Friday, March 9, 2012

George Takei and Tia Carrere Dish on Celebrity Apprentice

Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC 

Being a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice might seem glamorous. But whether a star is being judged for being to boisterous or too bland, no one gets through the show without being scrutinized. In a recent conference call interview competitors George Takei and Tia Carrere talked about the pressure of being in Donald Trump’s boardroom.   

In the first episode of the season American Chopper star Paul Teutel Sr., called the understated Takei “meek.” Mr. Trump rushed to his side and declared that the Star Trek actor was quiet but strong.

Tia agreed that a less aggressive personality can sometimes be misconstrued on Celebrity Apprentice. She remarked, “It's very apparent that people know how to play to the camera and get their voices heard; there are others of us that have a much more understated style. And unfortunately that sometimes gets mistaken for weakness or any sort of malleability.”

She continued, “So it's easy for them to marginalize. But [in episode two] Lisa [Lampanelli] was the project manager and she could do as she saw fit as is anyone's prerogative when they're project manager. So I didn't take it personally.” 

But she said she believes that everyone’s true character ultimately comes out on the show. She noted, “That's the best thing about Celebrity Apprentice… is that you inevitably get beyond the public persona and the façade that people project. And they get worn down and they get tired and they get grumpy and you really get to see to the core of people. And you see which people really aren't very nice and which people you think wow, ‘I thought they were so sweet or nice but whoa, they've got fangs.’ It's very, very interesting to see that front face drop.”

Fans shouldn’t expect to see a dark side emerge from Tia though. George chimed in, “Well you're the same person behind the façade as you in public. You're lovely you're obviously visually glamorous and you have a lovely soul.” To which Tia responded, “Ah George, I love you.”

But George conceded that the show isn’t about celebrities have a mutual admiration society. He admitted, “Mr. Trump throws a party but he also, as he's famous for, gets work out of you… with Mr. Trump it's learning new things, taking on new challenges, making discoveries, working as a team with people that are rugged individuals. And we're competing with another team but in essence it turns out we're competing with our teammates as well. So it was a very competitive and exciting and thrilling and ultimately fulfilling experience.”

Despite being eliminated from the show in episode three, George found a way to navigate the sometimes shark infested waters of Celebrity Apprentice during his brief run on the series. He revealed, “What you learn from working with a varied group of people like that is to always keep an open mind, to not read just the surface and get to know the person that you're with.”

As a result, he acknowledged the ultimate benefit of participating on the show. “You might find some great rewards as I did indeed, a lot of new friends."

Watch Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on NBC.

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