NEW YORK — David Hasselhoff still feels a connection with the younger generation, even though his popular TV series "Baywatch" has been off the air for more than a decade.
"When Justin Bieber comes up and goes, 'Hoff!' and then Selena Gomez says, 'It's so weird he loves you,' it's great. It just means that you're hip and it's cool," the 60-year-old actor said in a recent interview.
"Baywatch" aired from 1989 to 2000. Hasselhoff also starred in the TV series "Knight Rider," which aired from 1982 to 1986.
To stay part of the conversation, Hasselhoff keeps busy and is always working. He stars in a Lifetime movie "The Christmas Consultant," opposite Caroline Rhea, that airs Saturday (8 p.m. EST). He will tweet backstage for MTV at Sunday's European Music Awards and play Captain Hook in a Peter Pan pantomime in December in Manchester, England.
Hasselhoff talks about his various projects, his famous name and his hopes for a retro "Knight Rider" movie.
AP: Would you ever want to do a full-time TV series again?
Hasselhoff: It depends what the series would be. I've been approached by some dear friends who run "The Office" and "Ugly Betty" about doing a sitcom, being a part of an ensemble. I'd love to do that. I'd love to bring back more than anything kind of like "Murder She Wrote," or there's a great show in the U.K. called "Lovejoy," or "Hart to Hart." Some shows that have got some fun, (a) little tongue-and-cheek like Cary Grant, and play my age but still know that secretly (the character) is livin' hard, livin' fast and lovin' it because that's kind of where I'm at in my life.
AP: You can act, sing, perform on the stage and judge talent competitions. Why do you like variety?
Hasselhoff: I embrace everything. All I want to do is be onstage. A performer needs to perform. You need to work. I think that's why I've lasted so long. I grew up watching "The Carol Burnett Show." ... People are now beginning to see that I do variety. I do sing. I did do Broadway and the West End.
AP: I'm sure you get a ton of offers. What do you say "no" to?
Hasselhoff: I say "no" to things that I can't laugh with where they're laughing at me and they're trying to do something that is a little bit over-the-edge. ... If you don't respect me you're not gonna get that respect back.
AP: Does it ever amaze you how your last name is so popular?
Hasselhoff: I think God has a sense of humor because they wanted me to change it. ... I was going to change it one time to David Michaels, but then I found out there was already a David Michaels. I took so much heat for the name Hasselhoff growing up, I'm gonna keep this name because I was proud of my parents. It's kind of pathetic because Hasselhoff has turned into The Hoff and The Hoff is keeping Hasselhoff out of work but The Hoff's paying the bills so I welcome The Hoff.
AP: There's a "Knight Rider" movie in development. What can you say about it?
Hasselhoff: If you make the "Knight Rider" movie and you don't make it retro and you don't appeal to all the people that love the show, that grew up with it. ... If you don't, it's not gonna be "Knight Rider." It will probably be a hit because "Knight Rider" is a great title but it won't be "Knight Rider." ... It's in the hands of a company and hopefully I'll meet with them and we'll see what direction it's going in.
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