Danielle Panabaker

My 5 Minutes with the President

Danielle Panabaker is recognized by adults for her television roles on CBS, NBC and HBO, by teens for her starring roles in Disney and Paramount big-screen comedies, and by tweens and younger (as well as their parents) from the Disney Channel.

A recent graduate of UCLA with a degree in English, Panabaker’s television roles include leads in the CBS drama “Shark,” playing James Woods’s daughter, and in the HBO miniseries “Empire Falls,” opposite Paul Newman, Ed Harris and Helen Hunt. 

On the big screen, Panabaker’s work includes featured roles in “Friday the 13th,” “The Crazies,” “Yours, Mine and Ours,” “Mr. Brooks,” “Home of the Giants” and “Sky High.” She also starred in Lifetime’s “Mom at 16” and in the Disney Channel’s “Stuck in the Suburbs” and “Read It and Weep.”

Extraordinarily focused, Panabaker completed her high school education early, graduating as valedictorian at age 14. She enrolled in college classes the same year, earning grades that secured her a spot on the National Dean’s List. She can currently be seen in the big-screen film “Piranha 3DD,” currently out in theaters. 

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about? 

DANIELLE PANABAKER: I’d discuss the importance of taking care of our country and focusing on making it the best possible country in the future. I’d encourage him to continue to pursue healthcare for all but also to support arts in education, as not only is it a financially successful investment for our country, but it deepens and enriches the lives of all it touches.

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

DP: What is the best piece of advice he ever received?

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama as he’s on the campaign trail?

DP: Win! And reach out to the youth voters. Too many people in my generation don’t vote, and we can change that.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?

DP: I’d send him home! Let him spend some time with his family. Nothing recharges or reinvigorates me more than spending time with family, and I bet he could use the extra day!

RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that President Obama add to his collection? Why?

DP: I love Norah Jones at the end of a long day and think her albums are incredibly soothing. They’re also quite diverse and I find a different album works for different moods.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career? 

DP: Absolutely. I was inspired by my recent trip to D.C. and Capitol Hill with the Creative Coalition and would love the opportunity to continue to fight for causes I believe in.

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.