It's official; Baywatch, the movie set to take the summer of 2017 by storm, was slapped with an R-Rating. About.com tells us what that means: "This rating is given for strong and frequent language and violence, nudity for sexual purposes and drug abuse". We predict mega box office.
Back in the 1990s the original TV version was one of the most popular shows around. Tame, by movie standards, but there were still body parts aplenty. In fact, in Iceland a massive number of viewers complained because the subtitles were blocking certain female body parts. Well, with both the movie and the show, the plot is not the most important thing. It's those body parts. And look at the cast of the TV show and you find some pretty interesting stories. Think s*x tapes and raunchy exits from reality shows. Think more Playboy Playmates [models] than any other TV show in history. Consider a former Miss World and Bollywood star who's cast as the truly nastiest of villains. There's plenty going on in the background.
It's been fifteen years since Baywatch left TV screens. It ran, with the odd interruption, from 1989 through 2001. What's not to love? There's the Californian (and later Hawaiian) beaches. There are hot lifeguard babes in red bathing suits. Throw in a few sharks, the odd drowning man or woman, the occasional bust up, and the sight of Pam Anderson on a jet ski and you have got TV gold. Syndicated all over the world, the adventures of Mitch (David Hasselhoff), the luscious C.J. (Pamela Anderson), Mitch's son Hobie (Jeremy Jackson), and Newmie (Michael Newman) became an important part of the TV landscape. Some now major Hollywood A-Listers tried out for the show and didn't make the cut. It was bigger than big.
And now we have the movie. Pam Anderson and David Hasselhoff are in it. But the big draws are Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Mitch (the Hasselhoff role) and Kelly Rohrbach as C.J. (Pamela Anderson). Some say Kelly doesn't channel the Pam vibe. But then there is the totally buffed-up beyond recognition Zac Efron as lifeguard Matt Brody. Nice. Here are 15 things about Baywatch and its cast, old and new, that you didn't know.
15 Movie Slapped With R-Rating
Apparently, that's a good thing. According to Dwayne Johnson, who has worked hard on social media to promote the film, that was the intention all along. EW.com reported that he said: “Our goal with [Baywatch] is to bring y’all a big, fun, raunchy Rated R action comedy. But, we also go hardcore with our action rescues.” So, what do we make of hardcore action rescues? It used to be that movie makers avoided being slapped with an R-Rating. It cut down on the potential audience. No more. Big ticket movies like The Conjuring 2 embraced the buzz that the big "R" can generate. It's the same with Baywatch. Look for teasing trailers in the near future, and for some hot action when the movie comes out.
14 Baywatch Cast: S*x Tapes and Raunchy Exits From Reality TV
Funnily enough, the R-Rated movie stars are clean; it's the stars of the TV show who have gotten a fair amount of attention because of their s*x tapes and other exploits. Take Pam Anderson; she was once famously married to raunchy Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee. Why do beautiful women go for ugly rockers with too many tattoos? It didn't last, but pretty early on a s*x tape they had made emerged and made the rounds. Then there was the bizarre tale of Jeremy Jackson, who played Mitch's son Hobie, in the TV show, being blackmailed by thugs to hand over a tape he admitted made with adult star Sky Lopez. He was also kicked off reality show Celebrity Big Brother for grabbing a female star in an "inappropriate" place. Never mind the movie's R-Rating, the TV cast appears to have a XXX lifestyle. And we haven't even mentioned David Hasselhoff's embarrassing drunk video.
13 The One About Baywatch and the Playboy Playmates
Baywatch TV probably had more Playboy Playmates than any other TV show in history. Some, like Pam Anderson, were regulars. Others, like Jenny McCarthy, made one or two appearances. And they do look great in those red suits. There's Erika Eleniack, Brande Roderick, Pam Anderson, Carmen Electra, Gina Lee Nolin, and on and on. Remember we did say that it's not the scripts that sells the story, it's those body parts. There was even a documentary film Babes of Baywatch that came out in 1998. Don't look for a plot on IMDb. It's one hour of solid babes. Most of the girls in it had already graced the pages of Playboy. They can't act, but does it really matter?
12 The Rock Wanted to Punch Miss World
Never heard of Priyanka Chopra? Well, if you're Indian you will know all about the sultry Bollywood star. She's all over the media there. Tales of love, bust ups, her opinion on just about everything. She is also a former Miss World. And it's not hard to see why. We should add that she plays Victoria Leeds, the nastiest of villains in the film. She's a woman of substance and well thought of in the entertainment biz. The Quantico regular was given the honor of presenting an award at the Academy Awards in 2016. India.com referred to that honor and her Baywatch turn with great pride and enthusiasm, referring to her as "the sexy villain Victoria Leeds". Apparently there are hot shots of her all over Instagram.
