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Kelly Marie Tran Used Her Star Wars Salary To Pay Off Student Loans

By on March 23, 2021 0

When Kelly Marie Tran finally landed her very first film role after eight years as a struggling actress, it was the role of a lifetime: fan favorite Rose Tico in “Stars Wars: The Last Jedi”. Suddenly, after nearly a decade, she had done it – and doing it meant paying her, among other things. student loans.

Before the offer came to make her film debut with director Rian Johnson, the 28-year-old UCLA grad had gotten used to grinding, supporting herself by working odd jobs and in a temp agency while doing her best to get into projects. “She would get up at 5 in the morning, answer the phone and have a coffee, leave for two or three auditions in the afternoon, then come back to the office and stay until 8 or 9 in the evening”, reports Buzzfeed.

The concerts were rare and she was tired. Hst acting experience consisted of a few appearances in College Humor sketches, a Web series she toured with her friends, and a few improv shows. Tran told Entertainment Weekly she thought about leaving.

“I remember thinking, ‘This could be my life forever’,” she said. “Like, I could never do it. I could work this hard for the next 20 years of my life and still struggle.”

Then when the world-changing news arrived, she couldn’t even share it with her parents, refugees from Vietnam who had brought their children to America in search of a better life. Due to her contract and the secrecy of the filming, she told Buzzfeed, Tran had to tell her family that she had gone to Canada to shoot an independent film.

In many ways, Tran’s journey as an actor has prepared her for the role of Rose.

Rose is a Resistance maintenance worker who bonds with stormtrooper-turned-hero Finn, played by “The Force Awakens” star John Boyega.

Rose and Finn embark on a mission to gain access to an enemy ship, which involves a quick stop at a fancy casino, where they team up with a hacker known as DJ, performed by Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro.

As Finn gets carried away by the wealth and extravagance that surrounds them, Rose captures the voice of the Resistance. She exposes the ugliness to Finn, showing him that the profits of the rich come at the expense of abused children, and tells him that she was once one of those children. She started from nothing and got where she did by working hard and believing in herself.

This story echoes his in some ways. His parents came to the United States during the Vietnam War. “My dad was a street kid for seven years – he was homeless,” Tran told Buzzfeed. “My parents didn’t have a dream. Their dream was to live in a country where their children have a choice.”

Tran chose to act. But it was not easy. Like many minority actors, Tran was often offered roles that simply played on his ethnicity. She stars in a CollegeHumor video titled “Are you Asian enough?

“I had resigned myself to thinking that one day I would just be the weird supporting character who always talks about being Asian and brings kimchi to the party,” she told the Detroit Free Press.

Today she is the first Asian American star in “Star Wars,” the most lucrative movie franchise of all time, and has become the first American star of Asian descent on the cover of Vanity Show.

While it’s not clear how much Tran held student loans or did in the role, the average monthly student loan payment for a borrower in their twenties is $ 351 and the median monthly payment is $ 203. And Variety reports that newcomers to the “Star Wars” series earn between $ 100,000 and $ 300,000 per movie. Enough, Buzzfeed reports, that Tran “has finally paid off his student loans.”

As Tran writes in one of his enthusiastic and moving articles on Instagram, “My heart is so full and my goals are so clear. Let’s tell more stories.”

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Video of Nate Skid