Cole Sibus: Renaissance Man

ABC’s Stumptown actor, chef, athlete, musician, and aspiring model

Mary Jane Deer, Head News Editor

Oct. 4, 2019 – It’s 4:22 p.m. in Southern California, and despite staying up until one a.m. the night before shooting for ABC’s new show, “Stumptown,” Cole Sibus is excited and smiling brightly via FaceTime as his mini-ozzie, River, barks in the background. 

At 22 years old, Sibus, who was born with Down syndrome, is a gold-medal winning Special Olympian, a YouTuber, and an actor. His latest role is playing Ansel on “Stumptown”, which premiered on Sept. 25. Sibus’ acting debut, however, took place in 2017 for an award winning A&E show about young adults with Down syndrome. 

“My first acting job was on ‘Born This Way,” Sibus said. “It was a lot of fun to see all my friends. It was a lot of people, a lot of cast, and a lot of budget for all the people.”

Sibus then starred in the 2018 film “Spare Room”, playing the younger brother of a struggling waitress who rents a room to a mysterious veteran with PTSD. Now he has shifted to prime time television, acting with Colbie Smulders of “How I Met Your Mother” and Marvel, as well as Jake Johnson of “New Girl.” Sibus plays the younger brother of Smulders’ character, Private Investigator Dex Parios. 

“The movie was a lot of fun because [with] ‘Spare Room’ you get to go to these events like going to Napa,” Sibus said. “I get to go around and share our movie because I want people to know what the movie is about. For our show, it’s more appearances because everyday I go on set and I meet new people. I get to spend time with the cast and you’re getting to know them better. Me and Jake are really good friends now, and Colbie, too.” 

Spare Room has appeared at a number of film festivals, including the Riverbend Film Festival, where Sibus won the 2019 Upstream Spotlight award for his performance. 

On his days off, Sibus is often, “hanging out at the house and going outside with my family and chilling,” he explained. “Mostly hanging out with my family. Our family wakeboards. I wakeboard and surf and [go] tubing.” 

Sibus continues his love of sports through being a Special Olympian.

“I participate in Special Olympics. I swim and play softball. I love playing shortstop. You always get the ball and catch it and throw it to first base,” Sibus said.

Sibus, along with a group of Special Olympians from California, partnered with the band Hello Noon to star in the music video for their song “Run Free.” Sibus plays the guitar in the video. 

Sibus and his older sister Lauren also have a YouTube channel called ColeAndLo featuring the show, “Cole in the Kitchen.“

“I love doing that kind of stuff,” Sibus said.  “My sister wanted to make a Youtube channel and I wanted to do a cooking channel. Our show is a lot of fun. My favorite recipe was probably Swedish pancakes.”

Since he was 9 years old, Sibus has been going to summer camp for people with disabilities called RAD Camp, which stands for Rising Above Disabilties. The program is run by directors Katie Webb and Meghan Clem each summer. 

“RAD Camp is my favorite summer camp ever because RAD Camp is all about different disabilities, like autism, and I get a one-on-one buddy,” Sibus said. “Sometimes I help at RAD Camp as well. There are these two girls who did RAD Camp and their names are Katie and Megs, and they started out doing RAD Camp for a long time and now it got bigger and bigger.”

Sibus is also looking into a career in modeling. 

“I want to be the first Calvin Klein underwear model with Down syndrome. I want to be a bathing suit model as well. There’s a lot of goals I want to say.”

For now, Sibus is working on filming “Stumptown”, which takes approximately nine days of shooting per episode. 

“We did a pilot, that’s done. We did 1-0-1, 1-0-2, 1-0-3. Right now we are on 1-0-7. I hope we get to do more episodes and more seasons as well,” Sibus said. “It is really good and it keeps getting better and better and better. Our show is a lot of fun and I hope more people can follow ‘Stumptown’.”

As he signs off FaceTime, Sibus holds up River to the camera, his mom walks in to say goodbye, and he smiles brightly before enjoying the rest of his well-deserved day off.