At the beginning of his 70th birthday, the famous actor came to present his new series at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. narrative.
- Laurent Flückiger, Monte Carlo
Meeting David Hasselhoff is still something. Even though he hasn’t had any real roles in the 21st century and early 70s, he’s struggling to move. He’s the man who drove a car that talked, he’s the man who made red one-piece swimsuits sexy. We didn’t see Michael Knight in “K2000” in the 80’s or Mitch Buchannon in “Baywatch” in the 90’s, we saw David Hasselhoff.
It’s also his own role, played in the new series he previewed at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival on Sunday. Because there is mainly something to tell about the man, about his immense desire to be an actor for interesting projects and to distance himself (a little) from what made his fame. This is the beginning of “Ze Network”, produced by Germans. And it could succeed if it doesn’t quickly become a spy thriller starring ex-Cold War assassins in a theater east of Berlin that’s far too whimsical to be comical or breathless.
Nevertheless. Meeting The Hoff is something. To speak to the press – and often respond on the sidelines – he wore purple sunglasses that looked like he hadn’t had them since the ’80s. Sorry David, you’re not going to change your image like that. But basically, does he really want it?
In “Ze Network” you say you aren’t presented with the kind of scenarios you’re hoping for. Which ones have you received recently?
I had a film proposal in Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples. I’ve been told that Paramount+ really wants David Hasselhoff. And a season 2 of “Ze Network” is in negotiations.
What is the David Hasselhoff that people want to see and change?
You see the David Hasselhoff from “K2000” and “Baywatch”. Every day, every moment, people want to take a picture with me. I want them to know that I was a real actor playing Mitch on Baywatch. In Ze Network I am myself and funnier.
What is the main difference you experienced between filming your iconic series and Ze Network?
The director is mad! We usually do about twenty takes, close-ups. He was fifty. It was tough because there were no rehearsals. I played a confused David Hasselhoff. I made all the expressions I knew. And actually I didn’t understand what the actors were saying at all. At the end of the first day, the director was thrilled. I said it was the worst day of my life.
Can you share your best memory of “K2000”?
It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I could hear “Action” and drive alongside about ten cars with stuntmen not supposed to touch me. I’m from Chicago so I know the icy streets. And the producers wanted me to do skids, that’s a great memory! Same thing on the show, after my wife was killed, I throw my wedding ring in the water and KITT says, “Where are you going, Michael?” And I say, “Home.”
What about Baywatch?
Working with Jeremy Jackson (Note: Hobie, son of Mitch Buchannon). It was phenomenal. After the auditions, the production wanted someone else and I was against it. I took him for a ride and asked him if he had a father and a mother. He replied: “My father is in prison. I don’t need one to have one.” That touched me a lot and I hired him.
What was the funniest moment you had with a fan?
Yes, a fan asked me for a photo. I said yes. But she didn’t have a camera. (Laughs.)
In Ze Network we learn that during the Cold War the KGB and the Stasi thought you were an American spy. Is there some truth? How were you perceived back then in the Eastern bloc?
Everyone has a childhood. They also watched K2000 and Baywatch. I was behind the Berlin Wall before it fell and three girls recognized me. I asked them if it was through my series and they replied no that I was the gentleman who sings freedom (Note: based on his 1989 song “Looking For Freedom”). I was in a very big hotel where everything was shiny inside and black and white outside. It was awful, very strange. I have a documentary called David Hasselhoff vs. the Berlin Wall. You have to see it to understand it. Ze Network happens behind the wall, and it’s the truth. What’s on the other side, It’s fiction, but it’s up to you to make up your own mind.
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