The former US President, who at the time was the host of the US version of The Apprentice, made a cameo in the network’s musical advertisement alongside other NBC stars, including 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, The Office’s Steve Carell and Parenthood’s Lauren Graham.
On a recent episode of the Smartless podcast – hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes – Waititi, who directed the commercial, remembered that “there was a piece of paper with a list of [Trump’s] demands”.
“The height of the camera had to be a certain height to make him look a little thinner,” the New Zealand filmmaker and actor recounted.
“I think it had whatever the Pantone for orange was that he had to appear as on screen,” he joked. “He had a makeup person who was also his ego booster and she would touch him up and say, ‘Oh, Mr Trump, oh Mr Trump.’”
The promotional video featured the cast of all of the network’s hit shows at the time, singing “Brotherhood of Man” from the 1961 musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
For a split second, Trump appears on screen in a suit as he looks directly into the camera, points and says the word “you”.
Waititi has since gone on to helm the 2017 and 2022 Thor sequels. In 2020, he won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his war comedy, Jojo Rabbit.
Waititi can currently be seen in his new sports comedy Next Goal Wins, which is out in US cinemas now.
The film sees Michael Fassbender play Dutch-American football coach Thomas Rongen, who managed the national team for American Samoa, an infamously bad side that once lost 31-0 to Australia.
Following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, the movie has faced criticism for its handling of a storyline involving a transgender character.
One of the film’s subplots follows Jaiyah Saelua, the first transgender footballer to compete in a World Cup game. Played in the film by non-binary actor Kaimana, Saelua is a non-binary trans woman who is fa’afafine, a third gender recognised in Polynesian society.
While many reviews for Waititi’s film have praised Kaimana’s performance, many questioned the way her storyline was handled.
Next Goal Wins is released in the UK on 26 December.