While promoting her forthcoming show Sorry for Your Loss at the Toronto International Film Festival, actress Kelly Marie Train opened up about her experiences being bullied online, expressing doubt over whether she would ever return to social media.
When Tran was cast as Rose Tico, rebel member, in The Last Jedi, she became the first Asian actor to play a key role in the Star Wars franchise. After the film came out last December, Tran was at first a social media darling when a video of her reacting to and later greeting fans talking about her performance in the movie went viral.
Later, though, she became a target for online harassment, mostly from Star Wars fans angry about her character or just angry in general. Many of the taunts were racist. As a result, Tran deleted her Instagram account, though she was supported by director Rian Johnson and by cast members like Mark Hamill and John Boyega.
Tran wrote about her experiences in a New York Times piece last month.
“I felt like I wanted to write something honest, that truly came from me,” Tran told The Hollywood Reporter. When asked if she’d ever return to online life, she said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.”
“I think that there are, just like anything else, really good and really bad things that come with anything,” Tran said.
In her piece for the Times, Tran elaborated on how the bullying made her feel.
“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them. Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.”
Sorry for Your Loss is Tran’s first major project after The Last Jedi. The darkly comic series, which co-stars Elizabeth Olsen, was made for Facebook Watch, and Tran is very aware that she’s working for a social media giant after leaving social media.
“There are really good things that come out of having a community,” Tran said about online life. “Hopefully, what we are doing here, in terms of this project, will be illuminated by that.”
Sorry for Your Loss is set to premiere on Facebook Watch on September 18.