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.

The Canadian Press

CoronavirusDonald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Cashion, left, the first baby born at Shuswap Lake General Hospital in 2021, is already taking to his older brother Liam. (Submitted)
Newcomers to Shuswap welcome Salmon Arm hospital’s first baby of 2021

The Cashion family’s newest son Benjamin was born on Jan. 8.

Maggie Rodwell and Peter Molnar begin their trek at 2020's Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet hosted by the Larch Hills Nordic Society. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, a more leisurely virtual event is planned for 2021. (File photo)
More leisurely event planned for 2021 iteration of popular Salmon Arm loppet

Virtual Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet allows skiers to enjoy loppet routes at own pace

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

(Photo: Pixabay)
Enderby chamber proposes new rural e-business training program

The program would help rural-area businesses expand using online tools and insights

Signs in Homer, Alaska, offer inspiration during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Michael Armstrong-Homer News)
COLUMN: COVID-19 pandemic hits home

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

Most Read