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Charlie Bushnell – If I Were President…

Words + Interview By Tyrone Davis

Meet Charlie Bushnell. The young actor stars as Bobby Cañero-Reed in Disney+’s “Diary of a Future Present” and during this interview, he and I spoke about Netflix’s “Stranger Things” inspiring him to act, his experience working on Diary, what he likes to do for fun and what he would do if he were president.

You come from a family of entertainers. Explain that for us.
Yes I do! My dad is a musician…a bass player. His side of the family is super musical. My grandmother and aunt are singers and my grandfather is a drummer. My uncle, John Kavanagh is also a very accomplished actor.

Explain your inspiration from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”.
Watching season one of Stranger Things was what inspired my interest in acting. I clearly remember binge watching the whole season in one day and thinking, “Damn, I want to do that”. The idea of bringing a story to life seemed like so much fun. Stranger Things is definitely one of my favorite shows of all time. If there is ever an open role or something, hit me up, lol.

Season 4 is coming out soon. Are you looking forward to it? Also, who is your favorite character on the show?
Absolutely! I’m such a big fan of the show and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I don’t have one favorite character. If I had to choose, my top three would be Hopper, Steve and Dustin. Not in any particular order though.

How did you get your start in acting?
I had no idea that I wanted to be an actor until I was thirteen but I always loved entertaining my family and friends and making them laugh. That summer I went to an acting/film camp and that was it. I was all in. Later that year, I met my amazing manager and agents, started taking acting classes and auditioning. Getting the audition for Diary of a Future President was like hitting the jackpot!

Cool! Let’s talk about Disney+’s “Diary of a Future President” and your role as Bobby Cañero-Reed.
Diary… is a coming of age comedy/drama. It centers around the Cañero-Reeds, a Cuban-American family living in Miami. I play Bobby, older brother to Elena, the main protagonist. The show follows Elena through the trials of middle school and beyond to the White House. Bobby and Gabi (our mom) have their own storylines that deal with identity and growth. It is definitely a show that I think the whole family can enjoy together. It is very relatable.

How does your character progress during the series?
When you first meet Bobby, he appears to be a pretty chill guy, cruising through life. He is in 8th grade and thinks he is on top of the world but as the season progresses, you begin to realize that there are more layers to him. He starts to open up about his feelings regarding all the changes happening in his life.

What has it been like working with Gina Rodriguez?
I love Gina so much. She is one of the warmest, kindest and most talented people I have ever met. She directed the first episode and really helped set the tone for the rest of the season, which was just the best experience ever. She is incredibly generous and taught us so many things, not just about acting but also filmmaking in general.

What was the funniest moment on set and why?
There was never a dull moment on set and we were always having fun and making each other laugh but I think the scene in (Ep. 3) where Bobby and his friends put a bra on a pillow and are trying to figure out “Miami Second Base” was the most hilarious!

If you could be president, name 5 things that you would implement/change.
If I could be president, I would ban homework! Just kidding. Actually, I’m not kidding. Seriously, the first thing I would do is bring together a team of the smartest, most creative people to work together to solve our biggest issues. I would also work to bring more awareness to the global warming crisis. I would find a way to reduce the amount of food waste in the world by redirecting excess food to people who need it. Also, can we please bring back kindness?? Lastly, I would have school start at 10 AM every day.

Now being part of the Disney family, what are your “Top 5” Disney films?
1. Remember the Titans
2. Any of the Marvel/Avengers movies. If I had to pick one it would be Avengers: End Game.
3. Any of the Star Wars movies…
4. Finding Nemo
5. Toy Story

There are so many! It’s hard to choose!!

Pick one:
Instagram or TikTok – Instagram. To be honest I don’t even have TikTok because I feel like if I get it I will never be able to put my phone down, lol.
B.Marvel or DC – I love them both but definitely Marvel! Those are some of my favorite movies.
C.PlayStation or Xbox
I play Xbox so I’m going to have to go with that but a lot of my friends prefer PlayStation.
D. Ice Cream or Jell-O
Ice Cream all the way…No question!

My junior year of high school, we had to go through 9-11 and its aftermath. With you being in high school dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, how have you been affected?
Well, my family and I have been super lucky. We are all safe and healthy. My heart goes out to all the people who are being affected by the Coronavirus. I’m a freshman in high school this year and due to COVID-19 we had to switch to an online school situation…that has been the biggest change. I really miss seeing my friends, going out to eat, going to the beach… you know, everyday stuff that we took for granted.

The best thing we can all do is to stay home and social distance until it is safe to go out. I would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the people on the frontline. All the nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, postal workers, restaurant workers and so many more who are risking their lives to keep us healthy, fed and connected. I love The Avengers but these people are the real heroes.

What does someone your age think about the future under the current circumstances?
Well, I can only speak for myself but I feel optimistic about the future. As scary and sad as this has been, there have been some positive things too. I feel like people are working together more and a lot is being learned. I hope the virus goes away soon!

What are you doing to stay busy during quarantine?
For the first half of the day I’m doing online classes for school and keeping up with my work and then once I’m done with that I’ll usually spend most of my time staring at my dogs and facetiming my friends, doing all the things that I’ve wanted to do but never had time for. Also, I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with my family. We watch movies and play games, talk, laugh…that part has been really nice actually.

What is your favorite video game right now and of all time?
Good question. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Minecraft and Fortnite with my friends, but I’ve also started playing Clash of Clans and Star Wars Battlefront 2 again. And I don’t really have a favorite game of all time, but I would say the game I’ve played most consistently is Fortnite.

What is the first thing you are going to do once all of this madness is over?
The first thing I’m going to do is go out with my friends. I don’t care what we do. I just want to hang out, lol. Maybe see a movie or go to the beach…I don’t know!

Lastly, how can people keep up with you on social media?
You can find me on Instagram @iamcharliebushnell and on Twitter @cbushnell15. Thanks for having me!

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