Disney and LucasFilm announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII officially began shooting this morning. And along with this came the news that three new actors have been added to the cast. We’ve long known that Benicio Del Toro is playing a yet unrevealed role, perhaps the new villain. And it was announced that Jurassic Park star Laura Dern is joining this sci-fi universe. But the most surprising moment came when Kelly Marie Tran was confirmed as part of the new Star Wars cast. Mainly because most fans have never heard her name before.
Like Daisy Ridley before she was cast as the lead Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, most people don’t know Kelly Marie Tran. But she’s done a little more work than Daisy Ridley, and will be instantly recognizable to those who follow viral videos on the Internet.
Kelly Marie Tran is a native of San Diego who got her start in local musical theater. She has also trained with prestigious improv groups such as iO West, Second City, and Upright Citizens Brigade. But she is mainly known for her roles starring in a number of web series, comedic digital shorts, commercials, and occasional guest spots on various TV shows.
The upcoming Netflix original comedy movie XOXO will feature Kelly Marie Tran along such other actresses as Sarah Hyland and Hayley Kiyoko and Ione Skye. Her most prominent role to date came in the original web series Ladies Like Us, which spawned a sequel series Ladies Like Us: The Rise of Neighborhood Watch. Kelly Marie Tran is also known for her many appearances in the extremely popular College Humor original shorts that have debuted over the course of the past few years. One of the most popular shorts was called “Periods Aren’t That Gross”. And she also took the lead in the digital short “Why Net Neutrality Matters.”
On the TV side of things, Kelly Marie Tran had a recurring role in the NBC sitcom About a Boy. And she has appeared in one episode of IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! in 2015. She also starred in the pilot for an unaired series titled Pub Quiz. The actress can also be seen in advertisements for the Truth campaign, which warns of the dangers of smoking.
At this time, there is absolutely no information about the character Kelly Marie Tran will play. Star Wars: Episode VIII is written and directed by Rian Johnson. This highly anticipated sequel continues the story lines introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Coming back are cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. You can take a look at some of Kelly Marie Tran‘s work below.