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Hasselhoff: DiCaprio's failed 'Baywatch' audition for the best

May 31, 2012 at 7:26 PM ET

Israel Leal / AP /
Leonardo DiCaprio auditioned for "Baywatch" to no avail.

If Jeremy Jackson hadn't come along, Leonardo DiCaprio could have frolicked on the beach alongside Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, and Yasmine Bleeth. In an interview with Movieline, former "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff reveals the "Great Gatsby" star auditioned to play his son Hobie on the longrunning soap--but was ultimately beat out for the role by Jackson, 31.

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"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.'"

Had DiCaprio, 37, landed the role, he would have joined the ranks of A-listers like Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, who both appeared on the show before they hit it big.

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During her stint on the show, Jeremy Jackson enjoyed a brief on-set romance with Williams. (The "My Week With Marilyn" star was 12 at the time.)

"We messed around," he told Howard Stern in 2011. "She was kind of like my first crush, puppy dog love."

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Kunis appeared on the drama in 1995, and says even at the age of 12, she had a hard time believing her character.

"I played a blind girl who's lost in the forest next to the beach and needs to be saved. It was absurd," Kunis told W magazine last year. "There's a fire, I get saved, and then I go boogie-boarding. I remember thinking, Well, if I'm blind, how am I boogie-boarding? No one ever gave me an answer."

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