Star Wars’ Kelly Marie Tran Reveals Big Lesson Learned From Playing Rose Tico And Raya

Kelly Marie Tran in The Rise of Skywalker

CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links.

Fame is a tricky thing. Because while landing a dream gig like starring in Star Wars comes with massive opportunities, it’ll also expose you to some online hate. Actress Kelly Marie Tran knows this all too well, and she’s recently revealed the big lesson she learned from playing Rose Tico, as well as the title character of Raya and the Last Dragon.

Kelly Marie Tran burst onto the scene in a major way by debuting as Rose Tico in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But she also faced a ton of online hate, and left social media as a result. Tran most recently became a Disney Princess as Raya, and she’s taken some lessons from her whirlwind career thus far. The 32 year-old actress recently spoke to her experience, saying:

It’s hard. I think as an actor you don’t really have control over what is happening in a narrative, if that makes sense. And I think as an actor and as an individual, I always try to take my expectations out of the situation because I also want to, as much as possible, try and be present in the experience. I am really, really proud of the way that I’ve been able to show up for myself during this whole journey because, again, if we’re going through my journey and my career, I went from sketch comedy and doing improv and indie theater to then doing Star Wars and then from there doing [Raya]. It’s nonsensical.

She’s got a point. Kelly Marie Tran went from being an unknown actress to starring in major Disney blockbusters pretty much overnight. And while it hasn’t always been easy, she’s proud of herself for putting her mental health first while balancing a uniquely demanding work life.

Kelly Marie Tran’s comments to Collider show how the actress is currently is currently feeling about her career. Expectations can be killer, especially when related to one’s career. So she tries to have a positive outlook while filming, along with taking care of her mental health off set.

Movie fans can re-watch both Raya and Star Wars on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

After facing intense and often racist backlash in the wake of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kelly Marie Tran stepped away from social media and invested in herself through therapy. The actress has been open about his process, and that’s no doubt what she was referencing in showing up for herself. And in the end Star Wars fans rallied behind Tran, and she was given another great opportunity with the studio thanks to Raya and the Last Dragon.

In the same interview, Kelly Marie Tran went on to explain how wild her career has been thus far. Plus how Raya provided something special for the actress. As she put it,

It’s miraculous, nonsensical, magical stuff that, for me, I just want people to know and believe that you might go through certain times in your life that are hard and difficult, but coming out on the other side of that and having your support group and being with people who believe in you, there’s nothing like it in the entire world. And I think for me, moving from the Star Wars experiences to then going to Raya has been absolutely miraculous. Raya for me is about celebrating the parts of myself that as a child I was taught that I should hide and what a poetic healing experience that has been.

There are times when art meets life, and Kelly Marie Tran seems to understand that dynamic all too well. While she’s already had a career full of peaks and valleys, Tran has made it to the other side with a unique perspective. And there’s no telling what might come next.

Now that she’s become a leading lady and Disney Princess, it should be interesting to see what comes next for Kelly Marie Tran. Her schedule is now freed up to take on new projects, especially as the film industry comes to normal. First she’ll once again collaborate with the House of Mouse by joining the voice cast of Monsters at Work.

Star Wars will continue on the big screen with Patty Jenkins developing the Rogue Squadron movie. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.