Instantly recognizable and tirelessly self-promoting, Donald Trump has long been a natural candidate for movie and TV cameos. In the 1990s and 2000s, the golden-coiffed casino owner racked up numerous IMDB credits, including Zoolander, 54, The Nanny, and Home Alone 2, usually playing himself. A.V. Club contributor Zach Schonfeld has talked to the people who worked on those projects with Trump and compiled a piece on the GOP candidate’s acting career for Newsweek. The defining sentence in the article appears in a parenthetical aside: “He’s never a hard get but rarely an easy shoot.” Trump, the insiders say, is more than happy to appear in films and television shows. Julio Macat, director of photography on Home Alone 2, calls him “a bug attracted to bright light.” But once he shows up, he’s likely to throw temper tantrums, make diva-like demands, hit on women, and nitpick the script. None of the interviewees here seem eager to work with him again.
One recurring theme is that Trump wants viewers to know exactly how rich he is, meaning that he should be called a “billionaire,” not a mere “millionaire.” Peter Marc Jacobson, co-creator of The Nanny, found this so amusing that he kept and framed Trump’s script notes. Another common observation is that Trump is not much of an actor, so he’s usually entrusted with very little dialogue. Peter Tolan, who wrote Trump’s episode of The Job, recalls: “He had very little to do. And what little he did, he did very stiffly.”
The most infamous chapter of Trump’s acting career, however, was his thwarted cameo in Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Trump’s assistant sent a memo to producers containing demands on how his boss should be filmed. An excerpt:
The preferred camera angle is Mr. Trump sitting front face to camera slightly favoring his right side, while avoiding left hair part and back and sides of head and hair. Camera eye level or above.
Ironically, the memo could prove very handy for anyone wanting to shoot Trump from especially unflattering angles.