Marlee Matlin, David Cassidy among stars fired up for 'Celebrity Apprentice'
Actors, singers and athletes again vie for the real estate tycoon's (and potential presidential candidate's) approval in a new round of "The Celebrity Apprentice," the 11th edition of Trump's
The latest contest -- taped last fall and premiering Sunday, March 6 -- involves rivals from singers
"I think it's the greatest assembly of people we've ever had," Trump says. "That's really because of the great success of the show. If you look at what's happened to the people we've had before, like
For every slot, we probably had five or six people," Trump claims. "You don't realize how many celebrities there are. Everybody wanted to be on."
Deaf Oscar winner Matlin ("Children of a Lesser God") says through her longtime interpreter, Jack Jason, that "the entire experience was something I didn't anticipate. I never had seen the show before, though I'd heard a lot about it. You sort of work outside your comfort zone, so it made me very curious. I learned a lot in a very short time. You get a taste of the business world you would never know as an actor.
"It was like being thrown into a fire feet first," Matlin adds. "Dealing with people was the easy part; it was the time factor that really proved to be challenging, getting everybody on the same page. Most people were terrified of the boardroom (where Trump decides weekly whom he'll tell, 'You're fired!'), but I always looked forward to it. I loved the debate, and I loved to watch how everyone interacted."
So did Cassidy, the singing-acting
"I felt that a lot of people on my ('Celebrity Apprentice') team were very enthusiastic," Cassidy reflects. "I had never done any reality TV, and the only caveat was that I am not a competitive person by nature. I just don't enjoy having to beat someone. I feel that's counterproductive to what I do."
While "The Celebrity Apprentice" is Cassidy's introduction to the genre, Matlin is no stranger to televised contests, having also competed in season six of
"I'm over it," she says. "These are two very different kinds of shows. My reason for doing 'Dancing' was that I wanted to show I could do something other than acting. It was fun, I got in good shape, and I wanted to prove to my kids that Mom could do something they would never expect. Meanwhile, this was all about business, branding and budgeting and those kinds of things. It was really interesting."