Before ‘Iron Man,’ Jon Favreau Once Worked With Donald Trump on ‘The Apprentice’

Before there was President Donald Trump, there was reality TV star Donald Trump. His show, The Apprenticefollowed the same format as most reality competition shows. Instead of cooking or designing clothes, contestants on The Apprentice competed to be Trump’s own apprentice, supposedly.

There were a lot of famous people who appeared on the show over it’s 15 year run. Plus, there was a celebrity version, where semi-famous stars competed for The Donald’s attention.

One person whose run on The Apprentice might surprise fans? Jon Favreau, now well known for his work on The Mandalorian and Iron Man

Jon Favreau was a guest judge on ‘The Apprentice’

According to BoomsBeat, In 2005, Favreau appeared as a guest judge alongside The Donald for one episode. The way he ended up there was kind of impressive. Favreau did a lot of hard work over his career, and was able to prove himself to big production companies like Sony.

While most fans know Favreau from his acting roles, he is also a screenwriter, director, and producer. He wrote the screenplay for Swingers in just two weeks, and then did all the necessary footwork to get the movie made. 

Of course, by that time he already had a working knowledge of the television and movie business. He had a breakout role in Rudy as the tutor of Sean Astin’s character in the 1993 hit.

He jumped to TV from there, and had spots on the most popular shows of the era, like Seinfeld, Chicago Hope, and Friends. But how did he go from a television actor to a guest judge on a business show like The Apprentice? 

Jon Favreau appeared on ‘The Apprentice’

RELATED: The ‘Sopranos’ Episode That Got Vincent Pastore a Part in a Jon Favreau Film

While acting was Favreau’s first passion, his writing and producing ability is what got him his guest judge spot on The Apprentice. After Swingers made it clear he has talents beyond just acting, he went on to write and direct some big hits for Sony. Among the most notable is Elfthe Christmas comedy movie starring Will Ferrell. Even though the film debuted in 2003, it is still a Christmas staple for many to this day. 

Favreau’s career was already on the upswing, but Elf sent things over the top. The movie was nominated for and won multiple awards, and Favreau’s directing was clearly a big factor in its success. In 2005, he was promoting another, lesser known film he directed for Sony, Zathura: A Space Adventure. 

On The Apprentice, contestants had to make a float to help promote the film. Favreau then helped Trump determine who had done the best work. 

How does Jon Favreau feel about his ‘Apprentice’ episode?

Executive producer/writer Jon Favreau
Executive producer/writer Jon Favreau | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Because of Trump’s political career, what was once just a reality TV show has taken on new meaning. The Apprentice is now seen in a new light, and there are some former contestants speaking out against Trump, says Vanity Fair.

Among them is Randal Pinkett, the first Black winner of The Apprentice. He and other contestants have come forward to condemn Trump’s ” sexism, xenophobia, racism, violence and hate.” But what about Favreau?

It doesn’t seem like Favreau has commented on his Apprentice tenure, but it’s hard to figure anything out about Favreau when it comes to Trump and politics. That’s because he shares his name with former Obama speechwriter and political commentator Jon Favreau.

Any search containing the words Jon Favreau and The Apprentice calls up a slew of tweets, interviews, and news articles about the other Favreau. Interestingly, White House Favreau has said he wants to move to Hollywood to be a screenwriter. Hollywood Favreau replied he would move to DC to “confuse the hell out of everyone.”