Hometown girl Hope Dworaczyk to star in "Celebrity Apprentice"


Jan. 25, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 25, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.

No matter where she goes or who she meets, it's inevitable. People will try pretty much anything to avoid trying to pronounce Hope Dworaczyk's last name.

"A lot of people don't want to say it. They'll say, 'Oh, you're Hope, right?' or 'Can I just call you Hope?'" said the 25-year-old model from Port Lavaca. "I've had fights with managers and agents who wanted to change it. But having a different last name never felt like me. I'm really happy I kept it. It's so different. It's a name that I don't share with anyone else in Hollywood."

Soon, however, Dworaczyk (pronounced Der-ah-sic) will have many more people recognizing her and trying to avoid pronouncing her last name. The 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Year was selected to be on the new season of "Celebrity Apprentice," which premieres March 6 on NBC. She stars alongside a bevy of other celebrities, such as actresses Lisa Rinna and Marlee Matlin, model Niki Taylor, singer Dionne Warwick, rapper Lil Jon, actor Gary Busey, former baseball player Jose Canseco, and former teen idol David Cassidy.

"I was really, really excited to work with the people on the show. I'd watched it before, but never pictured myself actually going on it," she said. "It's just really exciting, but also, the hardest I've ever worked in my life."

Dworaczyk was actually hand-picked to be on the show by non other than Donald Trump himself, she added. The two had met at a fashion show several years earlier and would occasionally run into each other at other events.

"When the producers called me about the show, I asked them how they came about picking me. They told me Donald had actually written my name down on a piece of paper and said, 'Let's get this girl.' It's really exciting, obviously. I mean, he's Donald Trump. And he can pronounce my last name, which is really cool," she laughed.

Although she's been busy filming the show, that hasn't slowed down Dworaczyk, who has been modeling and doing runway shows for years. She's currently working out a deal to become the face of a major cosmetic campaign, which she can't talk about publicly yet, and designing jewelry and handbags for charity. In fact, charity plays a big role in Dworaczyk's life, who played for the non-profit Best Buddies organization on "Celebrity Apprentice." The organization is a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities and friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"I picked it because I went to a fundraiser for Best Buddies shortly after I got the call to be on show, and I just fell in love with the kids. It puts children with disabilities in an environment where they are with kids their own age, doing activities that other kids their age are doing because that's what they want to be doing," she added. "That weekend of the fundraiser, the kids were so, so happy and since no one on the show had ever played for that organization before, I decided I would."

As for what's next for Dworaczyk, she's hoping to break into acting, she said. Currently, she is working with an acting coach and spends her downtime reading scripts.

"As a model, you work for a certain amount of time. When you're 35, you don't get the same jobs as you did when you were 25. I'm a realist when it comes to that. You have to expand your brand," she said. "I'd love to do comedies. I like the funny route and don't take myself too seriously."

In the meantime, Dworaczyk said she's just happy that her family and everyone in her hometown will be able to watch her on "Celebrity Apprentice," since her busy schedule doesn't allow her to come home to visit Port Lavaca as much as she'd like.

"I love that everyone can watch this, especially my family. I'm very close with them," she said. "I also get letters from girls in Port Lavaca telling me how they want to be a model, too, which is so cool. I'm really happy everyone will be able to see this."



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