After a disastrous and humiliating turn on Celebrity Apprentice in 2011, former Partridge Family star David Cassidy has gone from first fired to recently hired. But is his new role on the Feb. 27 episode of CBS' CSI — he plays a desperate plastic surgery-obsessed has-been — another slap in the face? The former teen heartthrob, now 62, doesn't see it that way.
TV Guide Magazine: Why'd you take this role, David?
They came to me. It's something I've never done on television. Specifically the prosthetics I'd never worked with before. They've become so refined.
TV Guide Magazine: Who do you play?
He's a very sad, down man after being one of the great world poker players many years before. I've met a lot of really sad gamblers like this, always trying to go after their past glories. My character is someone who became a sleazy womanizer who is kind of losing it. They added a prosthesis on my forehead to create the effect of an actual medical procedure called poker-face, which is when they cut the muscles in your forehead. When my eyebrows go up, they don't move. There's actually a lot of this going on in Vegas. He's had some other procedures done which required major prosthetics that I will not give away to protect the story.
TV Guide Magazine: Since we're talking plastic surgery, is it ok to ask what you've had done?
I had the fat below my eyes removed in 1979 and have done nothing else. It was a hereditary thing. My grandfather had, like, luggage under his eyes.
TV Guide Magazine: How have you avoided becoming addicted to the knife?
Because I don't care about it and a lot of people tell me I look great. Trying to recapture your youth is sad and ridiculous to me. I feel sorry for people who aren't happy with themselves, as I am. I haven't done anything other than dying my hair, which I have done since my twenties. If I allowed my hair to go white I'd look like I was in my 80s.
TV Guide Magazine: Is there anything disturbing about the role?
There was an extensive amount of blood I had to work with in an elevator scene. I had to do it repeatedly, which meant showering off the blood after each take. The blood that they use now is realistic and sticky as hell. You shall see.
TV Guide Magazine: Now that some time has passed, do you feel your participation in Celebrity Apprentice accomplished what you'd hoped it would?
It did in many ways. But as I was getting up at four in the morning in November in New York City, I quickly realized that this was not my dream job. I am a team player who did the best I could, but these were not my kind of people. The people who were there were all about themselves. I don't belong on a game show because I want other people to be happy and win. I made no money for my charity [the Alzheimer's Association] but still felt incredibly relieved that I was the first kicked off. It came down to me and Richard Hatch from Survivor, who ended up going back to prison for lying and cheating.
TV Guide Magazine: What else is coming up for you?
I've been working with the Alzheimer's Association. My mother [actress Evelyn Ward, 89] just recently passed on Dec. 23. She had been in 24-hour nursing care with severe dementia for the past seven years. So I'm doing a show that's going to air this spring on Lifetime where I'm auctioning off a lot of my costumes from my big shows to raise money for Alzheimer's — including the original maroon velvet jumpsuit we all wore in the Partridge Family pilot that's been in the Smithsonian for decades. And I'm going to start touring this spring and summer with David Cassidy Presents the World's Greatest Teen Idols. We have Micky Dolenz from the Monkeys and Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits on the bill. Our first show is in Westbury, New York right outside Long Island. I'm finally comfortable again with who I was and have appreciation for those who still care about me, Micky and Peter. It's going to be so much fun working with them.