A crazy project! David Hasselhoff caused a sensation this Sunday at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival by presenting the world premiere of the new series of which he is the hero, Ze Network. In this German fiction created by Christian Alvart, the ex-star ofBaywatch portrays his own role in the style of Jean-Claude Van Damme in Jean Claude Van Johnson or the Beverly Hills team in Beverly Hills: BH90210. Welcome to a barred, enjoyable and hypermeta universe.
« Ziggy [Siegfried Kamml, le producteur] really wanted to work with David. He’s a huge star in Germany and that’s no joke. David saw my series Dogs of Berlin and wanted to do something with me. We met, and when I saw who he was, this idea germinated in my head”, says Christian Alvart, after the screening on the stage of the Grimaldi Forum.
A series inspired by David Hasselhoff
Two months later, the screenwriter pitched the concept of the series to David Hasselhoff: “David was a little scared, but he trusted me enough to accept. “I really had no idea what I had just gotten myself into. Christian just said to me, “Do it and give it your all.” and I did. The Hasselhoffs do what they have to do, be it Baywatch, K-2000 or an ad,” explains David Hasselhoff.
In the UFO Ze NetworkDavid Hasselhoff plays a fictional version of himself: “It’s not the truth, but I was inspired a lot by conversations with David”, underlines Christian Alvart, who also signs the staging.
Ze Network starts with a sequence where David Hasselhoff makes a cameo as David Hasselhoff in a series Z action movie. Next shot, David Hasselhoff complains to his agents that he is tired of making cameos in second-rate films .
A vertiginous mise en abyme meta
The David Hasselhoff of Ze Network is an aging actor struggling to find roles. To relaunch his career, he agrees to go and play in an avant-garde play, in what he believes to be a great theater in the former East Berlin, only to discover that it is made of a small room located “east of Berlin”, in Görlitz, a city of the former GDR. In this play, he co-stars with the German actor, born in the GDR, Henry Hübchen, who also plays himself.
In the fiction, the two actors met during the Cold War, when Henry Hübchen was working as a secret agent for the East German secret service. While rehearsals for the play are going well, David Hasselhoff will find himself in spite of himself caught in the heart of a plot, in which is involved a spy network created before the fall of the Wall. A bizarre story on paper that works surprisingly well on screen.
Especially since to make matters worse, we don’t know if the fictitious David Hasselhoff is hallucinating or if it’s really happening… “My character’s most important line is: ‘I’m losing my mind'”, laughs the real David Hasselhoff.
There is a bit of Ten percent in Ze Network as when the music of K-2000 sounds on the actor’s cell phone, but also gore and black humor as in The Boys. “She finally had brains,” exclaims the fictional David Hasselhoff as an influencer, who was to play a role in the play, explodes like a puzzle. “There is a bit of dark humor, but also very serious themes. I want the spectators to never be sure where I am taking them,” summarizes Christian Alvart.
As soon as he sets foot in Germany, we also have the impression that the fictitious David Hasselhoff finds himself in a delirious episode of The Fourth Dimension. “Christian made my character a bit confused and disoriented, but that’s also how I was during filming,” says David Hasselhoff.
A funny story of friendship
And for good reason, there were some communication problems with the other hero of ZeNetwork, Henry Hubchen. “David speaks English, I speak German. David doesn’t understand German, I don’t understand English well, my English is very bad. But we had a magician, Christian, who brought us together,” explains Henry Hübchen, visibly amused by this shoot. Lost in translation.
But that didn’t stop the two actors from getting along well. “David and Henry first met the day before the first day of filming in Poland at the restaurant. David said: “Hello, my name is David Hasselhoff. I don’t speak German, but I can sing in German” and he sang. Henry said: “Hello, my name is Henry Hübchen, I don’t speak English, but I can sing in Polish” and he sang and since then they have become the two best friends in the world without understanding each other”, says Siegfried Kamml, the producer of Ze Network.
Results ? After watching two episodes, Ze Network promises to be a funny series where David Hasselhoff shows a lot of self-mockery, incredible with its espionage part, but also very intriguing. “I wanted to do something different, but I didn’t think it would be so different. It’s a surprise even for me! “, concludes the real David Hasselhoff, who signs a very successful return to the small screen.