Chris Christie has not been in New Jersey since late August. Hard to believe? Since just after Labor Day, Christie has been using body doubles – – – actors who look like him and sound like him— to make appearances in New Jersey on his behalf.
In the past, such world leaders as Saddam Hussein, Winston Churchill, and even Harry Truman had used body doubles as “political decoys”. Christie is the first governor to make use of political doubles.
For example, remember the “Chris Christie” you saw being confronted by former local Democratic councilman, Jim Keady, demanding to know why federal Hurricane Sandy money wasn’t being dispersed fast enough? He was actually a look-alike actor named Robert Schneiderman of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
Schneiderman has been seen in “Orange is the New Black” as a prison guard; and was in an episode of “Boardwalk Empire” two seasons ago playing a mob hitman.
“That episode of “Boardwalk” was the closest I got to New Jersey for this “live action” role,” laughed Schneiderman. Basically he’s “a nice guy”, and had to take “reverse anger management” lessons to capture “Gov. Christie’s particular attitude.”
Schneiderman had previously studied acting at Kingsborough Community College, and is the actor who has portrayed Christie most often. “This was a really great role for my resume,” shared Shneiderman.
Another actor, Lenny Mancuso, was let go because, “… as the governor began to lose weight, my portrayals were less believable.” Mancuso tips the scale of just over 450 pounds, and no longer looks like Chris Christie enough to fool audiences. Also, Mancuso, was just “too nice to play the governor… I usually play Santa Claus around this time of year, and I’m used to smiling and laughing a lot.”
Mancuso went over too well with “a group of teachers in Essex who saw right through my disguise and actually took a liking to me as Christie,” noted Mancuso in a phone interview.