“Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff has been specializing in sending up both himself and his buoy-toting lifeguard legacy of late. His latest stint in self-parody brings him to the big screen with the appropriately bloody and boobie-filled follow up to the surprisingly amusing 2010 flick "Piranha." At least we assume it’s self-parody, because as PopcornBiz’s chat with the Hoff reveals, the lines are a bit blurry.
You've got experience playing the character of David Hasselhoff. How do you approach a gig like this?
I prepare for David Hasselhoff by chanting every morning, and I lived in his house for a year and I spent time with his children and slept with some of his women. I stole a lot of his coffee cups and I read his book, which really helped. It's kind of boring. I prepared by putting on a lot of his clothes. I changed the word ‘Baywatch’ to ‘Hoffwatch,’ because I thought that was kind of a cool inside joke that people would not get or accept for me. I did have a hard time with the line ‘Holy f---, I'm old.’ I've said the words ‘I'm old’ before, but not really believing it because I don't feel old. That was challenge for me, to do that.
For real, now.
I came in on this with kind of the attitude of, like, 'I'm just going to come in and play David Hasselhoff and do a personal appearance,' and just say, 'Hey, I don't make rescues anymore.' Then we decided, like, 'Let's play this real. Let's make this like you've had a bad six weeks. You're on the road with two chicks and you don't care about anything and you still want to do your music because that's passionate to you. But you've never made a rescue in your life and you hate little kids.' I thought, 'That's such a great, great choice.' We played that up, and I think when I watched the movie I didn't like myself. I went, 'Oh my God, that's not me,' because it really isn't. Even at the worst personal appearance I'm still like, 'Hi, everybody!' even if I walk out and say, 'Don't ever book that again.' But we had a blast making it and the director, John [Gulager], was just really cool.
I understand you showed a little restraint in one of the more ‘Double D’ style scenes?
The first time they had the girls [with me] they were supposed to be topless. I said, 'You can't put two topless girls in a scene with me. No one will be looking at me and I won't be able to concentrate.' I said, 'Forget that – It's going to turn into a porn all of a sudden. You've got to have two girls and let me sing about them and we'll make the song up on the spot,' and we did. It became one of the things that I guess when they tested the movie…I saw the movie and I said, 'I don't know...' I hated myself in the movie, and then everyone seemed to like it because it appeals to everyone's lack of bad taste. If you're a fan of bad taste then this is a good movie.
When ‘Baywatch’ comes back – and it will – do you want to do it as a silly parody version, or make it more serious? What's your vision for that when the time is right to bring it back?
I'm probably not going to have much say in that. Unfortunately we sold the rights to Imagine, and so when the rights went out to them we kind of relinquished all rights to what they're going to do with it. I'd rather work on bringing back 'Knight Rider' and make 'Knight Rider'... retro and cool and have Michael Knight be like the Devon character and turn it into 'Fast and Furious' times twenty and a little bit of a [Tim] Burton type movie – something dark and cool. That's more my goal. I don't really have anything to do with 'Baywatch.' I'm not sure what they're going to do with it. I'm not even sure they're sure.
In real life, what are some of the cheesiest, screwiest, way out there public appearance offers that you've gotten, like the kind that you get in the film?
There was a really weird one where I went to do a concert and it was in Harrah's, but it was for the high rollers. After the concert I was amazed because I played to all the whales – the older people that spend money at the casino – and it's usually in a ballroom. It wasn't in a ballroom. It was by the pool, like in a terrarium. They were all sitting around in chairs, and I was like channeling David Hasselhoff, walking around and singing songs from Broadway. I didn't care because I was making $30,000. I just thought, 'This is so bizarre.' But it was fun. I'm trying to think of the cheesiest ones, because there's a little bit of cheese at all of them. I just did one in the UK where I felt like I was Santa Claus, but it was for a big corporation. It's embarrassing looking at grown men and women from a major corporation running at me to take pictures with me. But they were honestly impressed. It wasn't like, 'Let’s get a quick picture of The Hoff before he dies.'