'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Actor Nearly Quit Acting Before Landing the Role

While she was cast as a brand new character in the upcoming Star Wars movie, Kelly Marie Tran had never seen any of the movies before landing the role. And if she had not been cast, she might be working a different career altogether.

The actor revealed to Entertainment Weekly she was considering quitting acting before joining Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

"There was absolutely a moment," said Tran. "When I turned 25, I had been at it for some years and I was struggling to pay my bills. I was tired. I had been working [my day job> 40-plus hours a week, plus sometimes I'd have two auditions in the day and then I would write a sketch or do improv at night, or rehearse for the next auditions the next day. So, my days, I would get up at 5 a.m. and then I wouldn't be home until 11:00 p.m. The days were like that for years.

"I remember thinking, 'This could be my life forever.' Like, I could just never make it. I could work this hard for the next 20 years of my life and still be struggling."

But Tran never gave up, realizing she wanted to follow her passion. So she auditioned for the new Star Wars movie while working in an office as a day job, and eventually learned she got the part while working a shift.

"The day I found out, Rian [Johnson, director of The Last Jedi] was like, 'Oh we want you in this movie,' I had just left work on my lunch break to go to this meeting," Tran said. "Afterward, he told me that I couldn't tell anyone, so I went back to work and answered phones and answered emails, like nothing happened. It was the most bizarre experience. Inside I was like, Ugh! Crazy!"

Tran said she is still adjusting to life after Star Wars, though it’s likely to change a lot more when the film finally debuts.

"I still just sort of live my life the way that I was before," she says. "I don't know when I will feel that it's different. Definitely, when I saw the action figures, I was like, 'This is insane,' but it still hasn't sunk in or registered on me."

Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.

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