David Hasselhoff is an international superstar. Over the past thirty years, the Baywatch actor has appeared on more than four extremely successful television programs. In addition to acting, Hasselhoff has found international success through his singing career (pause for jokes and wisecracks).
But in such an eclectic existence, what stands out as the greatest highlight of Hasselhoff’s career? And what has been the highlight of his life? I recently had a chance to talk to “The Hoff” about the high points of his lifetime, and how he prepared to play himself in Piranha 3DD.
Hasselhoff’s career has been primarily defined by a series of successful television programs. From his long stint on The Young and the Restless to his work on Knight Rider; his performance on Baywatch to his role as a judge on America’s Got Talent, Hasselhoff became a household name through a string of successful shows.
But when I spoke to the actor about his work, he told me that none of those shows represented the highlight of his career, despite his love for the respective programs. In actuality, he noted that the highlight of his career occurred overseas when he sang to the people of Germany about freedom, a few months after the Berlin Wall fell.
Standing above the remains of the wall on New Year’s Eve, 1989 – only a few months after East and West Berlin were reunited – Hasselhoff sang his hit song ‘Looking for Freedom’ to over a million listeners. That experience stood out to Hasselhoff and to many Germans, who approached him about the experience during a family visit last year. While on that trip, some of the drivers bringing him around town spoke to him and his children about that special day:
[Drivers] that were all picking me up were saying ‘Do you realize that when we were eight or nine years old, we spoke no English and the first words that we sang were ‘I’ve Been Looking for Freedom.’ That was your Dad’s song and they were saying that to my daughters… I had nothing to do with – anything to do with – the wall coming down or anything like that, but I did have something to do with people singing a song about freedom at that time.
On the other hand, the highlight of Hasselhoff’s life has nothing to do with his career. The highlight of his life, he noted, was “the birth of my children, the fact that they live with me and that we’re incredibly close and that they are following in my footsteps.” He added that his children continue to be an inspiration to him to this day.
In Hasselhoff’s latest film, Piranha 3DD, he portrays an arrogant version of himself. In the movie, he is hired as a celebrity lifeguard at a water park because of his work on Baywatch. That park, though, is soon attacked by dozens of killer piranhas and Hasselhoff is asked to step up to save the lives of the innocent people who are being mutilated in the water.
Although he portrays himself in the movie, Hasselhoff (humorously) informed me that the role required a lot of preparation:
[It was] a challenge. To figure out who David Hasselhoff is…I know him and I know that he doesn’t really know who he is…[To prepare] I actually moved into David Hasselhoff’s house, rented a spot, and lived with his daughters. I actually slept with one of his girlfriends and I read his book and I ate his food.
If you’re interested in Piranha 3DD check out the film. If you’re interested in more wisdom-de-Hoff, make sure you check out Hasselhoff’s advice on how to survive a piranha attack.
Piranha 3DD is playing in theaters and is currently available On Demand.