11 The Search for the New C.J.
Let's face it. At 39-24-34, Pam Anderson is a hard act to follow. She was and is C.J. (that's for Casey Jean) in many minds. Rumors abounded as to which well endowed actress would play the role of C.J. According to IMDb, the rumor mill said Jessica Simpson had been considered. Glamour models Keeley Hazell and Kelly Bell were said to have an interest in playing C.J. Ditto Kelly Brook and model/actress Kate Upton. But it was Kelly Rohrbach who signed on the dotted line. Everyone that connected with the movie said they were delighted she was on board. Some say Kate Upton would have been better at channeling the Pam Anderson bad, sexy and dangerous vibe. Let's look at her qualifications: 38-26-37. Enough said. We know who we would have voted for.
10 Leonardo DiCaprio Tried Out For the TV Show
Leo tried out for the Baywatch TV show? Yep. As unlikely as it sounds. But he was beaten out by Jeremy Jackson. Had Jackson not come along, Leo could have well hit the beach alongside Hasselhoff and Pam Anderson. And he probably would have been on the show for much of the 90s. David Hasselhoff told US Magazine: "It was the best thing to happen to Leonardo DiCaprio," Hasselhoff says, laughing. "I saw Leonardo DiCaprio and I said, 'You know what, that was the best thing that ever happened to you! You would have never gotten Titanic and have been this big star. You'd be like Jeremy Jackson and David, looking for work.'" People forget that Leonardo was a regular on TV's Growing Pains. And if he had done Baywatch, then Titanic and all that followed probably would not have happened. We can't imagine Kate Winslet's character Rose with anyone else.
9 The One About Baywatch Movie Star and the Bill Cosby Scandal
Hannibal Buress is a stand-up comedian, actor and writer. He has said that comedy is about self-deprecation and so it's no surprise that he is quoted on IMDb as saying that he is "medium deal" in his Chicago hometown. The Neighbors and Daddy's Home star is also famous for having kicked off the current round of accusations against Bill Cosby. In October of 2014, he was recorded putting down the comedian for moralizing and criticizing young black men and saying: "You r*ped women". He encouraged everyone to Google the "r" word and Bill Cosby. It is no exaggeration to say that things went nuts after that. What some have described as a "media firestorm" erupted around Buress, Cosby, and his alleged victims. Reportedly, in the Baywatch film Buress plays one of the local guys. No word on the character he will play in the upcoming Spiderman: The Homecoming.
8 Locals Launch Anti-Baywatch Campaigns
A lot of local people got very excited when Savannah, Georgia locals rolled up to the film's extras casting call. But, there's a problem or two. What you get in a typical Baywatch film shoot is lots of beaches being overrun, a fair number of boat chases, and the odd screeching car tire. Quiet it is not. In the late 80s, the TV show planned to move filming to Australia because it would be cheaper than filming in the States. The natives were up in arms, saying the show would be bad news for the environment. Fast forward to 2016; part of the movie was shot in Savannah, Georgia. Much the same reaction came from locals who objected to large areas of beach being shut off for filming and the destructive effect of boat chase scenes being filmed in "No Wake" zones. But the film and its cast were a big hit with some locals. Apparently, the extras had a great time.
7 Baywatch TV World Records
It was syndicated in 148 countries and had 1.1 billion viewers per week. It was one of the most watched TV shows ever. Like Dallas in the 1980s, it was everywhere. David Hasselhoff, who played head lifeguard Mitch on the TV show, set two Guinness Book of World Records: he was the most watched actor in TV history and had done the highest reverse bungee jump. The jump has nothing to do with Baywatch, but it's interesting anyway. And, unofficially at least, the show probably had more Playboy Playmates per square foot than anywhere else on earth. And a final record for the TV show: it was the longest running TV show to never win an Emmy award. But with the sight of Pam Anderson bouncing down the beach or straddling a jet ski, who cares? And let's not forget the theme song "I'll Be There".
