Anthony Scaramucci is quite possibly the last person viewers expected to see on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test. After all, in the public eye, he’s defined by the ten days he spent as White House Communications Director. Yet he’s taken on a simulated Special Forces selection program, and lasted longer than candidates younger than him. Whether or not he makes it to the end, he’s certainly accomplished something.
Before the next new episode—which features more difficult challenges including being set on fire—I spoke to Anthony to discuss throwing himself into a crucible (physically and otherwise), and what it was like for him to step into the reality TV world after being in the political arena. Get to know Anthony in Part 1 of our interview, and then come back tomorrow for Part 2!
Brittany Frederick: You’ve discussed your reasons for appearing on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test during the show. Do you think that you got what you wanted out of the show?
Anthony Scaramucci: I got a lot out of it because for me—and I think this is the message of this show—you can push yourself to do more. You can push yourself to fight through your fear. You can push yourself to be more. If you’re afraid of heights, you can combat your [fear of] heights. If you’re afraid to get drowned in a car, you can figure out a way to control your fear and get yourself out of a car.
[In] the upcoming episode, they set us all on fire. When they were lighting me on fire I was like, “Oh, man, I’ve been fired before, but this is a new type of firing.” I ran out of the house after I said that. (laughs) You have to keep your sense of humor and you have to hang in there. So I learned a lot. I met a lot of good friends.
BF: Was there anyone that you particularly learned from? Or anyone who you didn’t expect to bond with?
AS: There’s some very high quality people on that show. Whether it was Hannah [Brown], Kenya [Moore], Carli [Lloyd]—I consider all of them friends. Mike [Piazza] and I were very close. We were close before the show and just happened to be coincidentally cast on the show together. We knew each other prior to the show.
I consider those guys close personal friends at this point. If you go through something traumatic and stressful like that with a group of people, you become pretty bonded to them, even if it’s just five or six, seven, eight days.
BF: Most people know you from the period you spent as White House Communications Director in the Trump Administration. Do you feel that Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test is giving people a broader view of who Anthony Scaramucci is?
AS: Not really. I think that it’s impossible. Unfortunately, when you go into the media or you go into politics, you get characterized. Obviously, you have adversaries in politics, so there’s an attempt to demonize you or two-dimensionalize you. Danny [Amendola] and I were talking about it—if you’re good enough to play in the NFL and they give you a helmet and a uniform, you’re going to get a concussion. If you go into American politics, somebody is going to concuss your public image. Somebody is going to try to distort who you are as a person. I’m okay with that.
One of the DS had me laughing. He was like, I thought you were some Wall Street entitled chump. I didn’t realize you grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood and you were ready to go through the cinder block wall. I said well, that’s what we do. We stereotype. We archetype. We characterize people. It’s natural for people to do that. I’m not upset about that, and I’m not surprised about that.
The one thing was they cut [down] those interviews. I think somebody said on Twitter I was bragging about my law school education and my Wall Street career. I honestly don’t remember doing that. But if you have a 25-minute interview, you could bring up your schooling if someone asked you. It sounded like I was blowing smoke about myself. Wasn’t trying to do that. You go on reality television, you have to accept that they’re going to cut it any which way they want. They need certain archetypes to make the show work. They need certain drama and so forth. I’m cool with all of it.
BF: What’s the reaction you’ve gotten from people who do know you personally? Were they surprised that you signed up for something so challenging and very much out of your comfort zone?
AS: [From] my buddies that are contemporaries of mine, I’ve gotten great feedback. Like hey, man, that’s pretty cool that somebody at our age was willing to go out there and test that track, so to speak. But then I have younger people saying to me hey, get out of the way for Carli Lloyd. You’re not moving fast enough for her. (laughs)
I think one of the reasons why people like these shows [is] there’s a lot of vicarious thoughts going on. You’re like wow, could I do that? Carli Lloyd did that—well, wait a minute, she’s an Olympic athlete. Well, there’s the Pillsbury Doughboy, Anthony Scaramucci. He’s 58 years old. He’s out there hustling. Maybe I can do it too.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on FOX. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of my interview with Anthony Scaramucci.
Article content is (c)2020-2023 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr and on Instagram at @BFTVGram.