A video meant to sell children on the wonders of space exploration featured Vice President Kamala Harris giving a memorably loopy performance alongside a quintet of child actors who auditioned for their roles, it was revealed Monday.
“All five of them are actors,” Carlo Bernardino, whose 13-year-old son Trevor was one of the youngsters taking part, told the Washington Examiner. “He’s a child actor — he’s been trying to do this type of thing for a while. And so he has a manager and an agent in LA and they send him castings.”
Trevor Bernardino told KSBW that he was asked to submit a monologue about a topic he is passionate about, as well as three questions he wanted to ask a world leader. The next step was a virtual interview with the producer of the video, the first in a YouTube Originals series called “Get Curious with Vice President Harris.”
“Then after that, like a week later my agent called me and was like, ‘Hey Trevor, you booked it,’” the teen recalled.
According to the Examiner, the video featuring Harris, Trevor and co-stars Derrick Brooks II, Emily Kim, Zhoriel Tapo, and Sydney Schmooke was shot Aug. 11 through 13 at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, where the VP’s residence is located. During the same time, the Taliban was in the midst of its final offensive in Afghanistan and thousands of illegal immigrants were being apprehended at the US-Mexico border.
Harris, who was tapped to head up the Cabinet-level National Space Council in May, was panned for her exaggerated gestures and facial expressions in the video, as well as her over-dramatic intonation.
One Twitter wag stitched together a supercut of Harris’ hammiest moments and captioned it: “Me when I miscalculate a micro dose and start fully tripping midday.”
The official video, which had been viewed more than 142,000 times as of Monday night, had approximately 2,000 “likes” on YouTube and 5,100 “dislikes.” Comments had been disabled.
Critics suggested that the video was the latest example of Harris having difficulty connecting with interlocutors — whether attempting a jokey response to a question about the southern border from “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, or lauding a college student who accused Israel of “ethnic genocide” by saying she was speaking “her truth.”
Despite the criticism of the video, Trevor Bernardino called meeting Harris “exciting.”
“There’s nothing that can top that. Like honestly, she just sat us down. She’s super charismatic. She’s everything that I ever thought of her, plus more,” he told the Examiner. “She made me feel like one of her peers, and at the time, I felt super important. I was talking to her face to face.”
Trevor added that the polarized response to the video was “eye-opening” and called it “a shame, because I think this is a great thing to draw attention to the space program.”
Still, if father Carlo is to be believed, we may not have seen the last of Harris and her youthful supporting cast.
“It was pitched to my son and us as a pilot,” the elder Bernardino told the Examiner, adding that whether there are other videos will “depend on the reaction and what the producers want to do. Our hope is that it gets picked up.”