David Hasselhoff talks ‘Piranha 3DD,’ his high-protein essence, and the Hoff Train
Photo by Dimension Films
Before I spoke with David Hasselhoff, aka "The Hoff," I knew what most people know about the man: He's a world-famous celebrity known as much for his starring roles in "Baywatch" (1989) and "Knight Rider" (1982) as he is for his German-pleasing music and passion for cheeseburgers. But now that I've had the chance to speak with The Hoff about his upcoming horror-comedy "Piranha 3DD," I know something else: The Hoff is really funny.
I laughed throughout our candid phone conversation. I laughed while he told me about the emotionally gutting preparations he undertook to play the part of himself. I laughed when he poeticized the difference between David Hasselhoff and The Hoff. I laughed while he explained that his fan base would be disappointed if they saw him in bed with just one woman. And I laughed when I found out that the essence of The Hoff is sushi.
Of course, all this laughter is right in check with the tone of the film -- a sequel to the gore and flesh fest "Piranha 3D" (2010) -- which promises "twice the terror" and "double the D's." One thing it certainly has is Hasselhoff, which should make you want to "get on your Hoff Train and take a ride" to your local theater when "Piranha 3DD" opens Friday.
[Related: "Piranha 3DD" in our Summer Movie Guide]
Adam Pockross: Mr. Hasselhoff, how did you prepare to play Mr. Hasselhoff?
David 'The Hoff' Hasselhoff: I went into a deep trance, and every night I meditated, and I read David Hasselhoff's book to try to find out who he was about. I spent probably two days eating cheeseburgers. I also prepared by looking at old "Baywatch" episodes that he was in. And then I talked to his children, Taylor-Ann and Hayley, and spoke to them at length about what it's like living with their father. And then I visited the Berlin Wall and saw exactly the part where he cracked that exact spot. I stood on the wall for a while and I cried, because it was so emotional.
Then I went onstage with the director, and we did some emotional recall where you lie down and you go into your childhood memories. Like, 'If you were David Hasselhoff, what would have been your first big toy?' And it was a go-kart that came to me, like in 'Knight Rider.' It was really weird. And, 'What was your favorite thing?' It was the beach, and I was like, 'Wow!' So, that's how I did it.
And I think it worked because I was able to play David Hasselhoff, and kind of get to the essence of him, especially with the line, 'Holy f---, I'm old.' That was a hard line for me to do because I don't feel old, and I never say the word 'holy' and 'f---' together. I've said 'f---,' but never 'holy f---.' But that was the hardest part, to say, 'Holy f---, I'm old.' But I got to do it. And then also, I did get some blood in my eye when I was making the film, but the best part about it was I just kept going. And the director said, 'God, that's fantastic!' And if you look really closely, you'll see me trying to clear my eye during the movie.
AP: You're a pro. No doubt about it. So, you say you got to the essence of David Hasselhoff? In a sense you were born to play this part. So what is the essence of David Hasselhoff?
The Hoff: The essence of David Hasselhoff is … mostly sushi. I think that without sushi there would be no David Hasselhoff, because sushi is like the perfect way of describing the insights of David Hasselhoff. He is like a protein, clean and easy. That's how I feel about myself. I feel I'm protein, I'm clean, and I'm very easy to eat.