'Celebrity Apprentice': Stephen Baldwin on His Firing and Final Remarks in the Limo
The actor-director also reveals to THR what he wishes he'd done differently and who he's hoping wins.
Stephen Baldwin became the latest firee on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday night in a close task between the two teams.
The groups were charged with creating a 60-second silent film that incorporated black-and-white and color to promote Australian Gold product line, which includes sunscreen, bronzer and aloe.
It was a close call for the winner, with the Trace Adkins-led team winning over Gary Busey's group basically because the latter didn't incorporate a group shot of all the products.
In the end, Baldwin -- who directed the video -- took the fall for the team, with Donald Trump deciding he was most at fault for the oversight (that, and Trump took issue with the fact that Baldwin had previously called Busey an "amazing" project manager and later appeared to backtrack on that statement).
On Monday, Baldwin talked to The Hollywood Reporter about whether he was unfairly fired, what he thinks of Busey and Penn Jillette and whether his comments about Trump in the limo were serious.
The Hollywood Reporter: Were you surprised it was you whom Trump fired?
Stephen Baldwin: In this season of Celebrity Apprentice, you can never be sure at all with each boardroom what the outcome is going to be. You can seemingly be totally squeaky clean and innocent, and Donald will just point that finger at you. You never know what to expect. Certainly within the episode that aired last night, and what all had transpired, there was no way in heck I thought I was going to get fired when it came down to the wire between me and Gary Busey. Boy was I wrong.
THR: Do you think you were unfairly fired?
Baldwin: In the world of Apprentice, there's no such thing as fair when it comes to battle. He's the man, and for whatever reason, if he gets a bug up his butt and decides he's firing your ass, there's not a whole lot you can do.
THR: What do you make of Gary Busey?
Baldwin: He hit his head after falling off a motorcycle years ago and had some kind of supernatural occurrence. He interacted with celestial beings and angels, and they spoke to him and gave him information and communicated in such a way that he now gets to be Gary in that quirky kind of kooky way that nobody can really understand what it's about.
THR: Apart from featuring the entire range of products in the video, would you have done anything differently with the commercial if given the chance?
Baldwin: Obviously knowing what I know now, that is one thing I would have done differently. The funny thing is, early on in the task, it didn't make the final cut, but we attempted to make that work. But we didn't want to do it the way the other team did, pop it on a rack and force it to the front of the camera shots and make it look cheesy. We thought it would be better, in the shooting and creating and editing of the commercial, to focus on just one or two products and allow the branding to be something that was more the star of the whole thing, that that would be good enough. That coupled with, I think specific to that task, I probably wouldn't have been so aggressive in my directorial, let's call it, pushiness.
THR: Do you regret taking on the role of director?
Baldwin: I don't regret that at all. It's been a great learning curve as far as interacting with people in that way. I'm getting ready to direct my first movie in a couple months, and I hope to be far more diplomatic. [The movie is a Western titled Riding Destiny that centers on an extreme-sports surfer-stuntman who returns home to fix his broken cowboy family. Baldwin also has a role in the movie along with his brother William.]
THR: You had pretty harsh words for Donald Trump in your limo interview. [Baldwin said that his advice to the remaining contestants would be "to be like Mr. Trump. Be willing to absolutely disregard your morals and your character in order to be successful."] Were you joking?
Baldwin: I was serious at that time, with the intention of being heightenedly sarcastic. But for the most part, it's right after you get fired, so I was pretty pissed off.
THR: Omarosa told THR after her firing that she thought you were the only person besides herself who was playing a strategic game. Is that fair?
Baldwin: I think Omarosa knows better than anybody perhaps how Mr. Trump thinks, what his likes and dislikes are. She related to me in that regard, where I was really full steam ahead trying to aggressively position myself in the game playing as best I could because I know behind the scenes leading up to each boardroom, the producers are giving information to Trump on who did what and how. If I ever have a chance to do it again, I'd probably have to go the other way. It seems to be working for Penn Jillette.
THR: Would you go on Celebrity Apprentice again if asked?
Baldwin: I would absolutely love it. I went on a second time for the chance to play for my mom's breast cancer foundation.
THR: Your mom also provided a pretty adorable moment in a previous episode when she spoke about her crush on Donald Trump.
Baldwin: I actually got a little nervous about that whole thing. I don't need my mother, who is in her 80s, being in competition with Melania [Trump's wife].
THR: Apart from your movie, what else are you working on right now?
Baldwin: I have a movie coming out in September that I acted in called I'm in Love With a Church Girl, which co-stars Ja Rule. It's going to be a really fun, interesting [drama] that hits a lot of theaters. The other cool thing is I'm kind of the ambassador for a new app that just came out called Divinely. It's basically the Christian Instagram, a photo-sharing app for people of the Christian faith. They can share photos but also have the ability to add Bible verses and create prayer circles. It launched about two weeks ago, and in the last [several days] it's been averaging 1,500 people a day signing up.
THR: At this point, who are you pulling for to win Celebrity Apprentice?
Baldwin: I gotta go with my good buddy … Trace Adkins. He's an incredible competitor, and I think the only [previous] runner-up on the show. He's going to be tough to beat.
All-Star Celebrity Apprentice airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on NBC.
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