Kelly Marie Tran thought she'd quit acting — then The Last Jedi put her dream into hyperdrive
You have this dream. You want to be an actor. But that possibility seems far, far away. You have talent, but zero connections. You love movies, and TV, and comedy. They’re a part of you. So you want to be a part of them.
You go for it.
You leave everything you know and move to where they craft movies and TV. To make ends meet, you take jobs you wouldn’t mind losing if a better gig comes along. Years go by. You book a few small roles. But you’re tired. And you’re worried. It’s not happening.
Then one day, after all that grueling work, a miracle happens. You get your break.
It’s big one. Almost too much to believe.
You get the lead in a Star Wars movie.
It happened for Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Hayden Christensen, and Daisy Ridley. With The Last Jedi, it has happened again for Kelly Marie Tran.
The 28-year-old San Diego native landed the role of Rose Tico, a problem-solving Resistance mechanic, just about a year after she was ready to give up chasing that dream forever.
“There was absolutely a moment,” Tran tells 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. So, my days, I would get up at 5 a.m. and then I wouldn’t be home until 11:00 p.m. The days were like that for years.”