Canadian ‘Billionaire Donald’ rooting for Trump to win again, COVID to lose

Donald Trump impersonator Donald Rosso who also goes by “Billionaire Donald,” poses with fans at a 2019 Trump rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Donald Rosso/Facebook MANDATORY CREDIT
Donald Trump impersonator Donald Rosso who also goes by “Billionaire Donald” says business has been slow ever since COVID-19 shut down US-Canada border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Donald Rosso/Facebook MANDATORY CREDIT

It takes Donald Rosso four minutes to turn into Donald Trump.

The 63-year-old from London, Ont., is one of several people around the world who work as impersonators of the United States president.

Rosso says his features are so similar to the real deal, he hardly puts in any effort.

“It’s terrific,” says Rosso, who goes by the stage name Billionaire Donald.

Eleven years younger than the actual Trump, Rosso says he’s just an inch shorter and weighs about the same — 240 pounds. And although his hair is thicker, his natural blond mane can be easily made to look like Trump’s famous comb-over.

“My hands are just significantly bigger,” Rosso adds with a laugh.

About four years ago, Rosso sold some juice bars he owned in Canada and was living in Mexico with his wife when he got into a bad motorcycle accident.

He says when money began getting tight, he woke up one morning with one of the most magnificent, terrific and greatest ideas he has ever had.

“We hung up sheets in the bathroom, and I gave a camera to my wife and she started taking pictures and put them on this website.

“And I became Billionaire Donald.”

About a month later, Rosso got a call from New York to be in a parody movie of the 1988 hit “Big” starring Tom Hanks.

The movie was called “Yuge.”

From there, he says, his career took off.

He made an appearance in Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

And he has been all over the United States attending Trump rallies, Republican conventions and even a Valentine’s dinner in Detroit, where he met adult film actress Stormy Daniels just as she filed a lawsuit against Trump.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to take a picture with her because of those lawsuits.”

The lead-up to Tuesday’s U.S. election would have been even busier for Rosso had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of the Canada-U. S. border.

“My work is primarily in the United States, like 99 per cent,” Rosso says. “This virus has wiped me out.”

He says he has had to decline a lot of offers and is mostly attending events as Trump virtually.

“Honest to God, it’s very disappointing for me. I’ve worked the last three years for this year. I have turned down so many jobs and it breaks my heart.”

Rosso says there isn’t much work for him to pose as Trump in Canada, because Canadians don’t like the president as much as his followers in the U.S. do.

“I did a gig in Toronto, for example, but years ago. And I made people really angry. People in Toronto hate Trump.”

Rosso says he’s a Trump fan and would vote for him if he were an American citizen. He says he hopes Trump is re-elected and, once the border reopens, Rosso will be back in business.

“I like that I entertain people and I like that I get to stay at some pretty swanky hotels and eat at some swanky restaurants.”

“I’ve been in every kind of limousine in the world, and I get to travel.”

And unlike term limits on U.S. presidents, Rosso wants to keep impersonating Trump for as long as he can.

“One day, I’ll meet Mr. Trump, or even Trump Jr., and keep going. But it would be very, very helpful if this virus was to end.”

— By Fakiha Baig in Edmonton

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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