Kelly Marie Tran ‘left the internet for her own sanity’ amid trolling from Star Wars fans

Kelly Marie Tran at the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Kelly Marie Tran at the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Kelly Marie Tran has said she quit the internet for “her own sanity” amid vicious trolling at the hands of Star Wars fans.

Tran portrayed Rose Tico in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and experienced months of racist and sexist abuse in the aftermath of its release.

In 2018, she wrote an essay for The New York Times about her experiences of online bullying, 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.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Tran recalled being surprised at how public her experiences became.

“What’s interesting to me about working in this industry is that certain things become so public, even if you don’t really mean them to be, [like] the succession of events in which I left the internet for my own sanity,” she explained. “It was basically me being like, ‘Oh, this isn’t good for my mental health. I’m obviously going to leave this.’”

Read more: Raya and the Last Dragon sits comfortably within the Disney canon, but never stands out

She also revealed that her experiences led her to step back from fame.

“I left,” she remembered. “I said no to a lot of things. It felt like I was just hearing the voice of my agents and my publicity team and all of these people telling me what to say and what to do and how to feel. And I realised, I didn’t know how I felt anymore. And I didn’t remember why I was in this in the first place … [I needed to] remind myself that there was a fire that burned inside of me before Star Wars, before any of this.”

Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Tran next voices the lead character in the Disney animated film Raya and the Last Dragon.

In The Independent’s review of the film, critic Clarisse Loughrey argued that the movie’s plot breeds a kind of familiarity that “always feels in danger of slipping into the formulaic”.

Raya and the Last Dragon is available on Disney+ from 5 March.