HomeVietnamese AmericanStar Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran elevated to Disney Princess
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Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran elevated to Disney Princess

Kelly Marie Tran of Star War’s Rose Tico fame will soon be voicing the character of a Disney princess.

Variety reports she’ll play the main character in Raya and the Last Princess replacing Cassie Steele who previously had that role.

Tran will be alongside Awkwafina who will play Sisu in the movie set to be released on March 12, 2021.

“She is someone who is technically a princess but I think that what’s really cool about this project, about this character, specifically is that everyone’s trying to flip the narrative on what it means to be a princess,” Tran said to Entertainment Weekly. “Raya is totally a warrior. When she was a kid, she was excited to get her sword. And she grows up to be a really badass, gritty warrior and can really take care of herself.”

Director Carlos López Estrada says he came away impressed with Tran’s comedy and ad lib skills.

“We had this little dramatic moment; it was written as a few lines. And I remember her going, ‘Hey, I have some ideas because this is normally how I would say this or I have some questions. Do you mind if I tried it a little bit differently?’” the director recalls. “She went for it, improvised for a minute, and had us all in tears. We changed the scene and reblocked the animation so that it would follow what Kelly did that day because she just clicked on something that was so much bigger than anything we had imagined.”

Kelly Marie Tran has been a fan favorite despite playing a diminished role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The chance to play a lead character is a major break for her young career.

Qui Nguyen and Crazy Rich Asians writer Adele Lim penned the script.

“To be able to have some [heroes] that look like me and my kids, it’s gonna matter to a lot of folks,” says Nguyen who says he finds it particularly gratifying to see a Southeast Asian actress play a lead role.

Nguyen is the first Southeast Asian lead in a Disney film.

There’s no word on why Steele, who is half-Filipino, has been replaced, according to International Business Times.

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  1. This is great and I wish a very hearty congrats to KMT. It’s unfortunate that the movie also includes problematic Awkwafina who launched her career off of appropriating AAVE.


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