Ah, what could’ve been.
The original producers of Baywatch recently shared some very juicy on-set secrets – most notably that a young Leonardo DiCaprio almost won a starring role on the hit series.
DiCaprio was originally cast as David Hasselhoff’s son on the iconic '90s beach drama, producers Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. The future Oscar winner was just 15 years old when he auditioned for the role, and while he gave a great performance – as if he ever did anything less – it was Hasselhoff who nixed him for the part.
“We actually had DiCaprio ready to be cast,” Berk said. "But David thought he was too old to play his son.“
"David thought it would make him look older,” Schwartz added. “He had a lot of concerns of that type.” Instead, 9-year-old Jeremy Jackson got the part, and DiCaprio went on to star in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, nabbing his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
But while DiCaprio being passed up for Baywatch seems to have worked out for the best, Hasselhoff also wanted another actor to get the boot – Pamela Anderson.
“David said, 'I don’t want a girl that’s been in Playboy,’” Berk said of Hasselhoff’s reasoning. “He said, 'Children watch this show.’” But Schwartz revealed he thought the actor had different concerns. “She had these enormous breasts, and David thought he would be upstaged by everyone looking at her breasts. Which is what happened.”
Regardless of a little competition between Hasselhoff and Anderson, both will be returning for the upcoming Baywatch movie.
While neither will be reprising the roles that made them famous – Dwayne Johnson will be playing Mitch Buchannon, while Kelly Rohrbach will be taking on the role of C.J. Parker – it appears they’ve already had some fun on set.
“A pleasure to welcome (as gorgeous as ever) Pamela Anderson to our #BAYWATCH cast,” Johnson posted to Twitter in April. “We couldn’t have made this movie without you. Welcome home. Thrilled you had a blast with us!”
Maybe DiCaprio will surprise us with a cameo of his own when the reboot hits theaters next year.
But back to what could’ve been – DiCaprio has racked up quite the list of roles he almost played: Robin in 1995’s Batman Forever, Spider-Man (in the 2002 film), and Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. Find out why the Oscar winner said “no” to Star Wars in the video below.