61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival: David Hasselhoff returns to TV in “Ze Network”
One of the highlights at the 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 20 was the press conference, followed by a fan meeting with David Hasselhoff who talked about his newest project “Ze Network” which had its premiere at the Festival the day before.
A straight-to-series order for Mediengruppe RTL’s SVOD platform TVNow, “Ze Network” sees David Hasselhoff (“Baywatch”, “Knight Rider”) playing himself as he travels to Germany to headline a stage production in what he believes is a major theater in East Berlin, only to discover it’s actually a small venue located “east of Berlin” — in the town of Görlitz. This immerses him into the center of an international conspiracy of former cold war assassins, while around him the fabric of reality seems to break down. “Ze Network” is produced by Christian Alvart’s Berlin-based Syrreal Entertainment.
"I played David Hasselhoff who didn’t understand what was going on. And I really didn’t. And that was also the case on set! So it was very easy for me to play 'What is going on, what is happening? Because it was very strange”, he commented at the beginning of the conference. The actor asked the journalists if they watched the premiere and if they liked it, saying that he was happy as long as viewers get to the end of season 1, and that hopefully there will be a season 2.
In “Ze Network”, Hasselhoff embodies a fictional version of himself who, tired of chaining cameos and turnips, flies to East Germany to play the lead role in the new play by a renowned director. Once there, the actor finds himself, in spite of himself, embroiled in an incredible plot involving a network of spies.
When asked about how he decided to do “Ze Network”, Hasselhoff explained that he watched “Dogs of Berlin” on TV and he liked it very much and he called his manager and said if they do the project in Israel, Honk Kong, Singapore or around the world, they won’t know the German actors but if they put him, they would know him and he had a vision to make a film, a series in Germany and the producer wanted to do a show with David Hasselhoff and his agent called him and he said two days ago I said we should get David Hasselhoff.
As far as the kind of projects that he has been offered lately, Hasselhoff commented that the latest one is a film which takes place in Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples. “It's a project that I really like. So I'm torn between the idea of playing a character completely different from me, or waiting for a second season of “Ze Network". He also said that Paramount+ is very keen on casting him in projects so he can wait for new projects.
Hasselhoff also commented that the perception of him from people is that of David Hasselhoff from “Baywatch” and “Knight Rider”, he gets it every day, every moment. They want to take a picture with him and he wants to change that, that he was an actor in both series and now he plays himself but it was very heavy, very funny; it is supposed to be a comedy but it is not, it is very heavy along the lines.
In terms of challenges and interesting moments on set, the actor shared that the director was crazy, saying things like “why aren’t we shooting” while shooting above when he was going up a ladder, shooting him from everywhere, noting that you are lucky if you get 20 set-ups but the director was doing 50 set-ups per day. He had no rehearsals but he played “David Hasselhoff” bewildered. He enjoyed working with Henry (Hübchen) but he had no idea what he was saying and did every expression he could so after that they can be edited.
Talking about the action scenes in the series, Hassselhoff said that prior to the shooting he had a knee surgery in Germany and he was in a lot of pain during the shooting, people will see him walking weird in the series. He commended the stuntmen for doing a great job. When shooting in Poland, Hasselhoff lived in a castle – the reason – his wife wanted a bathtub and they couldn’t find a bathtub in any hotel.
As far as interaction with the fans are concerned, the funniest moment for him was when a woman approached him and asked for a photo with him and he said “sure” but she didn’t have a camera.
The actor also talked about a documentary he did – “David Hasselhoff against the Berlin Wall” – on National Geographic.