The actor who portrayed Mitt Romney in the Santorum campaign's "Rombo" ad is looking to parlay the role into a permanent career as a Romney impersonator, according to a Los Angeles Times report today.
The actor, a 56-year-old drywall finisher from Maine named Mike Cote, also recently appeared in an unaired reality show featuring presidential impersonators living in a house together — but his goal is to score a slot as the pre-eminent faux Romney.
Cote is reportedly studying up to most effectively play Romney long-term:
Cote now watches Fox News, looking for hints on how to play Romney. He said Romney stands up "like he has a plank nailed to his back," looks starry-eyed when listening, and wears a smirk during debates. If Romney were more flamboyant, impersonating him might be easier, Cote said, but the man he is trying to mimic is "like a Ken doll with a string."
The voice is probably the most difficult part to imitate, and to master it, Cote listens to tapes for hours a day. Romney's voice has a buzz in his throat, without any nasal overtones, and he has a slight Midwestern accent reflecting his Michigan upbringing. Cote's been to two voice coaches. One told him he was trying too hard. The other told him to hum before he spoke. Both helped — a little.
"I have to lose the 'paahk the caah in the Hahvahd Yahd' and be more 'park the car in the Harvard Yard,' " Cote said. "I can own this whole thing. All I have to do is get the voice close and I own it."
h/t Hogan Gidley