Forrest Gump might describe actor David Hasselhoff as being somewhat like a box of chocolates.
At the age of 60, Hasselhoff is still one of the most recognizable actors in the entire world, made famous by his roles as Dr. William Foster Jr. on “The Young and the Restless,” Michael Knight on “Knight Rider,” Mitch Buchannon on “Baywatch” and a recent stint as celebrity judge on “America’s Got Talent.” Over the last several years, the actor has managed to reinvent his career, thanks in large part to his re-branding as “cool” everyman “The Hoff,” which was accompanied by t-shirts, catchphrases and his own social networking site called HoffSpace.
Now on XFINITY On Demand, Hasselhoff plays himself in the raunchy comedy-horror film “Piranha 3DD,” a sequel to the critically applauded (wait, what?) 2010 film “Piranha 3D.” In anticipation of the film’s release, I caught up with The Hoff via phone to talk about his man-eating movie. And while most stars call writers to promote a film, what Hasselhoff did instead was … interesting.
Keep reading to check out an interview that was far more unusual (and absurdly hilarious) than the type-written word could possibly do justice to.
David Onda: In “Piranha 3DD,” you play celebrity lifeguard David Hasselhoff. What happens to Mr. Hasselhoff in this film?
David Hasselhoff: Well, what happens is, Mr. Hasselhoff, in this movie, is not happy about this personal appearance. He thinks it’s probably the lowest of lows, but he’s on the road with a couple of girls, so things can’t be bad. So he’s just kind of in his hotel room, writing songs about “The Love Hunter” and he goes and makes the personal appearance and walks up going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hi, hi, hi. I’ve been here before,” and he won’t rescue anybody. And there’s blood and guts everywhere and a woman comes over and he says, “Back off, Toro.” She says, “Well, you’re a lifeguard.” He says, “I’m not a lifeguard. I’ve never been a lifeguard. Leave me alone.” It’s kind of the dark side of David Hasselhoff, and I enjoyed playing that and especially not wanting to rescue the ginger little moron kid [see video below].
Onda: What does the extra “D” in “Piranha 3DD” stand for?
Hasselhoff: The extra “D” is for disgusting. You know, they say … “What’s the lowest point in your life?” And I said, “Well, I haven’t reached it yet.” And then I thought, well, no, maybe this film is pretty low. But I did see the movie, and after seeing the movie and realizing it’s probably the worst, tasteless, horribly over-the-top, disgusting movie ever – I really enjoyed it.
Onda: Throughout your career, you’ve faced anacondas, sharks and vengeful cheerleaders. Where do the piranhas rank?
Hasselhoff: I know this might come as a shock to you, but they’re already talking about the sequel and I’m wrestling with the ideas of – I don’t know if I could be in “Piranhas on a Plane.” Because they’re now spawning into walking and I think it should be called “Piranha Watch.” I see me playing David Hasselhoff again, on the beach looking for the piranhas – right? – and just scanning the beach with my glasses, like I did on “Baywatch.” But the piranhas … come up from behind. And they’re walking. I think that would be epic. If they offer me that, and they call it “Piranha Watch,” I may have to accept it.
Onda: Who is better suited for fighting off piranhas – Michael Knight, Mitch Buchannon or The Hoff himself?
Hasselhoff: That’s a very good question. Well, Michael Knight, Mitch Buchannon and The Hoff are really one person. So, I think that, if we were to do it again, the way to make that work would be to have them morph. So you would have Michael Knight try to run them over in KITT. And then they get stuck in KITT, and then he gets out of the car and he morphs into Mitch Buchannon [and] he goes out and starts killing them and, instead of giving them CPR, he sucks the air out of them. And then, after that, when the fish start to kill Mitch Buchannon, he takes off his shirt and he becomes The Hoff. Because The Hoff is a philosophy, it’s more than – it’s a religion. So all he’s gonna do is start chanting “Hooooooooff! Hooooooooff! Hooooooooff!” and all the piranhas will explode.
Onda: What do you get asked most by people who approach you on the street?
Hasselhoff: “Is ‘Knight Rider’ coming back?” And, “How come you’re so tall?” And, “Where’s Pamela Anderson?” And my answer is, “I don’t know, I don’t know and I don’t know.”
Onda: They don’t ask you about your 1998 made-for-TV movie “Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.”?
Hasshoff: They ask me about “Nick Fury” now and it p***es me off because I loved that show and I met Stan Lee before anybody knew who Stan Lee was. And he gave me that role, and David Goyer wrote it for me and it was a wonderful thing and I loved “Nick Fury.” It’s just another one of those things, another little heartbreak in your life where I was kind of promised – not “kind of,” but promised – that I was gonna be Nick Fury forever in the films, and it went off to be movies and suddenly the TV star is no longer the movie star. But I loved the way it was written for me and I just loved the character. Maybe I could come back as Samuel Jackson’s brother, “Dick Fury.”
Onda: You’ll always be Nick Fury to me.
Hasselhoff: Me too, brother. Me too.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.