Kelly Marie Tran was honoured to be Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Kelly Marie Tran said it was an "honor" and "responsibility" to represent Asian people in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.
The 28-year-old actress stars as Rose Tico in the eighth installment of the sci-fi franchise, with the film being hailed as one of the most diverse 'Star Wars' movies of all time.
Tran was born in San Diego but her parents immigrated to the US from Vietnam and she admits she gets "very emotional" when she thinks about young Asian girls identifying with Rose when they see her in the movie because there was a shortage of identifiable role models for her when she was growing up.
Speaking to Variety, she said: "A lot of 'Star Wars' fans who are specifically Asian never had a character they could dress up like, or they would and people would always call them 'Asian Rey' or 'Asian fill-in-the-blank.'
"I get very emotional when I see people who are able to identify with this character. That means a lot to me and I don't think it will ever get old.
"It's been both an honor and a responsibility. I feel so overwhelmed. I remember what it felt like to not see anyone like myself in books or on film or on TV. When you're really young, you tend to fall in love with characters. If you start seeing the same type of character everywhere and realize that they don't look like you, or they don't speak like you, you start wanting to change who you are. That's something that I did when I was a young kid. I'm excited to be a part of this positive change."
'The Last Jedi' features a number of ethnicities being represented and Tran said it's a "big deal" because it's "so rare" but wishes the film industry will change.
She said: "It feels like a big deal because it's so rare. I wish it wasn't. I wish that you and I could be having a different conversation.
"I wish that all different types of people of all races and all upbringings were all equally represented in this industry that influences so many people. But the fact is that's just not true, so it is important to talk about it. I'm always thinking about that little girl that never saw herself in things."