The actress talks about her starring role in the new Disney+ show.


At just 13 years old, Tess Romero is already the star of her own show — she plays Elena, the titular role in the Disney+ series Diary of Future President. “I was interested in playing Elena because she’s a super smart, strong female,” Romero tells People CHICA. “She’s a great character and she grows up to do something really important and really special.”

The show features a predominantly Latinx cast, including Gina Rodriguez, who plays Elena as an adult, and Selenis Leyva, who plays Elena’s mother, Gabi. “It was great,” Romero says of working with the popular actresses. “I felt so loved. Everyone vibed. There was a lot of warmth there — it felt like family.”

She also picked up some tips from Levya, best known for her portrayal of Gloria on Orange Is the New Black. “She’s so amazing. Any time I did a scene with her I learned so much,” Romero shares. “She’s always just dropping knowledge. She has so much information, so any time I’m hanging out with her she’ll give me great tips on my career — the side of acting that’s not acting … [like doing] press like this or how people will treat you.”

Romero relates a lot to Elena, a 12-year-old Cuban American girl who dreams of becoming president of the United States. “She’s definitely very strong and goes for what she wants. She’s an overachiever and I can relate to that,” she explains. “She works really hard and can be a little neurotic and a little much to handle. I’m a little more chill and go-with-the-flow.”

Her career is just starting out, but Romero hopes to continue doing what she loves. “I like acting,” she says. “I hope I can keep doing it, but I’ll see what I feel like later — just go with whatever is working!”

Diary of Future President is streaming now on Disney+.