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

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

County
County of Paintearth meeting highlights

The second round of the County of Paintearth’s Land Use Bylaw public engagement survey is now complete

Across the province, there are 2,738 active cases of COVID-19, with 18,417 recovered cases. There have been 288 deaths from the virus in Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Red Deer has 564 of central zone’s 766 active COVID-19 cases

Government of Alberta identifies 328 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

Most Read