Kelly Marie Tran Uses Her ‘Star Wars’ Salary to Pay Off Student Loans
By Bryan Ke
December 29, 2017
While most breakthrough Hollywood celebrities spend their paycheck buying new homes, cars, and other luxury items, Kelly Marie Tran, the rising star first introduced in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, used her salary to pay off student loans.
According to BuzzFeed, the 28-year-old Vietnamese-American actress, who portrayed the Resistance’s mechanic-turned-heroine Rose Tico in “The Last Jedi,” finally paid off all her student loans after she received her paycheck once filming wrapped up.
Neither the report nor Tran mentioned any specifics in the interview with BuzzFeed. However, Variety, in its 2015 report, suggested that newcomers to the franchise often receive salary between the range of $100,000 to $300,000, which is what John Boyega and Daisy Ridley earned in “The Force Awakens”.
If this estimation is in any way accurate, then Tran may have already settled her student loan as soon as she received her paycheck. According to the data reported in June 2017, average Americans who are in their 20s have roughly $22,135 in debt.
Tran’s journey to success, however, did not go smoothly. In fact, in 2015, she had a rather different career before officially jumping into the “Star Wars” franchise and landing herself the role of Rose.
Before her breakout role, she was working as a full-time assistant at a creative recruiting firm based in Century City, Los Angeles. Tran worked really hard to make ends meet, waking up as early as 5 a.m. to answer phones at her office. She would then leave in the afternoon to go to two or three auditions before returning back to work to finish her shift until 8 or 9 p.m.
After seeing a casting notice for the “Untitled Rian Johnson Project,” which many people already knew was the next Star Wars film, Tran immediately took the call and auditioned for the role. The actress auditioned five times between the summer and fall of 2015 before officially landing the job in November of that same year.
Ever since then, her rise to fame continued. Tran established herself as the loveable, unsung heroine of the film, becoming the first ever Asian-American woman to play a lead role in “Star Wars” and even the first to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was released in U.S. cinemas on December 15, making its world premiere on December 9 in downtown Los Angeles.
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