‘Shark After Dark’ Host Eli Roth: ‘They’re More Afraid of Us Than We Are of Them’

Shark After Dark, Eli Roth
Shark After Dark, Eli Roth

Just when you thought it was safe to turn off Discovery’s Shark Week programming, director-producer-actor Eli Roth returns to host Shark After Dark, a late-night look at all things great (white) and small in the world of these jawsome creatures. And for a guy who gave us the movies Hostel and The Green Inferno, he’s shockingly chummy.

This is your second time hosting Shark After Dark. What did you learn last year?
I learned that while the show should be fun, people really love the scientific aspect of it, and everyone watching is a shark advocate.

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How did a horror-movie guy become such a shark fan?
Ever since I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, I loved sharks and felt they were beautiful, misunderstood creatures. Jaws was one of the first novels I ever read, and the more I learned about sharks, the more I learned that it was truly a work of fiction. They’re more afraid of us than we are of them. They maintain the balance in the ocean and, without them, disease would flourish and not just decimate the ocean but would spread to humans.

So no shark-attack film coming from you?
Not anytime soon, but I’d love to do one. I love backpacking and traveling, but that didn’t stop me from making Hostel. I’d do a shark-attack movie, but it would be the most pro-shark movie anyone has ever seen.

Shark After Dark, Eli Roth

Eli Roth takes a dive in Shark After Dark.

Any guests you’re excited to talk to?
Yes! We have amazing guests like Kevin Hart, who I am a big fan of, and Chelsea Handler. I was on Chelsea Lately probably five times and each time she grilled me, so I cannot wait to return the favor.

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What’s scarier, sharks or being an extra in Barbra Streisand’s The Mirror Has Two Faces?
Streisand. I say this with love, because she gave me amazing close-ups that you can find on YouTube. The difference between Streisand and a shark is sharks are always moving forward while Streisand spends three days filming a scene of her talking to her students that could have been shot in a morning. I love you, Barbra! Thanks for getting me into SAG.

Shark After Dark, Sunday, June 26–Thursday, June 30, 11/10c, Discovery Channel.