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When you see a movie like "Piranha 3DD," you know what you're getting into. You can expect excessive gore and even more excessive nudity wrapped in a hilariously campy package. Interviewing its star David Hasselhoff is another story.
Between "Knight Rider," "Baywatch" and the tabloids, the man is an icon of epic proportions, as he'll gladly tell you himself. But, regardless of how you see the aging star, he's still filled with ambition, ideas and a shocking amount of energy.
And he's in on the joke.
In the movie, he plays himself, hired to be the celebrity appearance at the opening day of a skeezy water park. Needless to say, he doesn't really want to be there. In reality, he's willing to laugh about similarly embarrassing gigs and, well, just about everything.
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Was the humor in "Piranha 3DD" what made you want to do the movie?
We went to the screening and my manager looked at me – he'd never wanted me to do the movie – and he was so upset. It was so f***in' funny.
Why didn't he want you to do it?
He wants me to do a Knight Rider film or Nick Fury, which I was supposed to do, or a remake of "Gone With the Wind" or a TV series or something, and I'm doing "Piranha 3DD." I'm said, "Dude, people aren't knocking down my door. This is funny."
I get the humor in this and I saw the last one and I thought this was funny. I read the script and I knew the director. We got on the phone and he says, "We're not going to make fun of you. We're going to actually let you play this real. Play it like you're pissed off and you're really bummed to be there and you don't give a s**t about anybody." And I said, "I'm in if I can play it like that."
I think that's why it works. Because I'd just say, "You little morons, get out of the water, you idiots." As opposed to just going, "Oh my God, I have to save everybody."
Tell me a little about the song, "Love Hunter," from the movie. (You can see the clip below).
People are actually quoting my song. We made this song up on the spot! We just made this s**t up and we were having fun. I was supposed to be there for a day and they said, "Well, do you want to be in more of the movie?" I said, "Well, I don't want to go back to England right now. It's freezing!"
What's the worst personal appearance you've ever had to do?
I just did one, but I can't say what it was for. It was so many people. They just kept coming … I went to their corporate office. All I do is go over and say hello to a few people for a couple of hours and pick up, you know, $15,000-$20,000. It was like the size of New York University! The people just kept coming … There were, oh my God, like, nine floors. One floor was just fraud which was really interesting. Isn't that interesting? An entire floor was fraud. That's all they do is fraud. And everybody wanted to take a picture with me. It was like I was Santa Claus.
It was almost like the movie – I was going, "Well, this doesn't get any f***ing lower than this," and I'm laughing. But then I turned it around and now they're sponsoring my tour and they're going to pay me $100,000. So, it worked. But that was pretty bad.
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Scrolling through your IMDb page, you've played yourself almost as often as you haven't. Is that something you look for?
I don't read stuff about me anymore or IMDbs or anything. I just kind of move on. I really, honest to God, I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow … I'm going to drive the Indy 500, then I'm going to fly back for the opening [of "Piranha 3DD"] and then I'm going to fly to South Africa. I'm gonna perform and then I'm going on safari and then I'm going to jump in the water with a bunch of sharks and whales.
And then I'm going to fly back to England and do personal appearances and then I'm going to go to Broadway and do my own show called "Hoff Broadway." And then I'm going to go to do a country album because I've always wanted to do a country pop album and some guys offered it to me a while back and I loved it.
I'm actually looking to try to bring back "Knight Rider" or do some more films for kids. I've got a film in development called "Jungle Brats," which is like "Goonies." I've got a movie coming out called "The Christmas Consultant" on Lifetime. It's really a big role – it's the lead. So things are really turning around for me.
I'm just going to do what God tells me to do. I mean that. If I stay healthy and I keep my friggin' head on straight and realize that there's a fantastic life and my gorgeous daughter sitting in front of me. I've got another gorgeous daughter who I'm about ready to kill because she let her handicap parking ticket expire and, you know, monster ticket. They're both in their own band and they're going to be hitting the ground running … And I've got a beautiful girlfriend and hopefully the "Gone With the Wind" will come. Hopefully something great will happen.
So would you do a "Piranha" sequel?
Sure, I'd do the next one! I'd do anything. Listen, if I could do "Anaconda 3," I can do anything.