Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm Ltd.
by Zach Johnson | Tue., Jun. 5, 2018 6:55 AM
Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm Ltd.
Actress Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all of her Instagram posts, after reportedly suffering "months of harassment" following the December 2017 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
In February 2016, the San Diego native was cast as Rose Tico, a Rebel mechanic. A relative unknown at the time, her credits mostly included digital shorts and web series—i.e., Star Wars was her big break. As she joined her fellow cast members at Pinewood Studios, Tran focused on her work and kept a low profile. But, two months before the movie hit theaters, she decided to start documenting her Cinderella story on Instagram. "Guys, can I tell you a secret? I avoided public social media for a long time purely because I was afraid. I was terrified of being picked apart, of being scrutinized, of being seen," the 29-year-old actress wrote in an Instagram caption last October. "It took me a year of self-work—and some really amazing, supportive friends—to make me realize that it's none of my business if people like me or not. It doesn't change my goals, my dreams, what I want to do with the opportunities I've been given." Tran went on to remind her fans, "YOU ARE ENOUGH. Love yourself and embrace your messiness. That's where your power lies! (I honestly just wrote this in my journal as a reminder to myself, because hey, I'm mostly a strong person, but life happens, and I'm still figuring it out as I go.)"
During her press tour, Tran kept it real on Instagram as she took fans along on her journey. A few months earlier, she admitted to being nervous about how to navigate the once in a lifetime experience and everything it entails. "How do you prepare for that?" she asked E! News' Erin Lim. "There's no book on that. Is there a book on that? Can you guys get me a book on that?"
As of June 5, Tran's Instagram account remains active, but her posts are gone. She did not explain why, but the popular Twitter account Star Wars Facts claimed it's because of bullying. Days after Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters, Tran's character's bio on the Wookieepedia website was altered to feature racist language; FANDOM, the company behind the page, swiftly removed the vandalism and closed off the Rose Tico page from further editing. Around the same time, alt-right internet personality Paul Ray Ramsey took aim at Tran's appearance.
One of Tran's co-stars, Daisy Ridley, deleted her Instagram account for similar reasons; the actress, who plays Rey, deactivated her profile in response to anti-gun backlash in August 2016. "It's not good for me, personally. I'm just not equipped for it," Ridley said a year later, in a Glamour magazine cover story. "I'm super sensitive—not too sensitive—but I really feel things."
Tran, whose parents emigrated from Vietna, is the first Asian-American woman to play a leading role in Star Wars. "It's incredible," she told E! News. "It feels like a big responsibility."
"I very much take it seriously. It's something I've thought about a lot," she continued. "I'm just excited because I know, growing up, I wasn't able to see someone that necessarily looked like me, who was from where I was from, in a movie. I'm excited that kids will be able to see that."