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‘Baywatch’ Stars Discuss Love-Hate Relationship With Series in New Doc

The original Baywatch went off the air 25 years ago, yet it maintains a cultural presence that eclipses many other defunct TV series.

There was a brief spin-off and a panned movie (more of a spoof than a theatrical remake) and, just recently, talk of a reboot. But no ancillary project has ever matched the influence of the original: an infinitely exportable ode to a Southern California that never really existed, populated by a frequently recycled cast of hard-bodied actors. So, it’s finally getting a documentary.

With participation from many former cast members, including the franchise face Pamela Anderson, After Baywatch: Moment in the Sun arrives on Aug. 28 on Hulu. Many of the stars, including Traci Bingham and Erika Eleniak but not Anderson, appeared Wednesday afternoon in Pasadena to promote the project to TV press.

Seasons three and four star Nicole Eggert, known from Charles in Charge, is the only cast member credited as a producer on the project. She explained that her original attempts to get the project off the ground kept steering toward a reality show about Baywatch alums, something she wasn’t interested in. It was fellow producer and eventual director Matthew Felker who guided her toward a documentary. “My first call was to David Hasselhoff,” she recalled. “Once he agreed, I just said, ‘Let’s roll with it. Let’s go.’”

Those gathered on stage shared different takes on their time on the show, which was known for bringing in and letting go of actors frequently. Original star Billy Warlock, in a clip from the documentary shown before the panel, acknowledged this by saying, “everybody was disposable.”

Traci Bingham, the lone Black actress, spoke warmly about her time on the show and her casting. “It was considered an all-white show, and, at one point, I think producers realized that everyone goes to the beach,” she said. “I had excellent care with my hair and makeup. I was treated with great care. It was a dream job.”

Fellow later-season addition Carmen Electra used her time on stage to discuss the learning curve of transitioning from an MTV personality to an actress overnight. “I had a make-out scene and I didn’t realize you didn’t have to really kiss,” she said, turning to co-star David Chokachi, with whom she shared the scene. “I just went in and tongued him down. Do you remember that?” (Chokachi nodded in agreement.)

But it was Nicole Eggert who seemed to best articulate the odd specifics of the fame that came with Baywatch.

“I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the show,” she said. “It’s been an evolution, and I appreciate it and I’m proud of it, but I really want people to see who we all really are. I see a lot of articles where there’s a picture of me, at 19 and in a swimsuit, next to me at 52 at the market. And it’s like, ‘What happened to her?’ Let’s talk about that. Everybody [here] has a story.”

After Baywatch: Moment in the Sun premieres on Hulu on Aug. 28.

Source: Hollywood Reporter