- (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Leonardo DiCaprio has enjoyed a long and successful career: he started out on various TV series and quickly became a popular name in the entertainment business. There was one role he didn't get, though, and a could-have-been costar now says it's the best thing that never happened to him.
"I saw Leonardo DiCaprio," David Hasselhoff of "Baywatch" fame told Movieline's Jen Yamato, "and I said, 'You know what, that was the best thing that ever happened to you!'"
Even though DiCaprio tried out for the role of Hobie, Hasselhoff's son on "Baywatch," he lost the role to Jeremy Jackson. The series ran for 10 years, and helped cement Hasselhoff as a household name, though it received much criticism and was often parodied by comedy series.
DiCaprio went on to guest star on "Growing Pains" with Kirk Cameron before gaining international fame on James Cameron's "Titanic." It's a fact not lost on Hasselhoff.
"You would have never gotten 'Titanic' and have been this big star," he told DiCaprio. "You'd be like Jeremy Jackson and David Hasselhoff, looking for work."
While DiCaprio's career and fame have risen since his TV days, Jackson and Hasselhoff- along with their other "Baywatch" costars- have had a rough time gaining serious roles. Jackson appeared on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," receiving treatment for steroid addiction. Hasselhofff had a cameo in "The SpongeBob Squarepants" movie, making fun of himself in the kid-friendly flick.
It has also emerged that DiCaprio was the original choice to play the Riddler in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," which opens later this month.
"Obviously it's gonna be The Riddler, and we want it to be Leonardo DiCaprio," writer David Goyer told his bosses at Warner Brothers in 2008. Later, the villains in the film were apparently changed to Bane and Catwoman.
It's not clear why DiCaprio did not end up in the role, but Nolan's adaptation of the Dark Knight series has been incredibly popular with fans. DiCaprio next appears in "The Great Gatsby," which will open on December 25.