Last year, Disney joined the streaming world by introducing Disney+, offering not only our well-known favorites from the company’s extensive catalog but a whole new host of original content including movies, documentaries, and shows.
One of the first original Disney+ series is Diary of a Future President, which tells the origin story of future president Elena Canero-Reed from her diary she wrote when she was 12-years-old, which follows her journey to becoming a leader of tomorrow. While Future Tess has the stress of a country on her hand, current-day Tess is dealing with the stress of life as a middle-school student.
Playing the part of inspirational Elena is up-and-coming actress Tess Romero, who has already started to make a name for herself after landing roles in NBC drama Blindspot and Comedy Central’s Alternatino. The Brooklyn actress and avid Disney fan has been offered the chance of a lifetime — to star in her own show as this generation’s Disney Darling.
With the first season now streaming on Disney+ and the show rapidly gaining fans, we had the chance to sit down with Tess to discuss all things Disney and Diary of a Future president.
Hey Tess! You’re part of one of Disney+’s first original shows! How does it feel to be part of a big new project for the Disney empire?
I’m so excited and honored to be involved in one of the first original shows on the Disney+ platform! Disney has been such a force for so many years and it’s movies and tv shows are what tons of people grew up on. To be a part something this new and that has so much buzz is really cool.
Disney has been around for almost 100 years and has been a big part of many generations over time! What Disney/Disney channel show did you like most when you were growing up? How does it feel that you may be in someone’s favorite Disney show?
Some Disney shows I watched a lot growing up are Wizards of Waverly Place and Kickin’ It. I loved those shows so much and really looked up to the characters. It’s crazy to think that one day somebody may say that about Diary of a Future President! I’m so proud of the show and what it stands for and if people look up to it in that way, I would be thrilled beyond words!
With the demographics of America’s youth finally being reflected in a television program, you must be very proud to take part in it and have the ability to inspire an entire generation of young girls. How do you view your role on the show in that light and from that perspective?
There’s so much about the values and what‘s important about the show and Elena, the character I play, that is similar to my beliefs and what I find important. Elena is a confident, intelligent and strong character but is also going through middle school and trying to figure things out. That’s part of what makes her feel so real to me.
In episode 2 Elena finds out about her mom’s boyfriend and begins feeling like she is being replaced as things start to change among the family. Change can be hard for young people, What advice would you give on how to deal with change, especially big life changes?
Change can be rough, but it’s inevitable. Things are gonna change, so just try to enjoy the good while it’s happening and take a lot of pictures so you don’t forget anything. Maybe even keep a diary if that’s your thing lol.
As a lead on a show that seems geared towards inspiring young girls to follow their dreams, can you talk about an example of you following a dream of your own? Has any other member of the cast inspired you to do something you didn’t think you could?
It has been a dream of mine to act since I was about 4 years old. When I started acting professionally, I went to audition after audition for what felt like forever. For the roles I wanted the most, I never seemed to be exactly what they were looking for. After facing constant rejection for years, I started to think maybe I just wasn’t good enough. And then the producers of our show found me! Being able to work on this project is truly a dream come true!
Everyone in the cast is so supportive and inspiring. There was a party at the studio lot one day with a mechanical bull. I would have never tried to ride that thing, but Charlie (who plays Bobby) and Nathan (who plays Danny) encouraged me to do it. Big shout out to my homies for that!
In episode 3 Sasha convinces Elena that everyone has their own reason for being and so Elena becomes determined to find her thing. What is a good piece of advice you would like to give your audience on “finding their thing”?
It’s funny because after episode 3 came out, many people came up to me in a panic and said stuff like, “Tess, I haven’t found my raisin!” and I’d say “Umm.. did you miss the point of the episode? Gabi has a whole conversation with Elena about it.”. There’s no rush to find your purpose in life, especially when you’re young. Being a kid is the time to experiment and find out what kind of stuff makes you happy. My advice would be don’t stress too much. Just try out a bunch of stuff and eventually you will discover your thing.
We know that the character of Elena is going to be a huge inspiration to young viewers, but what are you hoping that the audience will take away from the other main characters?
I hope the audience can relate to Gabi. I think she’s definitely an inspiring woman – being a mother and a badass lawyer – but she’s still funny, and relatable, and not TOO perfect, and Selenis Leyva plays her so beautifully. Also, I love the relationship with her and Sam. I’m team Sabi all the way! Also, Bobby is definitely one of my favorite characters; he’s fun, chill, and a calming presence in the storm of Elena and Gabi’s neurotics. Charlie is hysterical in the role and Bobby’s storyline definitely gets exciting, so stay tuned for that!
We at The Honey POP and we love to focus on the sweetest things in life! Keeping in that theme, can you say something sweet about your castmates?
My castmates are some of my favorite people in the world! They are hilarious and always so much fun to be around. I can never stop smiling whenever I get to see them. I know actors say stuff like this all the time but I swear this is actually the truth. We are like a big family. Not to mention they are all insanely talented!
Thanks Tess! We’re loving the show and can’t wait to see what comes for you and Elena!
Diary of a Future President is streaming now on Disney+
Featured Image Source: Photo by Christopher Willard, Courtesy of Disney+ / edited by Andreea Farcas