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

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed by Interior Health at Rutland Senior Secondary Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed at Rutland Senior Secondary

Interior Health lists possible exposure dates as Nov. 23-25, 27

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of Kelowna social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders nothing short of ‘complete depravity’

(City of West Kelowna)
Large West Kelowna housing development back on the table

Council considering rezoning to accommodate 184 housing units, project hopes for ~933 by completion

Kelowna videographer Noah van der Eerden details why he thinks Kelowna is the best city in his video. (Noah van der Eerden - YouTube)
Videographer shows off Kelowna’s beautiful sights in heartfelt video

Noah van der Eerden moved to Kelowna from Vancouver two years ago

Children wait using physical distancing after getting their pictures taken at picture day at St. Barnabas Catholic School during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Update: COVID-19 cases confirmed at more Kelowna schools

Interior Health announced a case has been confirmed at Chute Lake Elementary

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Courtesy of the World Health Organization
UBCO researchers interview caregivers for rural adults’ mental health concern

The researchers are looking for participants who live or have relatives in rural communities

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that's ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov | AFP)
WEB POLL: Will you take a vaccine for COVID-19?

Doses are expected to arrive in the new year

Travis Hirlaka, Vernon
PHOTOS: Sunrise paints Okanagan skies

Residents in the Okanagan captured stunning shots of a colourful start to Saturday

Staff and students at Vernon’s Fulton Secondary School were evacuated due to an electrical short that sent one person to hospital Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Vernon high school evacuated, one person injured by electrical short

Incident at Clarence Fulton Secondary forced brief evacuation Friday afternoon

Two Canadian petitions are asking to have elected officials removed from office. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process

Online petitions from third-party sources have taken aim at elected officials in Canada

Chinook salmon spawning in the Fraser River near Tete Jeune Cache. ((Shane Kalyn photo, property of the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance)
North-Okanagan Shuswap MP petitions government to reform salmon management

Mel Arnold tables petition to allow more angler access to non-threatened Fraser River chinook salmon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shuswap Cider Company has applied for a licence that would accommodate a cider manufacturing facility, a tasting room and patio/lounge area at Westgate Market in Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Cider manufacturing facilty, tasting room and patio proposed for Salmon Arm

Council asked to raise a virtual glass to a licence for a cidery and amenities in Westgate Mall

Most Read