6 The Movie Has Raised the "F" Word
That's franchise. Baywatch aims to be funny and hot; and if they get it right, a franchise could well be born. There are so many ways to go with this one. Baywatch 2, Baywatch 3, and on and on. Merchandising of bathing suits and tees and the likes, are already going strong. Paramount has tried to reboot Baywatch for years. Getting The Rock, one of the highest grossing actors out there, on board indicates they are serious about the film's potential to generate a franchise. Then, there's director Seth Gordon (The Goldbergs) whose comedy credentials are first rate. There's also an A-List writing team. Another reason to assume sequels are in the offing: the May 19, 2017, release date for Baywatch was originally allocated by Paramount to the next film in the Terminator series. Paramount seems to be indicating that there will be many Baywatch films in our future. Terminator fans won't be happy.
5 Kelly Rohrbach vs. Pamela Anderson
C.J. Parker, is the gorgeous, leggy, built, and full of attitude beach babe. As we have said Pam Anderson is C.J. to many. Her C.J. was one of the TV show's most popular characters. And then came the movie. After rumors of perhaps casting Jessica Simpson or Kate Upton, model/actress Kelly Rohrbach got the nod. So, who is the better C.J.? First, acting skills. Let's face it, neither one of these girls is going to win an Oscar. So, it's probably even on that score. What about those running down the beach scenes? Well, that's a close one, but Pam seems to have a bouncier run, if you know what we mean. So another one for Pam. What about the legs? The girls are pretty even, with a slight edge to Pam. Now for attitude, looking sultry and bad: Pam wins hands down. Kelly is a nice girl, but way too girl next door alongside Ms. Anderson. Now for the numbers: Pam is 39-24-34 and Kelly is 35-25-36. We rest our case.
4 Choose Your Mitch: The Rock vs. The Hoff
As we have seen, David Hasselhoff as Mitch was one of the most watched TV characters ever. He was Hollywood handsome, with just a tad of boy next door about him. He is more matinee idol than hunk. Then there's The Rock's Mitch. Now, as much as we love Dwayne Johnson, he's no matinee idol. But what he does bring to the role is athleticism, a bod whose muscles have muscles, and a wicked sense of humor. No matter how many songs of praise we can sing for David Hasselhoff, he's just not a natural comedian. But The Rock? He is an okay actor and a natural funny man. Remember his star turn in The Tooth Fairy or his laugh out loud performance alongside Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence? Funniest line to the 5 feet 4 inch Hart: "You're like a snack-sized Denzel". No offence David, but we're going with The Rock on this one.
3 Zac Efron Went to Extreme Lengths to Get Ready for the Film
Remember that cute kid, the one in the Disney shows? Well, our boy is all grown up and beyond ripped, as shots of him on the set of Baywatch show. He has said that he didn't want to look tiny next to The Rock. And trust us, he doesn't. Apparently, he turned into a dedicated bodybuilder to get ready for the role. And the diet was just as strenuous. He admitted that it had taken a lot of hard work and he was not certain that he wanted to maintain it. He also joked that he wanted to take on the role of an "ageing rock star" so he could gain 30 pounds and lose muscle. Some sources say he used the old bodybuilder trick of not drinking water for 12 hours before a shirtless scene in order to make his muscles look as defined as possible.
2 Sandra Bullock, Neve Campbell, Alicia Silverstone and Paula Abdul Were Turned Down
Think back 25 years to a young Sandra Bullock. She was doing TV films like The Preppie Murder and playing Tess McGill in TV's Working Girl. IMDb reports that she tested for Baywatch TV but did not, at 34-24-34, have the right look. Neve Campbell also tested, but was turned down because the casting director thought she was too pale. Alicia Silverstone and buxom Denise Richards, were also auditioned but cast aside. As far as Sandra Bullock is concerned, the rejection led to better things. Think about an alternative universe where Sandra made the beach patrol and didn't star in her breakout role in 1994's Speed, as Annie the hero bus driver. Imagine a world without Miss Congeniality and The Blind Side. We really don't want to think about it.
1 The Rock Gets A Hot Love Interest
The Billions star plays curvy lifeguard Stephanie Holden, The Rock's love interest in the film. Was The Rock being egotistical when he Tweeted that the role was "coveted"? Maybe. But he went on to say that Stef had to be strong, intelligent, formidable, beautiful and funny. Hadera seems to be all that and more. E News said Hadera is a "bada** with a kind heart and a gorgeous face". This 30-something native New Yorker may well be set to be Hollywood's new obsession. Apparently, some of the clinch scenes in the movie are pretty sizzling. Is there something going on? Not reportedly. Hadera is happily engaged and The Rock is all loved up with very long term girlfriend Lauren Hashian. But they do look good together, we think.