'Celebrity Apprentice's' Gary Busey on Being Fired and Misunderstood

Gary Busey
Adam Olszewski/NBC

The Oscar-nominated actor is one of the show's most memorable castmembers. In season four -- which was won by John Rich -- he and Jose Canseco got lost on the way to a challenge venue, then as project manager he spent part of another task playing baseball with the former professional player. He also found himself the target of Meat Loaf's ire during one challenge, but he later fell on the sword for his team, taking responsibility for loss that led to his being fired. His charity is the Busey Foundation for Children's Kawasaki Disease.

After weeks of entertaining viewers with his "Buseyisms" and being called a "mad genius" by his teammates, Gary Busey was fired on Sunday night's episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.

Donald Trump gave Busey the boot after the Oscar-winning actor lost as project manager in a task that called for the teams to create a 90-second promotional video for LG "smart technology" electronics. Busey made the decision to incorporate the idea of a "mechanical dog" in the spot (wherein he imitated a barking dog), which underwhelmed the LG exec, and clashed with his teammates Lisa Rinna and Penn Jillette, who didn't spark to the idea.

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On Monday, Busey talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what viewers didn't see and why he feels like he was misunderstood by his fellow competitors.

The Hollywood Reporter: Were you surprised that you were the person fired in this task?

Gary Busey: I did manage to create a mechanical dog, and Ivanka [Trump] and Donald raged on Penn and Lisa. They were so mad at them for abandoning me and leaving me alone and having to do it on my own. So I came out real good in the boardroom. But there is a big surprise coming up; don't lose the connection with Celebrity Apprentice until it's over [Busey declined to reveal more details]. It was a beautiful experience working with Donald. He's brilliant; his mind is focused on success and business. Whenever Donald is stressed it's because he's using his stress for success. I can't say enough good things about him.

THR: What started the drama with Penn and Lisa? Was there something more that viewers didn't see leading up to the boardroom confrontation?

Busey: They didn't put in the part about where Penn and Lisa loved the idea about the mechanical dog. Penn said it could create chaos out of comedy and come right back to the LG phone commercial. I said, OK. I mentioned it as a folly and not to put in the commercial. But it worked out very well, and in the end, I won in the boardroom. But I had to be let go because I was project manager, and the mechanical dog was not liked by the LG executives.

THR: Do you regret including the "dog"?

Busey: Not at all. I was misled betrayed by Penn Jillette and Lisa Rinna by them accepting it. Although they said in their private interviews that they didn't, they didn't tell me that. They didn't come to assist me. They weren't strong teammates and betrayed me. But I don't take it personally and I'm not upset with that because I love everyone on the planet.

THR: Have you talked with them since filming ended or made amends?

Busey: No, they have to make amends with me. I never did anything back to them. We'll all meet again May 19 in New York City for the finale.

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THR: Do you regret anything at all about anything that happened on the show?

Busey: Not at all. I was right on the money. I'm the one that's unpredictable and spontaneous and brought bright comedy and strong spiritualism, and you can't beat that.

THR: You definitely brought something unique to the show.

Busey: I expect ratings to go down next week.

THR: At the point you were fired, whom were you rooting for to win?

Busey: I can't tell you that because I'm under contract not to speak about the future. But the best is yet to come.

THR: Why did you return to Celebrity Apprentice?

Busey: I didn't have anything else to do. It was quite simple. I said, "Oh yeah, I'll do that." I love working with Donald Trump.

THR: Would you go back a third time if asked?

Busey: Of course.

THR: What do you enjoy most about taking part in the show?

Busey: The energy and the excitement. The unpredictability of the things you're going to be doing. I brought my love and intelligence into the show with the team, but sometimes that scared the team and so they were, "OK, we don't know what to do with Busey. He was born barking mad." Penn said, "Gary is barking mad." That's OK; Penn should know that because he was born barking mad.

THR: Do you think you were misunderstood?

Busey: Oh yeah, they were in fear of understanding me because they thought by understanding me it would cause them to lose ground. What they did was, when they didn't understand me, they lost ground naturally.

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THR: Can you explain where your "Buseyisms" come from? Do you think of them on the spot?

Busey: I am have been [coming up with them[ for years and I am putting a book together about them. We have a lot of interest from publishers who are looking at it now. It's very exciting. I take a word and letters that spell the word and create definitions. I'll give you some here: fun, that stands for "finally understanding nothing." And faith is "fantastic adventures in trusting him." Truth is "taking real understanding to heart" because truth lives in the heart and requires no questions. Fart is "feeling a rectal transmission." What's great about a mechanical dog is when it farts or poops, you can't smell it. You only have to oil it up every two days, put oil in the rivets and sockets. And you feed it little bitty nuts and bolts.

THR: Overall, what can you say about your experience on Celebrity Apprentice?

Busey: It was just a joy to be there and to be involved and spontaneous. It's fun. Spontaneity comes from an individual idea that is there before the creation begins.

THR: Is that your original quote?

Busey: Yes, and here's another one. A relationship is a "really exciting love affair turns into an overwhelming nightmare, sobriety hangs in peril." Romance is "relying on magnificent and necessary combative energy." You can find the "Buseyisms" at GaryBusey.com. But you can also give donations to the Busey Foundation for Children's Kawasaki Disease Education and Research there and at BuseyFoundation.org. My son had the disease two year ago, and he is well and doing fine now, and he's 3 years old. There is no lab test for this, but the symptoms are fever that lasts five to 10 days, the tongue looks strange, a rash, conjunctivitis. Your donation will be tax deductible.

THR: What else are you working on besides the book and your charity?

Busey: I'm learning how to stuff pantyhose into people's mouths and duct-tape their lips when they talk too much.

THR: I hope you're not talking about me. Good thing I don't wear pantyhose.

Busey: I'm glad you don't wear them; they make your legs swish.

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on NBC.