NEW YORK – Discovery’s “Gold Rush” is coming back for its sixth season. The show’s star Todd Hoffman spoke with FOX411 about commitment to family and faith over fame, and how he wants to prevent his son from becoming like Miley Cyrus.
FOX411: You’re back for your sixth season. Last season you were on the brink of bankruptcy. People were worried you weren’t going to survive the season and here you are. How did you get it back? What’s the status?
Todd Hoffman: Yeah, yeah. We just worked really hard. I think we did really good. I think we got 1350 ounces probably like $1.6 million in gold we dug up. But the key is that we were established for this year so coming in this year we weren’t always working from behind, setting up camp so this is a great season. I got my son Hunter with me this year. My dad is back of course, my whole team, all my guys…Dozier Dave and all the guys so we’re just hitting on all cylinders. So, I, me personally I don’t know what really goes on in the minds of Parker, Tony, and the Dredge. So as far as us man we’re coming out of the shoots hard.
FOX411: Do you ever worry when you’re that close to losing it all; do you think you should have a backup plan?
Hoffman: You know, I always worry. If you look at two years, I had hair in this region. Now I don’t.
FOX411: It all goes back to you with facial hair. It’s really a big thing.
Hoffman: More than just worrying about my company is I worry about my family. My main thing is am I being a good dad? Am I being a good husband? And these are things I care about so I worry about those things as well as I look at all the bill piling up and I’m just like, you know, so I basically I’m pretty easy going. I can handle a lot of stress but the family issues are what really, really, you know, makes me nervous.
FOX411: Your son, Hunter, is on the show this season. He’s 16 years old and as you told me he looks like Justin Bieber and he’s going to be getting some attention. You are on reality TV even though it’s based on your livelihood. What are you fears?
Hoffman: One word: Cyrus. Look at that whole situation. I mean when you put kids on TV they’re going to get noticed and fame, and so I, I had a talk with him. I said, “Here’s the deal.” I said, “People are going to look at you. They’re going to see you; they’re going to recognize you. Listen, it’s all BS. This isn’t real. What’s real is your freaking family. What’s real is your faith in God. These are real, ok? We really dig gold out of the ground, yeah. ou’re really going to work your ass off, ok? These are real things, ok? he TV and you getting recognized and being a star, or whatever, that’s not real. And so when you start thinking that that’s real, you got a problem and that’s not what’s gonna happen so you can be on TV but I’m not pushing you to be on TV.”
FOX411: hat happens if you see it going to his head at all; are you going to pull him out of the show?
Hoffman: You know, yeah.
FOX411: You would?
Hoffman: Damn right. I’m not gonna…I quit. This makes Discovery Channel scary. We’re the top show in the history of the company, right? OK? nd I created the show from Sandy, Oregon. OK? I’m not an LA TV guy, right? So, you know, I told him as long as it doesn’t affect my family in a negative way I will keep doing “Gold Rush” and keep kicking ass but when it starts affecting in our faith and our family boom I’m done. And, and that’s just the way it is.
FOX411: So, it wouldn’t be hard for you to walk away? The fame is fleeting? You could care less?
Hoffman: It’s not. It’s not hard to walk away if you truly believe those things. Now if you’re full of crap and this is lip service and you want to be on TV still, then you’ll stay and you’ll let your family go down the pot, and I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna let… I mean my wife is over here. We’ve been married for what twenty-something years. Honey, 20 years? Twenty years she says.
FOX411: And it’s not the gold or the beard keeping her around, it’s that good heart of yours.
Hoffman: Yeah, you know, it’s my good looks. I mean, come on.
FOX411: Obviously. I didn’t want to comment. Your wife is standing right there.
Hoffman: You know it. You can feel it. You can feel the aura.
FOX411: Such a good looking man and modest. Very, very modest.
Hoffman: It’s all about being humble.
FOX411: It’s funny you say it’s all about being humble but it’s been your ego that some, some, I’m being careful how I word this, that gets in your way of doing your job. What do you say to those critics?
Hoffman: You know, I don’t know. I mean when I went to the jungle I got stomped pretty good. I lost everything. We’d come out of there with two ounces. This is worldwide television watching Todd get demoralized, watching me lose money, watching me get told off by people and I mean it was like basically punishment. It was just punishment so I don’t believe I have a big ego, and you know everybody does, and I think I always need to keep in check, and if you were to ask all my guys, guys that work for me and line all the guys that work for Parker and say, “Would you do that again?” Every single one of my guys said they would do it again. I don’t know about Parker’s but I can tell you what mine would say, “You know what I’d fight with you back to back in anytime in a trench, in a jungle, anything.”
FOX411: You have your men’s’ back. You protect them.
Hoffman: I really do, just like you. I really do. Just like you probably do with all these cameramen. Someone ran in there attacked one of your camera guys you would probably take your makeup kit and boom!
FOX411: Yup, I’m ready to go. I’m a lethal weapon of protection for my crew.
Hoffman: Yes, you are. Yes you are.
FOX411: You and Parker go head to head a lot, and kind of spar. Is it difficult because he’s so much younger than you to…
Hoffman: It’s difficult to not choke him.
FOX411: Yeah, he’s a complex person.
Hoffman: OK. here you go. He’s got, you know, I don’t know what goes on in his mind. I know I finished the season with the same guys I started with. Ok? And that speaks volumes. You know I heard he fired a lot of guys. I picked up one kid that he fired you’ll see it early on in the show. But at the end of the day it’s about treating people right. I mean I really believe that you know you could get all the gold in the world and then lose your soul and then you know I say your soul is how you treat people. So I don’t know. Me personally, I just have a different philosophy, and I hope this year he does better.
FOX411: Well, you’re a good example.
Hoffman: I don’t know. He probably doesn’t like me. You know and then you’ve got Tony Beets, and he’s got a whole other philosophy of life, so we’re all complex, so together, this show has blown up worldwide.
"Gold Rush" airs Friday on Discovery.