When Jennifer Wallen’s husband auditioned at a Scottsdale casting call last year for NBC’s fourth season of "The Apprentice," the 31-year-old mother of two never expected she also would be called in for a follow-up interview.
"My husband took a photo of us to the open casting call, and off of that, they saw my picture and said, ‘Who’s that?’ ’’ says the tall brunette. "Jeff’s like, ‘Oh, if you don’t pick me, my wife would be a shoo-in. She runs the business. She runs the household. She’s the brains behind the operation.’
‘‘Not only did they call my husband back for a second interview, but they said, ‘Tell your wife we want to meet her, too.’ ’’
Although Wallen’s husband didn’t make the cut, Jennifer, who owns real estate company Hot Realty as well as Off the Hook Sushi & Martini Bar in Anthem, soon was packing her bags and preparing to meet ‘‘The Donald.’’
"I wasn’t really intimidated,’’ she says of Trump. "I was more intrigued. I was hoping for the opportunity to be able to meet him. There were like a billion questions that I wanted to ask him.
‘‘He’s such an intriguing person. He’s the king of real estate, and that’s my main business, so I was really looking forward and hoping to meet him.’’
Wallen, who is sworn to secrecy about the show, treads carefully when discussing her experience. She says she can’t divulge a lot. A publicrelations person even stands by her side during interviews, just in case Wallen starts to spill anything even remotely revealing.
When asked why she thinks she was asked to join the cast, Wallen credits diversity in her businesses.
"I think they liked all aspects of my business background,’’ she says. "I’m successful, young and I’m balancing being married, a mother and my own business. And I’m not just in real estate. I’m involved with the restaurant. . . . They saw that I was not afraid to take risks.’’