Kelly Marie Tran says harassment after Star Wars was like ‘a really bad breakup’

Kelly Marie Tran says the online harassment she faced after starring in the Star Wars franchise felt “like a really bad breakup”.

The actor, who voices the titular character in the newly released animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon, was asked about her experiences in a recent interview with The New York Times.

Tran portrayed Rose Tico in the 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and again in the 2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. She became the target of abuse on social media, eventually deleting all her Instagram posts as a result.

In 2018, she opened up about the online harassment she faced in an essay for The New York Times, writing: “Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of colour already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.”

In the new interview, Tran was asked whether she would have still chosen to appear in two Star Wars films if she had known she would face such harassment.

“I think I would’ve done it anyway,” the actor said after what the paper described as a “long pause”.

“Doing that first movie was so fun — it was like being admitted to Hogwarts. It was like, ‘This is impossible,’ and then I was doing it. I don’t really look back with that much regret anymore.”

Referring to her latest voice part in Raya and the Last Dragon, she added: “Star Wars feels like I fell in love for the first time, and then we had a really bad breakup, and then I learned how to love again, and now I’m in a better relationship with Raya. I’ve moved on, and it feels great.”

Raya and the Last Dragon is out in select cinemas and as a premium offering on Disney+.

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