For some reason, a made-for-TV movie about a massive storm of great whites and hammerheads literally raining chaos on the streets of Los Angeles wasn't something that initially piqued her interest when it was first pitched to her in 2013.
And yet, here we are, five years and five movies later and she's still starring in the SyFy franchise, which wraps up this weekend with the release of "The Last Sharknado: It's About Time." So, what happened?
"The first one I read, I was like, 'This is so bad I can't do this movie,'" Reid told TooFab in-studio. "I was like, 'This is just the dumbest thing I've ever read.' Like, people really are getting eaten by sharks on the 405? You know what I mean, in L.A., jumping through pools, this makes no sense."
Though Reid, who was coming off of "American Reunion" at the time, wasn't interested in the project, her friends saw potential -- or at least wanted to see the actress make a fool of herself.
"That night I went to dinner with my friends, telling them I just read the worst script ever," she explained. "I was telling them about it and they were laughing so hard, like, 'Tara, are you kidding me? You have to do this movie, it's epic. Just for us, it's so funny!'"
The next day, she called up her agent and said she was in. "I thought, here's this little movie we're gonna do for SyFy, no one's going to see it, it doesn't matter," she said with a laugh. "Totally the opposite."
The movie ended up surprising everyone, as its ridiculous premise paired with Tara and Ian Ziering as its stars made it the talk of Twitter ahead of its premiere. While it attracted around 1.4 million viewers -- on par with other made-for-TV movies on the network -- it garnered even more attention on repeats and a pop culture phenomenon was born.
The 2014 follow-up, "Sharknado: The Second One," became the network's highest movie premiere ever with 3.87 million views and easily won the night on social media. While each subsequent film brought in diminishing returns, they still were some of SyFy's highest-rated projects and introduced Reid to a whole new group of fans.
"That's what's changed. Everyone knew me from 'American Pie' and now I have ... little kids love this movie, they're obsessed with it," said Reid. "I never had a fan base of little kids because they could never watch my movies. They're so sweet and it's been incredible."
"One of the cutest things was a little girl dressed up as me, as April, she had the little hand saw!" she added, reflecting on her favorite fan moment to date.
The franchise has already seen Reid's character, April Wexler, die, become a robot and, eventually, just a talking head. The last film brings time travel to the forefront, so expect the ridiculousness to be kicked up another notch.
"I literally think, 'How do they come up with this stuff. Who thinks this?' You read it like, 'This is crazy,'" she said of the final film. "And then you shoot the scenes, like all of a sudden now we're in the Western world and we have cowboy hats, and then we're in the dinosaur world and then we're with George Washington."
Reid is also fairly confident that "The Last Sharknado" is indeed the last "Sharknado."
"When you see the script and you see the movie, it really makes a whole 360," she said. "It's the end. You never know, in 10 years, another Sharknado might break out and we'll have to save the world again. But right now, there's no cliffhangers at all."
She added that the series has been a "really good run" and they're going out "in a classy way," or as "classy" as a movie starring a time traveling robot can. "I think people will really enjoy this one and to me, I think this is one of the best ones."
"The Last Sharknado: It's About Time" airs Sunday, August 19 on SyFy.