Caroline Sunshine already knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight, but the 22-year-old Disney star is getting a new level of viral fame after the surprise announcement this week that she would be joining Donald Trump’s administration. And the internet seems to notice her striking similarities to another close member of Donald Trump’s inner circle — his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
The actress was announced as the newest addition to the White House press team, Variety noted. While the headline came as a shock to many that someone so young — and known mostly for her work on the Disney Channel — would earn a spot in the White House, the Variety report noted that she is actually quite qualified.
Sunshine studied international relations and economics at Claremont McKenna College and had already put in work as a White House intern. She also worked her way up the ranks within the Republican Party, serving as an intern for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and later for the California Republican Party.
But until the announcement, many knew Caroline Sunshine largely for her part in the Disney Channel show Shake It Up, the project that helped launch Zendaya and Bella Thorne to fame. In the wake of the announcement, pictures of Caroline Sunshine spread across the internet as people tried to place the Disney star — and took note of her resemblance to Ivanka Trump.
Caroline Sunshine’s breakout actually came before her time on Shake It Up. In 2010, she made her film debut in the movie Barbara Winslow and also appeared in the live-action version of Marmaduke. Those projects helped her land a lead role on Shake It Up, with IMDb noting that her role as Tinka Hessenheffer earned praise from People Magazine as “the best performance on the show.” Sunshine also used the project to showcase her dancing and singing abilities, the site noted, with Sunshine collaborating on albums that the show produced.
She then took a break from acting and performing and went to college, where she took a focus on public service. Sunshine participated in a number of volunteer projects while building up her resume on the political side as well.
In the wake of the announcement, the biggest reaction from the internet was the striking similarities between Caroline Sunshine and Ivanka Trump, Donald’s eldest daugther and a close White House adviser.
It is not clear what role Caroline Sunshine will play in the White House, though the more entry-level position means she likely will not be in the spotlight again in Trump’s administration.