With a movie reboot starring Zac Efron and a musical coming out next year, the Baywatch blaze has been rekindled. Here are 5 fun facts about the iconic TV series:
1. David Hasselhoff was against the casting of Pamela Anderson
In an interview with the show’s producers, cousins Michael Berk and Douglas Schwart revealed that the Hoff didn’t want an ex-Playboy model on the show. “David thought he would be upstaged by everyone looking at her breasts. Which is what happened,” said Schwart.
It’s also worth nothing that ratings doubled after Anderson’s sex tape with Tommy Lee went public.
2. Leonardo Dicaprio was almost cast as Hobie
Although the producers were impressed with Leo’s audition to play the Hoff’s on-screen son, they felt that at 15, he was too old and cast Jeremy Jackson instead.
3. Michael Newman was a real lifeguard called Michael Newman.
Co-creator Greg Bonann cast Newman in a supporting role on the show doing stunts, instructing cast members on rescue protocol, and providing real rescue stories as inspiration for story plots.
Pro surfer Kelly Slater was also cast but he later asked to be written out of the show because it interfered with his surfing and he was sick of the ridiculous plotlines. “I’d be like, ‘What!? There’s an octopus that’s stealing surfboards and hiding them in a secret cove and I’m going to fight him in the next show? Who writes this sh-t?'” Slater told GQ.
4. Khal Drogo was a lifeguard on the show.
Jason Momoa may have swapped his jet ski for a Dothraki horse but he looks pretty darn good in both roles. At 19, Jason Momoa – who found fame as Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones – was the youngest life guard in the Baywatch squad, joining in 1999.
5. Hasselhoff took a gamble with his salary to ensure the show continued.
When American audiences took a while to warm to the show, Hasselhoff offered to cut his salary so that it could continue, giving him a greater share of profits when the show was a success.