Selenis Leyva and Michael Weaver to Star Alongside Young Newcomers Tess Romero and Charlie Bushnell
Production started this week in Los Angeles on Disney+’s “Diary of a Female President,” from CBS Television Studios, executive producer Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) and Rodriguez’s production company, I Can and I Will Productions. Emily Gipson (“Someone Great”) will also executive produce, along with creator Ilana Peña (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and showrunner Robin Shorr (“The Carmichael Show”).
Told from the narration of her diary, “Diary of a Female President” follows Elena, a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school and begins her journey to become the future president of the United States.
Rodriguez is directing the first episode of the show, which Disney+ ordered straight to series. She also has a recurring guest starring role as adult Elena, currently on the campaign trail.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the multi-talented Gina Rodriguez who lends her strength behind and in front of the camera,” says Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “Disney+ is the perfect home for Gina, Emily, Ilana, Robin and CBS Studios to bring this heartwarming, funny, and relatable family story to life.”
Executive producer Gina Rodriguez commented “I established my production company as a vehicle to tell stories for and by the underrepresented. Bringing this story to Disney+ is a dream come true not to mention hope for our future.”
“We’re excited to team with Disney+ on this series,” says David Stapf, president, CBS Television Studios. “‘Diary of a Female President’ may currently be a fictional tale, but one day soon this hopeful, inclusive and aspirational story will become a reality. In addition, we’re delighted to be involved with yet another project from Gina. She is an extraordinary talent who has demonstrated tremendous skill in choosing and shepherding projects with diverse voices.”
Up-and-coming actor Tess Romero (“Blind Spot,” “Alternatino”) portrays young Elena, unabashed, semi-dweeby, ultra-observant, and with a strong point of view, as she walks through the world with purpose and confidence. Charlie Bushnell, who makes his acting debut in the series, plays Bobby, Elena’s sweet-faced but mischievous older brother. Selenis Leyva (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Murphy Brown,” “Maniac”) stars as Gabi, Elena and Bobby’s intelligent and loving mom. Michael Weaver (“Here and Now,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Notes from the Underbelly”) plays Sam, a lawyer at Gabi’s firm who is in the beginnings of a relationship with her.
Rodriguez can be seen playing the title role on the series “Jane the Virgin,” for which she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2015. Her voice can be heard as “Carmen Sandiego” in the animated series. Other film credits include “Annihilation,” animated film “Ferdinand,” animated film “The Star,” “Deepwater Horizon,” animated film “Smallfoot,” and Catherine Hardwicke’s “Miss Bala,” and the Netflix film “Someone Great,” which she starred in and served as a producer.
The series has received a 10-episode order and will stream on Disney+ in 2020.