Interview: Tia Carrere Talks "Celebrity Apprentice", Bad Behavior, And The Endurance Of "Wayne's World"

Interview: Tia Carrere Talks "Celebrity Apprentice", Bad Behavior, And The Endurance Of "Wayne's World"

Ex-squeeze us? Baking powder? In the event the multi-talented Hawaiian actress, model, and Grammy Award-winning vocalist didn't make nightly cameos in your dreams after her appearance in 1992's Wayne's World as Wayne Campbell's (Mike Myers) "magically babelicious" girlfriend Cassandra Wong, it's likely that renaissance woman Tia Carrere was just too busy showing off some of her range. Whether she was lending her voice to neoclassic Disney flicks and cartoons, chasing down lost artifacts as an ass-kicking professor on Relic Hunter, or dancing her way into the hearts of millions both in film and on ABC's Dancing With The Stars, Carrere has never left the game.

These days, however, there's a new role she'll be trying on for size: glorified intern. This Sunday, entrepreneur Donald Trump will be returning to NBC with his latest installment of the hit reality show Celebrity Apprentice, featuring a brand new collection of interestingly matched stars competing against one another for charity. Going head to head with Carrere will be Arsenio Hall, George Takei, Aubrey O'Day, Teresa Giudice, Adam Carolla, and Victoria Gotti, amongst others. So how did our girl fare? Read on to find out what the star had to say about reality TV, a possible Wayne's World resurrection, getting solicited in grocery stores, and more.

Interview by Lauren Otis (@LaurNado)

Did you go into Celebrity Apprentice having watched any reality shows religiously?
I think reality shows are honestly the furthest thing from reality. They’re so often skewed in different directions. While reality TV isn't exactly scripted, it’s certainly led by its nose and edited to present a certain view to the world. Dancing With The Stars was a little snippet of reality, but wow—Celebrity Apprentice was another level. You’re working so hard, with such long hours, and in such close quarters, that people’s real personalities come through. I think that’s what’s so interesting, seeing the psychology of people. It was really eye-opening. You see some wonderful things and some very disheartening things.

The show is interesting because you’ve got people that are real alpha dogs in their own world, with nobody ever really telling them what to do, but then they're put in a situation where they have to work outside of their comfort zone; it’s very interesting to see some of the diva behavior, breakdowns, and other stuff. I would say that Celebrity Apprentice is probably as close to reality as you can get.

You have a very eclectic cast this season. Speaking of real personalities coming out, how did everyone gel together?
The biggest revelation is that people's public personas are so different from their actual personalities once you wear them down. People you think are really tough turn out to be the complete opposite.

Was there anyone whose shows or projects you'd followed in the past? 
Well, Penn and Teller, I loved their show Bullshit, so I knew that Penn was freakishly smart. And Arsenio [Hall], I had done his show years ago when I was touting Rising Sun, and had seen him socially here and there over the years, so it was nice to see him on the show and get to know him better! And George Takei, of course! George Takei was the first Asian on the scene that I can remember! I was so happy to see him.

Did you find yourself getting secretly starstruck?
Not quite. If Al Pacino had been there, then maybe!

Well, we're sure everyone knew who you were.
Oh, I don’t know about that.

Of course they did! You're a legend.
Oh no! I’ve slipped over into legendary status!

No, that's a good thing.
It's actually cool to have been around long enough to meet these young college girls during appearances who say, "I'm majoring in archeology because of your show." I'm like, "Wow!"

Speaking of people fanning out, your cover of "Ballroom Blitz" is admittedly in pretty frequent rotation over here.
Oh my god! That’s hilarious. Thank you! The other version was like [in weird warbling voice], “There’s a mannnn at the back as a matter of faaaact”. It felt a little random with that kind of Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of sound... I actually think that Wayne’s World is like the Rocky Horror Picture Show of our time.

Really?
It’s got that kind of cultish feel. They should start midnight showings of Wayne’s World somewhere!

That would be awesome.
That would be so awesome! And people could dress up like the characters. Girls could get up in red dresses and go, “Oh, Wayne! You learned to say I look pretty in Cantonese!”

And would it be super interactive the way Rocky Horror used to be? With people shouting at the screen?
Exactly! “Little. Yellow. Different.”

Instead of rice, people can throw Pepsi products and Twizzlers at the screen.
Yes! Red vines! We’ve gotta do it, man! Let’s start midnight showings of Wayne’s World.

Tags: tia-carrere, celebrity-apprentice, waynes-world, arnold-schwarzenegger, mike-myers, grammy-awards, aubrey-oday, donald-trump
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