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Marilu Henner on The Celebrity Apprentice

Published January 14, 2008 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
Marilu Henner Marilu Henner
Marilu Henner is not just an actor. She has her own line of best-selling health and diet books. With both businesses booming, appearing on The Celebrity Apprentice as a contestant might have been a risk, but as a self-help guru she saw the positive potential.

Marilu Henner an Apprentice

"I think everyone was going for their personal best," she said. "I thought, 'I want to see what it’s like to get out there, work as hard as I know that they have to work and see what happens.' I think every single person rose to the occasion and there was never any kind of down time so nobody could sit on their laurels even for a dinner or whatever. It was just go, go, go and I think everybody had the spirit and the thrill of the hunt inside of them, and it was great to see everybody in action that way."

Rock star Gene Simmons, athlete Lennix Lewis, and original Apprentice villain Omarosa are among the other celebrities on the show. "It was a great mix, too, because I think everybody brought something different. So the blend of characters and what everyone brought to the party is going to be a lot of fun for people to watch and nothing like anyone expects. I think also with some of the tasks coming up, you’re going to see people do something they’ve never done before, but because no one else wanted to do it, they step up to the plate and they go, 'Oh, I’ll try this, I’ll try this.'"

The Donald forces his prospective employees to keep long hours, which were aggravated by the TV schedule. "It was worse for the women because we had to go to hair and makeup. Sometimes we’d start the day at 4:00. The latest we started our day was at 6:00 and then we’d sometimes finish at midnight or 1:00 in the morning. You did everything on the run, every single day. We got one day off. What was incredible about this is that you either woke up with that, 'Oh, I love the smell of competition in the morning' or you didn’t. For those of us who did, we loved it."

Don't think the celebrities had it easy. In fact, the notion that they weren't really competing for a fulltime job only made them try harder. "I think also because we weren’t all vying for the same job and everyone was really out there representing themselves, I think that people could be competitive in a way that was very different. I think people were standing up for themselves more because nobody was having to make nice-nice or whatever. Because some of us knew others from the group, there’s a familiarity that helped us sort of cut to the chase. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly people get right in there and know how to get at each other."

The Celebrity Apprentice airs Thursdays on NBC.

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Fred Topel
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