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Kelly Marie Tran
Born (1989-01-17) January 17, 1989 (age 29)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Actress
Years active 2011-present

Kelly Marie Tran (born January 17, 1989) is an American actress. She has had roles in short films and television episodes, and came to wider attention for her role as Rose Tico in the 2017 film Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Tran was born on January 17, 1989 in San Diego, California. Her parents are refugees from Vietnam who fled the country following the Vietnam War.[2][3] As a child, her father was homeless and grew up on the streets of Vietnam.[4] After moving to the United States, he worked at Burger King to support the family, and his wife worked at a funeral home.[5]

Tran attended Westview High School in San Diego and worked at a yogurt shop, Golden Spoon, in Rancho Penasquitos to earn money for head shots.[6][4] Tran then graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Communications.[5][7]

Career[edit]

Tran spent her early years in Los Angeles auditioning for small parts and doing improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Second City. In 2013, she starred in the web series Ladies Like Us. She also appeared in various CollegeHumor videos.[8]

In 2015, Tran was cast as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rose Tico is a rebel mechanic who joins up with main character Finn after the sacrifice of her oldest sister, Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), a gunner trained by Resistance commander Poe Dameron.[9] She was unable to tell her family that she had won the role. When she went to film her scenes at Pinewood Studios in early 2016, she said she was filming a small movie in Canada.[10] With her role in The Last Jedi, Tran became the first Asian-American woman to play a leading role in a Star Wars film.[8] In 2017, she also became the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair when she appeared on the cover of the summer 2017 issue with John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.[11]

Negative receptions and attacks[edit]

Despite the critical and box office success of The Last Jedi, Tran received online attacks, some racist, from people who disliked the character of Rose Tico.[12][13] In response to that criticism, Anthony Nguyen praised Tran for being "the first woman of color to be cast in a leading role in the Star Wars franchise". Condemning the racist attacks, Nguyen remarked that "people of color, especially Asian-Americans, are grossly underrepresented in TV and film."[14] In addition, freelance writer and journalist Nicole Karlis opined that attacks on Tran's race and appearance reflected a fear of women who broke sexist stereotypes.[15] In June 2018, Tran deleted all of her posts on Instagram after months of harassment.[16] Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi, criticized her attackers.[17] Other Star Wars fans expressed support for the actress[18][19][20], which Johnson indicated appreciation for.[17]

Johnson's sentiments were co-expressed by Boyega[21] and Mark Hamill.[22][23]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Untouchable Jamie Short film
2011 The Rising Cost of Cosmetics Chun Hei Park Short film
2011 Impressions Alice Short film
2011 Hot Girls on the Beach Boba Chick/Student Segment: "Great White Shark Movie"
2012 The Cohasset Snuff Film Christine Chan Uncredited
2013 Andy's CDs Kelly Short film
2016 XOXO Butterfly Rave Girl
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rose Tico
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2011 This Indie Girl Hero Girl Episode: "Just the Way It Is"
2012 Fabulous High Sierra Mar Student #4 Television film
2013–15 Ladies Like Us Kelly/Larry Television series
2014–16 CollegeHumor Originals Full Asian/Kate/Kelly/Startup "Foodler" Girl/Melissa/Amber Television series
2014–16 Life on Normal Street Sara 3 episodes
2014 To the Bridge Lydia Pilot episode
2014 About a Boy Marguerite 2 episodes
2014 Hope & Randy Tina Television mini-series
2014 Currently Cool Jenny Episode: "Baby Daddy Daddy Daddy"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Teen Friend Episode: "Thomas Middleditch Wears an Enigmatic Sweatshirt and Sweatpants with Pockets"
2015 Ladies Like Us: The Rise of Neighborhood Watch Larry 2 episodes
2015 Adam Ruins Everything Sharon/Phone Woman 2 episodes
2015 Discount Fitness Betsy Episode: "Goal Met"
2016 Pub Quiz Asia Television film
2016 History of the World...For Now Daughter Episode #1.4
2016 Fall Into Me Eva Episode: "British Billionaire"
2016 Sing It! Twinkle Twinkle Auditioner Episode: "THE SHOW BEGINS!"
2018 Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Rose Tico Episode: "Shuttle Shock"
2018 Sorry for Your Loss Jules Series regular

