Kelly Marie Tran made a name for herself in Hollywood thanks to ‘Star Wars’. Now, she’s heading to the big screen as a Disney princess.
Kelly Marie Tran is about to make history! The actress, who appeared in the Star Wars film The Last Jedi, will soon return to the big screen in Raya and the Last Dragon. The upcoming Disney film features the studio’s first Southeast Asian Princess, and is set in a fantastical land called Kumandra. Kelly will lend her voice to the character Raya, who is on a quest to reunite the fractured Kumandra by finding Sisu, a dragon voiced by Awkwafina. Here’s 5 things to know about Kelly.
1. Kelly is the newest Disney princess.
Following in the footsteps of actors who voiced iconic characters like Snow White and Cinderella, Kelly revealed she was nervous to take on the role. “My first response was just absolute fear,” she said during an interview with IndieWire. “I was like, ‘no, what?’ I grew up watching Disney movies and loving these movies, and I grew up loving these sort of magical worlds that these characters inhabited. And I always wanted that.” The cast includes Asian and Asian-American voice actors, including Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Gemma Chan, Izaac Wang, and Benedict Wong. It is one of the first Disney princess films to ditch traditional tropes — namely, Raya doesn’t have a love interest.
2. Kelly previously played an all-new Star Wars character.
She debuted her character, Rose Tico, in The Last Jedi. Rose is “part of the support crew that keeps the Resistance starfighters flying, Rose has hated the First Order since she was a child,” her bio reads on StarWars.com. “Now able to fight back against the enemy, Rose keeps her focus on her mission.” Rose crossed paths with some fan-favorites, including Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac)!
3. She almost quit acting.
Before she landed the role of a lifetime in Star Wars, Kelly thought about taking a step back from chasing her dreams. “There was absolutely a moment,” Kelly told EW. “When I turned 25, I had been at it for some years and I was struggling to pay my bills. I was tired. I had been working [my day job] 40-plus hours a week, plus sometimes I’d have two auditions in the day and then I would write a sketch or do improv at night, or rehearse for the next auditions the next day.” Everything changed for Kelly when she auditioned for Star Wars and got the part.
4. Kelly made history in The Last Jedi.
Kelly is the first Asian-American woman to appear in a Star Wars film. Her parents immigrated from Vietnam in the 1970s.
— janina gavankar (@Janina) December 10, 2017
5. Carrie Fisher gave her some great advice before her death.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will mark Carrie’s final film as General Leia Organa. Carrie tragically died in Dec. 2016 after she had wrapped filming The Last Jedi. But while on set, Carrie gave the young actress some very crucial advice. “She told me that this was an amazing experience and to enjoy everything because it’s fleeting and it’ll go away,” Kelly told Rolling Stone. “But if there’s anything else that you want to do – if you want to write, want to produce, whatever – start now because there’s going to be a time when you aren’t looked at the same way.”