Kelly Marie Tran
San Diego, California, United States
Kelly Marie Tran went to the Westview High School in San Diego.
After graduating from high school, she got enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.
To hone her acting and stage skills, she took classes from Los Angeles based Lesly Kahn & Company. She has also taken improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center in Los Angeles.
- Father – While growing up, he was homeless and lived on streets in Vietnam. After immigrating to the US following Vietnam war, he started working at Burger King.
- Mother – She worked at a funeral home.
- Siblings – None
Kelly Marie Tran is represented by Beverly Hills based Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder (Law Firm).
5 ft 2 in or 157 cm
55 kg or 121 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Kelly Marie Tran has opted to keep her personal life away from the public domain, which has led to the lack of information about her dating history and love life. The scarcity of information has opened her up to the wild rumors such as claims that she was dating her Star Wars colleague John Boyega. These rumors were fueled by their cozy equation in the movie and promotional events. However, it was nothing apart from baseless speculation.
Race / Ethnicity
She has Vietnamese ancestry on her mother’s and father’s side. Her parents are Vietnamese refugee migrants.
- Down to earth personality
- Round face
She was also featured in an anti-smoking advert for Truth.
Best Known For
- Being cast in the role of Rose Tico in the popular sci-fi action movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
- Having made a number of appearances in the comedy TV show, CollegeHumor Originals.
- Having made guest appearances on TV shows such as About a Boy and Adam Ruins Everything.
In 2011, Kelly made her theatrical film debut in a supporting role in the romantic drama movie, Hot Girls on the Beach.
First TV Show
In 2011, Kelly Marie Tran made her first TV show appearance in Just the Way It Is episode of the comedy series, This Indie Thing.
Kelly Marie Tran Facts
- She used to be a member of the musical improv group popularly known as Hug Bear. They often used to schedule their rehearsals at a go-to improv home in West Hollywood.
- While studying in high school, she worked in a local yogurt shop to earn money to pay for her headshots.
- When she was cast in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, she became a part of the history as she was the first female Asian-American actor to be cast in a Star Wars franchise movie.
- Early in her acting years, she polished her skills by working with Los Angeles based improv groups such as The Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade.
- She didn’t tell her family that she had bagged a role in Star Wars movie as she was asked to keep it a secret and kept it under wraps for 4 months. She had told them that she was working on a Canadian indie movie and even sent maple syrup as gifts to ensure that they believed their story.
- When she told her parents that she wanted to become an actress, they weren’t too happy. They felt that she should go for a real job.
- In her early struggling days, she did a number of odd jobs including working as a nanny and giving restaurant tours. She was also hired to clean a yoga studio.
- She had to see off competition from countless other applicants which also included some established names such as Gina Rodriguez, Olivia Cooke, and Tatiana Maslany to bag the role of Rose Tico.
- She has been a vocal advocate of hiring actors from minority communities for mainstream and popular roles instead of just casting them in stereotyped roles.
- She identifies herself as a geek. Kelly has spent years unsuccessfully convincing her friends to dress up as the Fellowship of the Ring. She has even named a steep trail in Griffith Park as ‘the road to Mordor.’
- After wrapping up the shooting of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, she escaped to South Africa to work in an endangered wildlife reserve, which didn’t have electricity, internet nor running water. She had to share a room with a dozen others and she had told everyone that she was an office temp.
- She has traveled to Vietnam to work with orphans. Kelly also facilitated her parents trip to their native country for the first time in around 40 years.
- She first started looking out for an agent while she was in high school but it took her years to find one. She got her first commercial agent in 2011 and a theatrical agent in 2013.
- In her early days, she also used to perform with the all-female Asian improv group, Number One Son.
- Although she has won widespread fame with Star Wars movie, she hadn’t seen any movie from the franchise before she went to the first audition for her role.
- She had to give 5 auditions between summer and fall of 2015 to win the role. The final audition was held in London with proper costuming, hair, and makeup.
- When she gave an audition for the movie, she was working full time in the capacity of assistant with a creative recruiting firm in Century City and she had given up all hopes of getting mainstream and commercially fulfilling work.
- In March 2021, Kelly revealed that she had faced racist and misogynist bullying after she was cast in the 2017 sci-fi film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Featured Image by Kelly Marie Tran / Instagram