Thalia Tran appears in the new comedy Little and we were able to get some time with her to talk about the movie and her career, which includes working on a pilot for NBC. Thalia had some great answers below and make sure to keep an eye on this rising and go out and watch Little.
Enchanting TV/film actress and overall talented musician, teen THALIA TRAN appears opposite Regina Hall and Justin Hartley in the Universal Pictures’ comedy LITTLE premiering in theaters nationwide on April 12th. Tran will also appear as “Charlotte” alongside Sarah Wayne Callies and Clive Standen in the NBC pilot “Council of Dads,” inspired by Bruce Feiler’s book.
BSCKids: You have a lot to be excited about as Little is premiering soon as well as working on the NBC Pilot, Council of Dads… Can you tell us a little bit about the characters you play in each of them.
Thalia Tran: In Little, when a ruthless business woman named Jordan Sanders finds herself trapped in the body of her thirteen year-old self, she must find a way to return to her adult self. Meanwhile, she is forced to attend school, and this is where she meets my character, Raina, and my friends, Isaac and Devon. We are part of the “Friend Zone”, a group full of students who have been socially ostracized for various reasons. My character in particular was humiliated for wearing unfashionable clothes to school. After that incident, Raina was categorized as an outcast. Jordan tries to teach Raina, Isaac, and Devon how to be cool by acting and dressing differently, but through these experiences, Jordan learns a lot about embracing her individuality. I recently finished filming Council of Dads, an NBC drama pilot based on Bruce Feiler’s bestselling novel. It’s about a father, Scott Perry, who is diagnosed with cancer, so he gathers his close friends to become a father figure for his children in case he doesn’t survive. I play Charlotte Perry, his adopted daughter who is struggling to figure out who she is. The script is so beautiful and powerful. It tells the story of how all of us cope with the devastating news of the cancer diagnosis while simultaneously struggling with the other challenges of our lives, challenges that are magnified by the prospect of losing Scott. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into these projects, and I can’t wait for the world to finally see the product of all our hard work.
BSCKids: Do you feel like you have anything in common with the character you play in Little?
Thalia Tran: I believe that a lot of people, including myself, can relate to Raina. Raina is an outsider, but unlike Jordan, she has not been corrupted by the world yet. She is still innocent and optimistic. In many ways, Raina reminds Jordan of herself at that age. Jordan decides to try and protect Raina to prevent her from getting hurt like she did when she was in middle school. She teaches her how to be someone else so that she will fit in. Little addresses bullying, peer pressure, and a lot of other issues that are prevalent in today’s world. Everybody wants to feel like they belong. Especially at this age, there is a lot of pressure to act and dress a certain way, and many people think that they have to change themselves to meet these expectations. Ultimately, what Raina realizes is that she doesn’t need to be someone else. I’m lucky to have such a strong support network of family and friends who love me for who I am. Little is an important reminder to always stay true to yourself.
BSCKids: How did you get the role in Little and how did you prepare for your scenes?
Thalia Tran: The audition process for Little was actually really smooth. I was fortunate in that I only had to do two auditions for the role. I remember one day after school, I hopped into my mom’s car, and my agents and manager were all on the phone. They told me that I had booked the role of Raina! When I heard the news, I immediately froze. I was speechless and had no idea what to say or what to think. It all felt surreal. In preparing for my scenes, I had to put myself in Raina’s shoes and consider her circumstances. Every person has a different point of view, and it was fascinating to explore what it’s like to see the world through Raina’s eyes. What was so amazing about working with such talented people was that their commitment to their characters made it so much easier to be present in the scene and have genuine reactions. Little was a dream come true, and my heart is filled with gratitude.
BSCKids: How was it working with Marsai Martin?
Thalia Tran: Marsai is not only incredibly kind, but she’s also exceptionally talented and hardworking. I loved working with her. She’s living proof that age is not a limit. Having Marsai as one of the creative minds and executive producers behind the movie, Little is able to tell its story through a new perspective. It’s rare for someone as young as Marsai to have such creative power in the filmmaking process, but I think this is what is so refreshing about Little. This is what differentiates Little from other movies.
BSCKids: Were they any fun behind the scenes stories you can tell us about?
Thalia Tran: As a cast, we all became really close, and it genuinely felt like family. During lunch, we would go into each other’s trailers to eat lunch and play Uno. When we returned for the pickup shots at the beginning of this year, we played Mario Kart together a lot. We shared so many laughs, and I’m immensely grateful to have worked with such kind and truly amazing people.
BSCKids: Tell us a little bit about your Kung Fu training as well as your love of music?
Thalia Tran: Music has always been an integral part of my life. It allows me to express myself. I’ve always found music composition to be a profoundly liberating process. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, and I play guitar and piano as well. In the future, I hope to learn the drums, and I also want to release some of my original music. I don’t know how far in the future this is, but it’s definitely something that I am pushing towards. As for Kung Fu, I’ve been interested in learning martial arts for a long time. Unfortunately, I had never been able to find a class that was practical for me in terms of time and location until last year when I found out about this Kung Fu academy. I tried out a lesson, and having no prior martial arts experience, the lesson was extremely difficult for me. However, being the type of person who loves a good challenge, I decided that Kung Fu was perfect for me. My enrollment has been interrupted several times by my filming schedule, but as with anything, you just have to keep pushing forward. As my instructor always reminds me, Kung Fu is not only about training the body but also about training the mind. Through Kung Fu, I have learned a lot about hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I have so much to learn, and I want to continue learning Kung Fu for as long as I possibly can.
BSCKids: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Thalia Tran: Something that not everyone may know about me is that I actually did not start out in acting. My first love was music. My parents always tell me stories about how I used to hum myself to sleep as a baby. From there, my love for music only grew. I sang anywhere and everywhere, and to this day, I still do the same. I had been taking vocal lessons for a while when my vocal coach recommended that I take acting lessons. He said that it would be a great way to improve my performance skills. I signed up for a lesson just to try it out, and I simply fell in love with acting. If it hadn’t been for that one vocal lesson, I would probably not be involved in acting today.
BSCKids: Tell us a bit about your work with Project Linus.
Thalia Tran: Project Linus is a community service club that donates blankets to children in need. During my eighth grade year, I signed up for the club, and for lunch, we would come together to make blankets. Through the club, I was able to meet all of these people who were so passionate about giving back to the community. The experience was eye-opening and truly inspirational. In my ninth grade year, I became co-president of the club. My goal was to provide an opportunity for students to positively impact the lives of others. Along with the other board members, we gathered the materials, planned the meetings, and organized the events. Together we grew the club’s number of participants exponentially. It was incredible to see all of those people uniting and collaborating to make the world a better place. I’m in my second semester of freshman year now, and I have just switched over to a homeschooling program. Even though I can no longer be co-president of Project Linus, it was an experience I will never forget, and it has inspired me to better support my community and stand up for causes I believe in.
BSCKids: In one sentence tell everyone why they should go and see Little!
Thalia Tran: Every single person involved in Little brought something unique, special, and unforgettable to the movie, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of these incredible people, we get to bring the world a movie that is hilarious, magical, inspirational, and so much more! Make sure to catch Little in theaters April 12!
Special thanks to Thalia Tran for taking the time out to talk to BSCKids.