"Sharknado" star Ian Ziering landed in a seriously tight spot last night -- forced to choose between backing his co-star Tara Reid ... and his own payday for the sequel.
Ian and his wife were walking out of Boa when we posed the question ... "Would you like to have Tara back on Sharknado 2?"
Boom! Rock and a hard place.
As we first reported ... producers have already decided they want Ian, back for the sequel -- but Tara's sitch is not yet a lock.
This was basically Ian's chance to loudly proclaim he'd love to have Tara back ... even though that might rock the boat with producers who haven't reached out to her yet.
So, what do you think he did? Yeah, he totally left her for shark bait.