“Gina has given me a ton of advice. Just random acting tips or just filmmaking tips when I’m with her,” Tess told J-14 exclusively ahead of the show’s season 2 premiere. “After spending so much time with her, I definitely feel like I’ve learned a lot. In general, I really admire who she is as a person. … She’s just such a warm person [and] makes everybody else feel comfortable. I remember season 1, she directed the first week and it was great. Everybody felt comfortable and happy and excited.”
The 15-year-old actress plays Elena Cañero-Reed in Diary of a Future President and Gina — who is also an executive producer on the series — plays the future version of Elena. Tess added, “I just really admire the energy she brings to set, and I try and, sort of, copy that when she’s not around.”
Charlie — who plays Bobby Cañero-Reed — echoed his onscreen sister’s sentiments about Gina.
“She’s given me so much good advice, and I’ve learned so much from her,” the 17-year-old star shared. “I remember my first day on set, filming season 1, I arrived to set five hours earlier than I had to be there. I just wanted to be there and experience everything. She directed the first episode of season 1, and I was sort of just standing in the back behind everyone and just, kind of, watching from a distance as Tess was doing her thing. Gina was directing and she just invited me over and was like, ‘Hey Charlie, come stand next to me.’ That just shows what kind of a person that she is. She just is so inclusive and kind and warm, and I’ve learned so much from just watching her do her thing.”
Both actors also revealed one message they would share with their future selves.
“So, I think my future self probably thinks that I’m really embarrassing and awkward, and she wouldn’t be wrong. I would like to tell her to take it easy on me because I know I’m embarrassing and I’m trying my best,” Tess shared. Charlie added, “Just cherish these moments as a kid, before you become an adult. I feel like adults look back at their childhoods and they think like, ‘Oh, what I did was so dumb or that was a dumb mistake.’ … Just remember those mistakes or those bad times, because that’s the stuff that you learn from and grow and become an even better and well-rounded person.”
Diary of a Future President season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.
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