Hollywood Exclusive: John Rich Won’t Rule Out Running for President
As "Celebrity Apprentice" finalist John Rich has been making the promotional rounds this week — for his new six-pack albums, "Rich Rocks" and "For the Kids" — he's been asked a lot about his feelings regarding Donald Trump's non-run for president.
So we asked him something different: How about John Rich for president?
"I wouldn't rule it out at some point in my life," says the multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter-producer. "But I wouldn't think anytime soon. That is such an immensely powerful and responsible position, I would have to educate myself on every level. But I could run — any American can run for president. And I do think people should discuss politics and debate it."
Debate is the main reason conservative-leaning Rich cites for his view that Trump's decision to stay out of the presidential race is something of a missed opportunity.
"I think he would be an interesting guy to hear debate if he'd have run. I'd have liked to have heard him go toe to toe with other people."
Rich has shown admirable tenacity, smarts and poise throughout the "Celebrity Apprentice" competition he's playing to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In fact, he and fellow finalist Marlee Matlin have shown exemplary behavior all down the line, unlike many of their fussin', feudin', freaking fellow contestants.
He admits Sunday night's (5/22) finale "is a little nerve-wracking — live TV with 20 million people watching." He reports that he's going to sing his "For the Kids" song from that same-titled album (proceeds from which are going to the charity) on the show.
"I'm going to sing that live, acoustically, and Marlee is going to sit next to me and sign the lyrics as I'm singing them. I think it's going to be a really powerful moment."
His "Rich Rocks" album contains "You Had Me From Hell No," a tune he recorded last year with his pal Lil Jon. At the time, neither he nor the hip-hop star with whom he's been friends for six years (they hit it off at an awards show) had any inkling they'd be doing "Celebrity Apprentice" together. They kept their friendship under wraps all season, figuring a secret alliance would be to their mutual benefit — which it was.
Rich says that when fans started clamoring for a collaboration between him and Lil Jon via his website and Twitter, he thought of "You Had Me From Hell No,' which was "just sitting in my stereo." He phoned Warner Records and said, "Let's let the world have access to it."
You know the company was happy about that call — just as St. Jude's was thrilled to learn Rich had put together a full six-pack album for the charity's benefit. Come Sunday, he'll find out whether the final quarter-million-dollar win will go to his charity or Matlin's, the Starkey Hearing Foundation. They're definitely both winners already.
VISUALLY STRIKING: Now that reports have Soulja Boy lined up to take on the role of rap icon Tupac Shakur in Antoine Fuqua's big-screen biopic, casting forces on the film are turning their attention to the question of who'll play Suge Knight. The role calls for an actor in his late 20s to early 30s, "6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4, 275 pounds — an enormous, menacing presence who is surprisingly soft-spoken." Shooting is now planned for mid- to late summer, in L.A. and Atlanta.
Casting is also under way for "a handsome albino man in his twenties or thirties" to play a guest star and recurring role in "An American Horror Story" for FX, starring Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange and Denis O'Hare. "An American Horror Story" is from "Glee" co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk and will be directed by Murphy.