thing about doing it the first time?
One woman came up onstage and tripped. Her dress flipped up over her head and she wasn’t wearing any underwear, and she spun around with her dress over her head. So we had to put her back in the audience immediately. It was a moment for sure.
For the most part, this is an unbelievable environment. This is a place where women feel very safe. There are girls night out parties, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and they’re coming here to have a good time. I do believe there’s something primal, something chemical that happens in a woman’s body when she sees a well-chiseled man dancing provocatively in their fantasies.
It just short-circuits them. Throw a cocktail or two in the mix, it’s like gas on fire. They’re standing in their chairs screaming, “Throw me your shirt!” And having the best time of their lives.
And you also?
You know what, I’m performing. I love it!
So it’s applause for you.
No, it’s accomplishment. I can say that I’ve done this. I’m not really motivated by applause. It’s very flattering, but it doesn’t drive me. I’m more motivated by accomplishing, contribution and giving back. When I was younger, it was about the glory because I was young and dumb. Then it became about accomplishment.
You’d do this again?
If they ask me, of course yes. This is the most fun you can have legally with your pants off.
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Our thanks to Scott Harrison of Retna and Bryan Steffy of WireImage for their photo gallery. Ian is at Chippendales through July 20, and our esteemed Senior Editor Don Chareunsy will have his review right here on Wednesday. He says the show is hotter than ever!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.