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2018 23rd Empire Awards Best Female Newcomer
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Nominated
44th Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yee, Lawrence (April 14, 2017). "Meet Rose, the 'Biggest New Part' in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'". Variety. 
  2. ^ Yam, Kimberly (November 30, 2017). "Kelly Marie Tran Promotes 'The Last Jedi' In Traditional Vietnamese Garb". HuffPost. 
  3. ^ Jasper, Marykate (December 10, 2017). "Kelly Marie Tran, the Daughter of Refugees, Couldn't Help Crying with Joy at the Last Jedi Premiere". The Mary Sue. 
  4. ^ a b Flaherty, Keely (November 14, 2017). "Kelly Marie Tran: The Rise of Rose". Buzzfeed News. 
  5. ^ a b Plattner, Seth (December 10, 2017). "Kelly Marie Tran Is Bringing a New Brand of Hero to Star Wars". Elle. 
  6. ^ Rocha, Michael James (February 15, 2016). "San Diego native joins 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' cast". San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  7. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (February 15, 2016). "Who is Star Wars: Episode VIII actress Kelly Marie Tran?". Entertainment Weekly. 
  8. ^ a b Hiatt, Brian (December 12, 2017). "'The Last Jedi's New Hope: Meet 'Star Wars' Breakout Kelly Marie Tran". Rolling Stone. 
  9. ^ Kamp, David (March 24, 2017). "Cover Story: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Definitive Preview". Vanity Fair. 
  10. ^ Yee, Lawrence (April 14, 2017). "Meet Rose, the 'Biggest New Part' in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'". Variety. 
  11. ^ Truffaut-Wong, Olivia (May 24, 2017). "'The Last Jedi' Star Kelly Marie Tran Is The First Asian Woman To Cover 'Vanity Fair' & Her Appearance Couldn't Matter More". Bustle. 
  12. ^ Menta, Anna (19 December 2017). "Racist Attacks Against Kelly Marie Tran posted to Rose Tico's Wookieepedia page". Newsweek. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  13. ^ Moye, David (27 December 2017). "Kelly Marie Tran Of 'Last Jedi' Facing Racist, Sexist Comments Online". HuffPost. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  14. ^ "Attorney Anthony Nguyen Comments on the Racist Backlash Against Vietnamese-American Actress Kelly Marie Tran". Cision. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Karlis, Nicole (29 December 2017). "Threats against Kelly Marie Tran highlight a fear of women who break sexist stereotypes". Salon. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  16. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (June 5, 2018). "'Star Wars' Actress Kelly Marie Tran Leaves Social Media After Months of Harassment". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b "Rian Johnson slams Star Wars trolls after Kelly Marie Tran quits social media". 
  18. ^ Kitchener, Shaun. "Star Wars fans support Kelly Marie Tran as she quits Instagram after horrific abuse". The Express. Retrieved 7 June 2018. 
  19. ^ Welsh, Daniel. "'Star Wars' Fans Support Actress Kelly Marie Tran Wipes Her Instagram After Months Of Abuse". HuffPost. Retrieved 7 June 2018. 
  20. ^ Cavanaugh, Patrick. "Star Wars Fans Show Support For 'The Last Jedi' Star Kelly Marie Tran Following Social Media Departure". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018. 
  21. ^ Lam, Katherine (13 June 2018). "John Boyega slams 'Star Wars' fans for harassing costars". Fox News. 
  22. ^ Clark, Travis (June 7, 2018). "Mark Hamill defends Kelly Marie Tran after online harassment and calls out 'Star Wars' fans". Business Insider. 
  23. ^ Cavanaugh, Patrick (June 6, 2018). "Star Wars: Mark Hamill Shares Support for 'The Last Jedi' Co-Star Kelly Marie Tran After Social Media Deletion". Comicbook.com. 

External links[edit]

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