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Kelly Marie Tran begins her movie career as Rose Tico

Posted on: by Kate
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Disclosure: #TheLastJediEvent was hosted by Disney. This site uses affiliate links.

Kelly Marie Tran Star Wars

Star Wars : The Last Jedi opens in theaters TODAY!!  Star Wars fans across the globe are so excited! I am so excited to share that while at the Star Wars Press Conference I was able to interview several actors from Star Wars : The Last Jedi. Today I am thrilled to share the highlights of our interview with newcomer Kelly Marie Tran who plays the new character Rose Tico.

Kelly Marie Tran Star WarsPhoto Credit MomStart

From the moment she walked in, we knew we were in for a sunshiney treat. It is always a pleasure to interview someone who is authentically happy to be there. “How are you doing?” one blogger asked.

“You know?  I am feeling a lot of emotions.  I feel like I’m feeling every emotion on the spectrum.  But it’s good.  I’m just trying to take in every moment, and really be present here, you know.”

last jedi poster

She was asked what she could share about how she became part of this project.

“Yes. The first audition I had was back in 2015.  At this point I had been pursuing acting for about seven years.  And up to then, for one reason or another it took me years to just get an, a commercial agent, much less a theatrical agent.  And then it took me years to begin auditioning for commercials.  And then into TV.  I never could get into the room for movies.  This was probably one of the two or three movie auditions I ever was allowed to go to. So that first audition came in, and I remember thinking, “This is crazy.”  There’s no way I’m gonna get this.  And so that feeling kind of traveled with me from the beginning to the very end.  And it served me, because I was so sure in my mind, and in my heart, that I wasn’t going to get it, that I was free to be present and have fun.”

Asian Actress STar Wars

When asked how she found out about being offered the role, her answer was probably one of my favorites of all time.

” I was still working my day job.  I was working at an office.  I was an assistant. I got this email from my agent, or a call from my agent saying that Rian wanted to meet with me before the Thanksgiving break.  This is November of 2015.  So remember saying I had to go to lunch.  And driving over to this meeting, and just feeling, like, how almost I feel now. I just have the goose bumps, and I was, like, oh.  Like, either he’s gonna be “you have it”, or it’s gonna be, “look, nice try kid. Just wanted to say, good job.”  Which was possible!  And so, I was so nervous going to that meeting, and I remember sitting in the waiting room, and picking up the book that was on the table and being, like, I’m gonna casually read this book.  I’m so casual.  And then Rian got there and we go into this room.  And at first there’s a little small talk.  How are been?  What have you been up to?  Dadadadada.  And then he says… “I want to offer you this role.”  And I had imagined this moment…..

I’m, like, gonna cry right now.  I had imagined this moment for so long.  And… Oh my god!  This is crazy.  I’m sorry.  I had imagined this moment for so long, and I thought that I would be so ecstatic, and I’d be jumping up and down.  And when it happened, I was so scared.  I just was silent for a full minute.  Like, I was just staring at the floor.  Like… I was treading water for so long, I never thought I would get to the end of the pond.  Or the lake.  Whatever it’s… I don’t know, I made that up just now.

I never thought that I would actually get there.  And so I never thought, oh, this is what I’m gonna do when I get there.  And so yeah, there was definitely moments of just being so horrified.  And then when I finally got to set and I got to London, I mean, after four months of not being able to tell anyone… And just lying for so long to my parents and my family, I had to tell them I was living in Canada.  I was working on this small movie that no one had ever heard of.  And finally when we were there, and we were just on set, it felt like home.  Like, it felt like I was in someone’s back yard making a small movie with my friends, which says a lot more about everyone else involved than about me.  Like, everyone was so welcoming, and open. I don’t know that as an actor you could have a more fulfilling experience than that.  Just the ability to collaborate, and really work with people.”

She went on to share that as a daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, she actually did not grow up with Star Wars.  She had not been born yet when the movies came out, her parents were not in this country. Her parents do not work in the industry or understand any of this.  She said not growing up with Star Wars gave her a unique freedom in playing her role. She wasn’t trying to be like any other characters she had seen for years.

I think this was the best question, and her perspective was awesome “So the character of Rose has done so much for diversity in film and changing our perspective of Star Wars. What are you hoping that Rose’s character accomplishes once we actually see her in action, for yourself and for future Star Wars generations, who now have a strong femal Asian role model to look up to?”

“I thought about that a lot.  And it feels like such an honor, but also a lot of pressure. I knew what it was like to grow up in a world where I never saw myself in anything.  And I would like to hope that in some way this character is such an example of someone who doesn’t necessarily belong in this world.  She works in maintenance.  She works behind pipes all day.  She’s not a star pilot. She doesn’t have magical powers.  She’s not a princess.  She’s someone who is just an every woman, essentially.

And you don’t necessarily see in these stories, but that are so crucial to the idea of the resistance.  Without these people that are fixing the ships, Po couldn’t go fight the First Order!  So of course they’re important.  But no one ever really sees them, or talks about them.  They’re always just running around in the background.  And if… if this character could mean anything, I  really hope that she portrays the idea that even if you are someone who’s kind of in the background who’s not in the spotlight, who’s not a princess, you can still make a difference. You can still rise up to any challenge that comes to you.”

Kelly Marie suggested we all cry like she cried during the interview.  Some of us are clearly amazing actors…. call us Rian.

If you are hoping to see it today and don’t have tickets, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!  Just kidding, not really, you need to get on that. Make sure to check out the trailer below and purchase your tickets through Fandango!

A HUGE thank you to Kelly Marie Tran for taking the time to share all the feels with us.  I know we only just met you, but I don’t think I have ever been more excited for someone making their film debut.

Kelly Marie with bloggers

Until Next Time ~ Kate
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