David Hasselhoff Talks "The Christmas Consultant", Parenting and More!
I have a crush on the Hoff.. it's true! I remember watching him with his car, KITT in “Knight Rider” back in the 80's (yes I'm totally dating myself) and thinking- wow that man is one tall drink of handsome and cool. And of course he'll forever be the hunky lifeguard in “Baywatch” and to my kids- the man who saved their precious Patrick and SpongeBob. So it felt like the world had come full circle when Lifetime asked me if I'd like to get on a call with David Hasselhoff to chat about his brand new original Lifetime film, “The Christmas Consultant”, premiering this weekend.
In this light hearted comedy, a workaholic couple with four quirky kids hire a sought after, over-the-top, male Christmas consultant (David Hasselhoff) to help get them through the holidays. And -after screening the film I can assure you- the Hoff does not disappoint. He totally has over-the-top down to a science in this role and kicks Lifetime's movie holiday season off into high gear. We caught up with him, before he headed back to Europe- where his rock star stage shows are in high demand!
What convinced you to star in this Lifetime movie?
DH: It all came together rather organically. Lifetime has always been a special place to me because of a picture I did for CBS which was rerun on Lifetime called “One True Love”. Ratings went through and the film was an opportunity for people to see me play a real character. So working on the “Christmas Consultant” was a chance for me to get back in touch with that audience--and the decision to do so was truly a no-brainer. I love the Lifetime audience and I think this character, while he's kind of corny, is also really cute and funny and one kids will relate to as well. I like doing it all - the live performances, TV and yes even the crazy toilet humor-- but I truly loved working on this movie because it was a chance for me to get back to my acting roots and play a real character, which is my first love.
Do you watch Lifetime?
DH: I've been out of the country doing my live shows in Europe, Germany, Austria touring with an “Evening with David Hasselhoff” but since I've been back, and especially since doing this film, I've been watching Lifetime and I have to say that I love that its programming is so diversified. I'm also pretty excited about being able to kick off their “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” block of 50 movies --- because growing up my favorite movie was “It's a Wonderful Life”.
Of course we have to ask after playing the quintessential Christmas decorator in this film - are you actually big into Christmas decorating in your personal life?
DH: We deck our house out every Christmas. I have a big colonial estate with a Christmas tree covered with lights and when my kids were younger, we even hired a real Santa Claus. I couldn't believe he drove up in a Volkswagen - and I still remember my kids looking for his sleigh on our roof. I love Christmas.
Ok- what my kids really want to know is when are you making another film with “SpongeBob”?
DH: My agent didn't even know who SpongeBob was! I wish they'd make another one - everywhere I go kids recognize me from SpongeBob. I love being able to keep current with kids. In fact, I was being considered for another role for Lifetime which wasn't as family friendly- and I'm really glad they chose to cast me in the “Christmas Consultant” instead. It gave me the opportunity to create this totally crazy and over-the-top character. I am also truly honored that our film is the one kicking off the holiday season!
Tell us more about your work with kids.
DH: For the past couple of years I've been working with a charity called Wheels for Humanity where we refurbish wheelchairs for kids in Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Mexico. We also fit kids who have lost legs to mines and illnesses with wheelchairs - some of whom had never even seen wheel chairs. I also just did an appearance at a school in Wales where I had a chance to talk to some kids who are living in a tough neighborhood and going through rough home situations. They all know me from the SpongeBob movie and I think that helped me win them over for 40 minutes. I'll never forget when we were filming “Knight Rider” - during the first week of filming the show, we had a child named Randy visit from the Make a Wish Foundation. Before Randy passed away he wrote me a letter saying, "Your cast taught me there's more to life than pain" and his letter has always inspired me to continue to help wherever and whenever I can. And if being on SpongeBob helps me connect with the kids I'm grateful for it. This life I've been given is a gift.
What was the best piece of parenting advice you have ever gotten and one you'd give to other single dads?
DH: Be honest with your kids and they in turn will be honest with you. They won’t be afraid to tell you when you're screwing up and vice versa. I've also learned that we can't stop kids from growing up - but we can teach them consequences. We can try and lead them in a specific direction- but we can't stop them from taking their own paths. As a dad I have tried to let my kids know that I will be there for them, but I also let them know that they need to create their own lives. And remember to give them a big hugs - sometimes we forget this. In fact, my daughter is constantly coming over to give ME hugs.
Have your kids seen this movie?
DH: Yes, I left them copies on their pillows before I headed out!
So what's next for "The Hoff"?
DH: Right now we're in talks to do “David Hasselhoff: The Musical” on Broadway-- we did it in Edinborough and it got great reviews; we're thinking of calling it from: Baywatch to Broadway to Berlin. If you want to know what's happening with me- follow me on Twitter!