“Raya and the Last Dragon” is set in the land of Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization where humans and dragons once lived together in harmony. Star Kelly Marie Tran tells the “Just for Variety” podcast that the real-life atmosphere on the set of the Disney movie, which arrives in theaters and on Disney Plus Premium Access on Friday, was equally “out of this world.”
As a huge Disney fan, Tran said it was an overwhelming experience to be part of the magic of collaborating on the production of a Disney animated film.
“I wish I could bring every person who’s ever wanted to do this with me because I know it’s something so few people get to experience,” Tran said. “It’s just as good as you imagine it.”
Tran spoke with Jazz Tangcay, Variety‘s senior artisans editor, about becoming the latest Disney Princess in “Raya.” Tran shares her favorite Disney films growing up, favorite food spots at Disneyland and the chemistry she shared with co-star Awkwafina, who plays the shape-shifting dragon named Sisu.
Tangcay asked Tran about the dynamic between Raya and Sisi’s characters, which she said is compelling because their perceptions of the world are different but neither of them are wrong.
“They’re just speaking from their own experiences,” Tran said. “The beauty of that relationship is when they let each other in and are able to learn from each other. Aside from the witty banter and all of the funny back and forths they have is really inspiring. To know you can have people in your life who view the world differently, who believe things that are different from you, but that you can still learn from them, welcome them into your life and become good friends with them. I think that’s a beautiful, wonderful thing.”
When asked what her favorite Disney movies were, Tran reeled off “Mulan,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Growing up in San Diego, she loved going to Disneyland and partaking in all the food the theme park had to offer.
“I always made sure to get the Disneyland corndog,” Tran said. “I wanted to get the chicken fusilli pasta from the [Alien Pizza Planet] for lunch all the time, I love the ice cream on Main Street and the churros.”
Listen to the full interview below. You can also find “Just for Variety” at Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.