The first girl cast in the new Baywatch movie is appropriately drop-dead gorgeous, about what you’d expect, but is there going to be more to this movie? First, the actress:
Technically, the first time I saw Alexandra Daddario was in the trailer for 2010’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, where she appears to be playing the Hermione to Logan Lerman’s Harry Potter. I have no clear recollection of that, though, and I’ve yet to see either of the Percy Jackson movies.
The introduction to Daddario I actually remember, though, is seeing her topless and riding Woody Harrelson into oblivion in a sex scene early on in the first season of True Detective. Looking at Daddario’s IMDB page, she had done plenty of other things before that, such as recurring roles on Parenthood and White Collar and a starring role in Texas Chainsaw 3D. However, I hadn’t seen any of those nor did I know that the girl playing Woody Harrelson’s much younger mistress once played the female lead in a YA fantasy film franchise.
The next time I saw Alexandra Daddario, beyond her fully clothed appearances throughout the rest of True Detective’s first season, was on New Girl, where she played one of the hot new female neighbors Damon Wayans, Jr. and Lamorne Morris fought over. At one point, Lamorne Morris’ character praised her “crazy witch eyes”:
That brings us to this year. Daddario plays The Rock’s daughter in San Andreas, which gratuitously introduces her to the audience wearing a bikini and sunbathing by a pool before her dad calls her cell phone.
THR published a review of the film written by a female seismologist, and after assessing the film’s scientific accuracy she snuck in some praise for Daddario, “Even better, a young woman — Blake Gaines (played by Alexandra Daddario) — not only saves herself and those with her because of that knowledge and competence; she even wins the heart of the boy, because she is competent. That’s a message I can applaud.” Many other critics expressed a similar level of gratitude, appreciating how hard the film tries to make Blake into something more than a Jerry Bruckheimer-esque “hot girl in tank top.” As the daughter of a rescue pilot, she is well-prepared for what to do in an emergency, and is the one teaching and ordering the boys around, rather than having them calm her trembling hand and leading her to safety.
That being said, she’s still in a tank top for almost the entire film, and it’s awfully tight.
I share all of this not to creep you out (although, I’ll admit, it does kind of sound like I’m perving out on Alexandra Daddario). It’s simply my long-winded way of explaining why Alexandra Daddario joining the cast of the Baywatch movie, as announced by The Rock on Instagram earlier today, seemed to confirm everything I thought about the movie & why I might be completely wrong about that.
In my limited experience with her, Daddario has been the type of actress who ends up in roles which actively comment on how hot she is, sometimes directly, such as a pre-teen attempting to embarrass his older brother by cutting to the chase and bluntly telling Blake in San Andreas “You’re insanely hot. That’s why my brother is struggling to talk to you.” That’s not to say there isn’t more to her character in San Andreas or that she is a bad actress. It’s just that she seems like the emerging sex symbol of the moment, defined solely by her looks. As such, she’s seemed like a slam dunk for Baywatch long before online rumors pegged her as being in the running for one of the roles. She’s actually been cast to play the character originated by Nicole Eggert on the show, and everyone’s really curious to see who lands the role of CJ (aka, Pamela Anderson’s character). Either way, Daddario will soon be running in slow motion in a bathing suit, likely becoming the Yasmine Bleeth to the modern day Chandler Bing. That’s about what I expected when I first heard they were making a Baywatch movie.
Before today, though, I didn’t know The Rock is going to be in this movie. I didn’t know Zac Efron has joined the cast nor did I know Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief, The Goldbergs) is attached to direct. They’re describing this as an R-rated comedy, and it sort of sounds like it will be a parody of the TV series. The plot synopsis has The Rock playing a “serious by-the-book lifeguard who is forced to team up with a young hothead (Efron) in order to save the beach from environmental destruction at the hands of an oil tycoon.” If played right, that could be 22 Jump Street-level fun.
Then again, The Rock told Entertainment Tonight, “The cool thing about this is we want to make a movie that’s big, fun, epic, and all the things that you want. We want to make sure that it has edge and badass action and dirty jokes.” Efron backed that sentiment, “I don’t think it’s going to be much like the old Baywatch to be honest. I think we’re going to kind of reinvent it in a big way, and [Johnson] has big plans for it. I know he’s very ambitious.”
Maybe this isn’t going to be the Baywatch parody I was beginning to suspect. Maybe I have no real idea what this movie is going to be, although even The Rock joked about the fundamentals, adding the hastags #CueSlowMotionRunningDownTheBeach #WhosPuttingTanningOilOnMyBack? to his Instagram announcement.
David Hasselhoff once said that during the run of Baywatch he was forced to remind the show’s writers, “Look, it’s stories & chicks, not chicks & stories.” Well, the Baywatch movie is going to inevitably have gorgeous women who look good in bathing suits. It’ll also have a shirtless Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. However, if they do this movie right it be could be, to use Hasselhoff’s crude terms, a great case of “jokes & chicks.”