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David Hasselhoff Talks about “Ze Network”, “Knight Rider” and “Baywatch”

It’s hard to believe that forever young David Hasselhoff turns 70 today (July 17). But, as we recently discovered when the iconic star of Baywatch and Knight Rider attended the Monte-Carlo TV Festival to promote his new German/English TV series, Ze Network, he’s not slowing down anytime soon.

In the series, Hasselhoff plays a fictional version of himself, who arrives in Germany to play the lead role in a German stage show. But soon “The Hoff,” as the actor is famously known, is plunged into an international conspiracy of former Cold War assassins, all convinced he is a former spy for America from behind the Berlin Wall.

How would you describe your character in the show?

I played David Hasselhoff, who didn’t understand what was going on, and I really didn’t. (laughs) So it was strange but quite easy to just say, “What’s going on?” and “What’s happening?” all the time!


In the series, the fake David Hasselhoff laments that he’s not getting the scripts he wants. Is that your problem too?

I’ve just been offered a movie in Ischia, which is an island off of Naples, but I’ve been told that the network (Paramount+) is very high on this show, and that I should wait for a good project. So I’m toying with the idea of whether I take this movie and change the persona of David Hasselhoff, or wait for the second season.

What is the persona you want to change?

The perception of me is David Hasselhoff from Baywatch and Knight Rider. I get it every day, every hour, every five minutes. People want to take a picture with me, get an autograph, talk about the shows. So I wanted to change that. I wanted to say that I was an actor on Baywatch, but in this show, I played myself. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but it gets very heavy along the way too.

What was it like working with Henry Hübchen, one of Germany’s biggest stars?

I like Henry, but on the day we were filming together, I had to do every expression I could for each take when he was talking, because I really didn’t know what he was saying in German. He didn’t speak English, and that was a terrible day filming. The editor later said, “I was so honored to edit the scene between you and Henry,” and I said, “It was the worst day of my life.” He had an interpreter tell Henry, and you know what he said? It was the worst day of his life, too! (laughs)

You are such a TV icon. Would you share a fun or sweet memory that comes to mind looking back on Baywatch or Knight Rider set?

The memory I have of Knight Rider is that it was simply the best job ever. They said ‘action’ and I got to drive with 10 cars around me, driven by stuntmen paid not to hit me! I also remember when I threw my wedding ring in the water, after I got married and my wife was killed, and Kit (the car) said, ‘Where are we going, Michael?’ And I said, ‘let’s go home, Kit, let’s go home’. I loved that moment.


And what about Baywatch?

My first memory of Baywatch now was working with Jeremy Jackson (who played lifeguard Hobie Buchannon). They wanted someone else but after the audition I took him for a drive and said to him, ‘Do you have a father and a mother?’ He said, ‘No, my father is in jail, but I don’t need a father.’ That touched me, and from that moment on, I insisted he was hired.


Are you still able to do many of your stunts at your age?

That were a lot of stuntmen helping, because I had surgery on my knee in Germany and I was in a lot of pain. If you watch the show, you’ll see me walking, and then you’ll see me kind of walking weird. But the stuntman was absolutely great. When the girl was supposed to jump on my back, she was lifted up and put on my back and then later they filmed her jumping on his back for the camera!

What do you think of the show’s suggestion you were a spy during the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Everyone who watched Baywatch and Knight Rider knew I was behind the wall before it came down. I met three girls in Germany at the time who knew me not for the shows, but they said, ‘you are the man who sings of freedom’. So, that was a moment of hope. I did a documentary called Hasselhoff vs. the Berlin Wall and if you watch that you’ll really get a feeling of what happened. It was amazing to have that experience, but what I did behind the wall, I can’t talk about (laughs). The other part on this show is fiction but behind the wall, I’m leaving it up to you.