What's in a name? Well, a lot actually, if it's the same name as an international star. CBS' new reality show 'Same Name' (premieres Sun., July 24, 9PM ET) connects some regular people with familiar monikers with the celebs they share a name with. Celebs like Kathy Griffin, Reggie Bush and Mike Tyson will all meet their nominal dopplegangers this season.
But first up: Actor, singer and all-around Hoff-tastic name-dropper David Hasselhoff gets to meet and swap lives with David Haseloff Jr, an electrical technician and landscaper from Lake Jackson, Texas. (No, they aren't spelled exactly the same way, but that's pretty damn close.)
I caught up with The Hoff this morning while he was on the set shooting something fun at the 'Big Brother' house to promote the show. He opened up about throwing his name twin to the wolves, making him join him on stage at a concert in Germany, and finding out that they're really not that different.
He also gave some more details on his 'Sons of Anarchy' guest spot this season. We know he's playing a former porn star, but he also told us what his dirty nickname is, and that he gets to torture Tom Arnold (who plays porn producer Caruso on the show), which was "a lot of fun."
So what other shows would Hasselhoff like to guest star on? Paging a certain long-running medical drama! We might've just found you a new McDreamy ...
Hello! Know you're busy today, so thanks for taking the time.
Hey there! Yeah, if I'm chomping on a burrito, I'm sorry ... I gotta go do something on 'Big Brother' right after this. I don't really know what's going on [on 'Big Brother'] to be honest. It's one of those shows I thought I'd never be on, but it's super high-rated and our whole gag is a prelude, a contest to figure out who this guy is that has the same name, which'll make for a nice little promo for our show. It'll also give me a chance to see David Haseloff again. I was flying in from Madrid last night, and he already texted me: "It's David Haseloff Jr! L.A. can't shake me!"
You've turned him Hollywood!
[Laughs] He's a cool guy. He's got a real big heart, but he's also a smart guy. I saw him out one night playing me, while I was playing him ... TMZ was after him, and they were asking him some pretty intrusive questions. He looked over at my bodyguard and gave him a little nod and he got him out of there.
That's the crazy thing about the show -- you're not just meeting someone with the same name, but you all actually swapped lives for a while.
Yeah, we swapped everything. [Laughs] I threw him to the wolves! I did a concert in Germany, we walked through 9,000 people and I came on singing, "I've been looking for freedom!" He was dressed just like me, and somebody brought him on stage and I said, "Here's another David Haseloff -- want you to meet my soul brother, even though he's not my brother, he's my brother in name. And he wants to sing a song [laughs] ... he's from Lake Jackson, and he wants to sing 'Country Roads.'" And he couldn't open his mouth! [Laughs]
Did you all bond at all?
We became pretty fast friends, and we've been texting each other occasionally. I have a new girlfriend, so he'll ask "How's the new girlfriend?" and I ask about his baby boy. One of the nicest things was Candy, his mother, when we left she said, "Well we don't care about this show anymore -- we just want to hang out with David Hasselhoff!" And he felt the same way about my dad. He moved into my house and met my dad and said, "I want to learn more about the Hasselhoff genealogy." We're from two different worlds that are really the same -- just different environment, different size house, different size travel, same problems, same family issues.
There's comedy in a celebrity going to live a "normal" life, but did you learn a larger lesson?
You know I'm so grateful right now and humble for what's happening in my life. I've never had a problem with ever taking this job for granted. With 'Knight Rider' being canceled and sitting around going, "Now what do I do?" and being able to go over to Austria and create a music career until 'Baywatch' came along ... I just kept going and working really hard, and that's basically what he does. I said, "Why do you do it?" And he said, "It's for my family." I don't spend money on myself. I have a nice car, but I don't own it, I lease it. My money goes to my kids, my money goes to making sure they're OK and getting them in acting and singing classes, because they're following in my footsteps, and taking care of my father, because he's by himself now. We all have the same issues, it's just a different world. The values are the same.
You do have to work hard to get a call like you did from Kurt Sutter to play a former porn star on 'Sons of Anarchy'!
I know! Are you kidding me? That was one of the greatest days of my life, playing a former porn star! From 'Knight Rider' to porn star, baby! [Laughs] It went really well, too -- I had a blast.
What more can you tell us about your character?
Everybody's kind of laidback and so heavy. I'm supposed to be a guy who's very well-endowed ... they call me "Big Co*k" ... so I enjoyed kind of coming in and getting a little heavy with the 'Anarchy' guys. At the end it was an amazing experience because a lot of them had grown up watching 'Knight Rider,' and they were as thankful for me coming there as I was to be there. I had a bunch of episodes sent to me, and Katey Sagal is in it, and I went to college with her ... she is a dear friend of mine. I said, "I know what the part it, but I don't even know how big it is, but let's just go and have some fun."
Do you get to ride with the SAMCRO guys or carry a gun?
No, but I got to torture Tom Arnold, which was a lot of fun. [Laughs] Hopefully I'll get asked back. I think they were already talking about bringing the character back ... it's kind of a natural because they were in the porn business in the beginning.
You're sort of everywhere lately ...
I'm kind of at a point right now where things are just rolling in the right direction. I just keep walking the path and staying healthy ... God's opened a lot of doors for me, and especially my daughters, and 'Same Name is ... you know, just get your handkerchiefs out, because it's pretty emotional.
Are there any other shows you'd like to guest star on?
Of course I'd love to be on 'Grey's Anatomy.' [Laughs] When we were having some rough times, my daughters and I, we would go in and have a marathon of 'Grey's Anatomy.' I'd love to come in there, more than anything, to be on 'Grey's Anatomy. 'Sons of Anarchy' was pretty cool too, playing a porn king -- I liked that!
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