As the first Asian-American woman to ever be cast in a Star Wars film, it's safe to say that fans can't get enough of Kelly Marie Tran. Not only is she considered the breakout actor of The Last Jedi for her performance as Rose Tico, but fans absolutely adore her.
Tran grew up in San Diego after her parents immigrated from Vietnam. In an interview with Elle, Tran recalled her experience auditioning for roles in Los Angeles. "I always thought I was going to be that weird friend on a sitcom," she shared. The fact that she's a forerunner in this space is something she thinks about often, explaining that being one of the first comes with a lot of pressure. One moment she holds close to her heart happened while filming a scene opposite co-star John Boyega. At one point he stopped and said to her, "Kelly, we're making history right now."
"I would love to live in a world where no one person has to represent a very large group of people just purely because of the fact that there's not many of those types of people in movies or TV – or writing or producing or directing," Tran told Rolling Stone. "I would like to live in a world where there are a bunch of different types of people doing those things."
Leading up to the premiere of the film on December 15, fans have been falling in love with the actress and making their feelings known all over social media. "What did we do to deserve Kelly Marie Tran?" one fan wrote. Others find her genuine excitement extremely relatable. "Kelly Marie Tran is how all of us would be if we were cast in a Star Wars film," writes one Twitter user.
She endured a five-month casting process for the part as the starfighter mechanic, reports Elle. Before landing the part, she made guest appearances on TV shows like About a Boy, Adam Ruins Everything, and Ladies Like Us.
In her interview with Rolling Stone, Tran revealed that acting wasn't the only part of the entertainment industry she was interested in. She received some solid advice from none other than Carrie Fisher, who Tran was able to work with before she passed away in December of last year: "I eventually want to write and direct and produce my own stuff," she shared. "That's a long journey that I'm starting because of that advice from Carrie. I'm one of those people where if I get a piece of advice from someone I look up to and respect, I'll really listen to it."
While the movie might not come out for a few more days, it's clear that Kelly Marie Tran is already a hit.