What movie pops into your head when you hear the name Tara Reid? “American Pie?” “The Big Lebowski?” “Sharknado?”
Three points if you got all three of those. Reid’s had leading roles in all of those films (and many, many others), which turned out to be instant American cult classics.
Now, she’s working on a “Sharknado” sequel and just wrapped up “The Hungover Games,” a parody film that spoofs two very popular movies with a cult following of their own: “The Hunger Games” and “The Hangover.” As a big fan of both, Reid swears the fans of each film will get a kick out of the parody, since it doesn’t trash the films -- “it does the opposite.”
The 38-year-old actress opened up to HLN about her current and future (coveted) roles, her new boyfriend, favorite new recipe and a beloved travel destination.
HLN: “The Hungover Games” is a parody of a number of pop culture favorites. Are you friends with any of the people in the film?
Reid: The only one I know the most is Jamie Kennedy. He plays Woody Harrelson’s character, Haymitch [Justmitch in “The Hungover Games"]. He was fantastic! He stayed in character when we weren’t shooting. At lunch, you [usually] break character and go to yourself, but he would actually stay in character the whole time. He’s very talented.
HLN: Is it actually fun when a fellow actor doesn’t break character, or is it obnoxious/exhausting?
Reid: It’s more entertaining watching him not break the character. I’d be like, “Jamie, it’s me, talk to me for a second,” and he doesn’t break the character! It’s nuts. Honestly, I’ve never done that before and I’ve never seen anyone do it before. It’s quite interesting. Everyone does their thing their own way, so whatever works for you works for you.
HLN: You’ve been in a lot of films that have become instant cult classics. What’s that like?
Reid: You know, it’s crazy! From the first one, “The Big Lebowski,” to all the “American Pies,” and now it’s this crazy movie that I’m on set for right now in New York City, “Sharknado.” It’s become an American phenomenon and my life is so insane right now! Who would have thought? I didn’t believe it!
HLN: So you’re surprised “Sharknado” has gotten as big as it has?
Reid: I’m just as stunned as everyone else. Come on, I did it as a joke! I didn’t even think anyone was going to see it. And then what happened has never happened before on any movie. Even now, you thought the buzz was going to stop about Sharknado, but it just keeps going. And the one we’re shooting now in the city, you think, “How can it be worse than the first one?” That’s the only way it can maybe work. We’ll see what happens.
HLN: Can you give us a sneak peek at “Sharknado 2?”
Reid: I can’t tell too much -- I’m not allowed to, to be honest with you -- but you can definitely expect it to be as entertaining -- if not more, believe it or not -- as the first one. In the scene in the first film, where I ended up in the stomach of the shark, which was so ridiculous that you think, “How are you going to top that?” Well, we’re actually pretty close to topping it.
HLN: What do you think about all the “Sharknado” Halloween costumes that were so popular last year?
Reid: I think it’s hilarious! People were putting their dogs in “Sharknado” costumes. They were putting their dogs in shark outfits! What is going on with this world? There were all these huge movies out, the blockbusters of the summer, and the one that had the most success and the most buzz was “Sharknado?” It made no sense! It wasn’t even supposed to be in theaters! This little movie that was a joke turned into this phenomenon -- it’s unexplainable.
HLN: What’s the most fun set that you’ve ever been on?
Reid: “Josie and the Pussycats.” That was really, really fun -- I loved doing that film! I loved the character I played, I loved working with Rosario Dawson and Rachael Leigh Cook. We had a great time!
HLN: One of our Twitter followers, Crystal, wants to know: Is there a role you’ve always wanted to play that you haven’t gotten to yet?
Reid: Of course! There are a million roles I’d want to play. One of my favorite movies is “True Romance,” and the role of Patricia Arquette -- I would love to play a role like that! I would love to show more different sides of me. Unfortunately, it’s not always up to me -- it’s up to the people who cast. They just think of your name and they say “no way!” It’s a challenge, not just for me but for my agent and my manager. They say, “Everyone deserves a chance, just let her try.” But they assume they know [what you can do]. That’s our hardest battle right now: Getting in the door and getting those opportunities to do some of the roles I’d love to do.
HLN: You’re in your 30s and you seem really happy and rooted: What have you learned in your 30s and what has made them great?
Reid: In your 30s, you really become a woman. You’re not as insecure as you were in your 20s; you really start knowing yourself. You also calm down a little bit; you’re a little more relaxed. It’s a really solid age. I’ve never been happier: I’m healthy, I have an amazing boyfriend, I’m working a lot, and I have great people around me. My life is at a really good place right now.
HLN: Tell us more about your new man.
Reid: He’s great! He’s in a band called Infected Mushroom. His name is Erez Eisen. He’s a really great guy and it’s a great relationship.
HLN: What’s your perfect date night?
Reid: Our new favorite thing to do is cooking. We find a recipe in a cookbook and go to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients and then we try to cook it. Sometimes it turns out amazing and sometimes it’s horrible, but lately we’ve been really lucky and, I’m not kidding you, it’s turning out really well! We have so much fun cooking together. You taste it and if it’s good, you’re so proud of it and proud of each other.
HLN: Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
Reid: We just got a crock pot and we’re obsessed with it. We’ve been making pot roast in it and it came out so good, [you wouldn’t know] it’s the first time we used it. It was unbelievable!
HLN: One of your favorite things is traveling: What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?
Reid: I love traveling! I’ve been to, I don’t know, probably over 60 countries. Every place has a special quality about it, but I will say one of my favorites is Italy. Sardinia, Italy. To me, there’s just a magical energy: The color of the water is deep blue, and the food -- there’s no food in the world that tastes like it, everything’s so fresh and tasty. You feel cleansed when you leave there. I can’t explain it, it’s something in the water, you just feel like you’re healed. I truly love it there.