The Hoff also had concerns over casting Pamela Anderson in the lifeguard drama
A young Leonardo DiCaprio apparently missed out on a role on Baywatch because David Hasselhoff feared the teenage actor would make him look “older”.
According to Michael Berk, one of the show’s original producers, a 15-year-old DiCaprio was being lined up to play the son of Hasselhoff’s character Mitch Buchanan before The Hoff stepped in.
“We actually had DiCaprio ready to be cast,” Berk told The Hollywood Reporter. “But David thought he was too old to play his son. David thought it would make him look older. He had a lot of concerns of that type.” An actor significantly younger than DiCaprio, nine-year-old Jeremy Jackson, was subsequently cast as Mitch Buchanan’s son.
Berk also revealed that Hasselhoff, an executive producer on the show as well as its lead, initially objected to the casting of Pamela Anderson, who joined Baywatch for its second season.
Berk recalled: “David said, ‘I don’t want a girl that’s been in Playboy.’ He said, ‘Children watch this show.'”
However, Berk’s fellow original producer Douglas Schwartz suggested Hasselhoff may have had other reasons for being concerned by Anderson’s casting. “She had these enormous breasts, and David thought he would be upstaged by everyone looking at her breasts,” he said. “Which is what happened.”