David Hasselhoff wins role in new Edinburgh-set feature film after being spotted shopping in Boots
One of Scotland’s leading filmmakers has revealed how he handed David Hasselhoff a cameo role in his new movie – after he was spotted shopping in Boots the chemist in Edinburgh.
The Baywatch and Knight Rider star ended up being written into the script of Our Ladies, the long-awaited adaptation of Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, by director Michael Caton-Jones.
He features in a musical number in one of the highlights of the movie, which had its Scottish premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival this weekend.
The American actor initially turned down the offer of a role in the movie after he was approached by producer Laura Viederman while he was visiting Edinburgh for a guest appearance at a Comic Con convention, along with stars of Ghostbusters,The A-Team and Gremlins.
But he changed his mind overnight and agreed to turn up at the end of a day’s filming at a police station set created at the technology hub Codebase.
He shot his scene with three of the movie’s lead actors – Marli Siu, Rona Morison and Sally Messham – who did not believe Hasselhoff was in the film, which follows the exploits of a group of Highland teenagers on a day out in Edinburgh for a choir competition, until he walked on set.
Hasselhoff pops up in the film after being mentioned in an earlier scene when the girls are debating what it would like "to pump The Hoff."
Caton-Jones, whose previous films include Rob Roy, Memphis Belle and Scandal, spent more than 20 years trying to get an adaptation of Alan Warner's best-selling novel The Sopranos off the ground. He was turned down for funding in the UK from the likes of the BBC, the BFI and Channel 4, before finally securing back from film giants Sony in 2018.
The director, who was born Broxburn, in West Lothian, said: “We were filming in Edinburgh at the time. He was in town for the Comic Con event when Laura saw him.
"She just thought: ‘To hell with this, I’m going to ask him if he wants to be in the film.’ He said he wasn’t up for it, but she gave him a contact number.
"Apparently he woke up the next day, went to the gym, found the note, looked us up and found out we were real filmmakers. He turned up to Codebase, where we were filming, and sat him down for a couple of takes. He was such a good sport. The girls all loved him.
“I didn’t really know what to do with him at first. We put him in a scene and then I had to write him into the script. I was very keen to get the word ‘pump’ into the film.
"Only in Scotland could you understand what it means. We actually forgot that we’d filmed the scene, but decided to sneak it in as a little extra for the audience.”
Morison, who plays Chell, said: “Laura apparently just went up to him and said: ‘We’re doing this film and we’d love you to be in it.’ He was like: ‘Oh no, thank you very much, I’ve got a lot on’. But she said to him: ‘If you change your mind take my number.’
"He rang her the next day and said: ‘Actually, I do want to be in it.’ When he came on set it was so surreal. I was like: ‘What the **** is going on here?’ It’s maybe something to do with Baywatch, but everyone just seems to go a bit mental around him.
“Michael took the scene out originally, because David obviously looked very different in the 1990s, but then decided to put it back in. It’s just so funny to see him pop up in the film.”
Siu, who plays Kylah in the movie, said: “Rona, Sally and I were filming in the police station set and got told that David Hasselhoff would coming onto the set to film a scene.
"We genuinely thought it was a wind-up. One of the make-up girls told us that she was going to do his make-up and we still didn’t believe it.
“When he walked onto the set it was just unbelievable. We were positioned around him and had to start miming along to a song.
"Two days before we’d been standing in the water on the edge of a loch in the Highlands and now we were being filmed singing with David Hasselhoff. I remember turning around to Sally and saying: ‘What IS this movie?' It was so surreal and confusing, but so much fun.”
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