Entertainment Movies See Kelly Marie Tran Learn to Become a Poet: The Experience 'Changed Me on a Molecular Level' "It is my hope that watching me — very awkwardly — learn how to write poetry can encourage those who, like me, might feel afraid to try something they've always wanted to do," says Kelly Marie Tran By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines and Nigel Smith Nigel Smith Nigel Smith is Senior News Editor, Movies at PEOPLE. He is an Entertainment Editor and Writer with more than 10 years of experience in the online and print industries as a journalist, storyteller, proofreader and manager. In 2017 Smith joined the PEOPLE editorial team in New York as News Editor, Movies. He has written feature stories and reviews including interviews with Ryan Reynolds, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Hudson and Russell Crowe. Prior, he served as News Editor at the Wrap in Los Angeles, and Entertainment Editor at the Guardian, also in LA, where he covered the red carpet at major awards shows including the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Governors Awards, Grammy Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. He also attended and reported on major film festivals at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, SXSW and Tribeca. Smith has appeared as an expert commentator on numerous morning and entertainment shows including Good Morning America, Today, NBC News, BBC News, Access Hollywood, NY1, PeopleTV and more. A native of Toronto, Canada, Smith graduated from Syracuse University in New York State with Master of Arts degree in Arts Journalism (Film). He is married and lives in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 7, 2021 01:06 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Kelly Marie Tran is tapping into her inner poet. The 32-year-old actress serves as executive producer on Summertime, "a spoken-word poetry musical set in Los Angeles, following the intersecting stories of 27 young Angelinos over the course of a single day." Summertime, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is set to hit theaters beginning Friday, is a project that "changed" the actress, 32, "on a molecular level," she tells PEOPLE. The star adds that she was also excited to reunite with director Carlos López Estrada, whom she worked with on Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon. "Working with the incredible young poets of Summertime has changed me on a molecular level," Tran says. "It is my hope that watching me — very awkwardly — learn how to write poetry can encourage those who, like me, might feel afraid to try something they've always wanted to do." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Summertime group photo. Good Deed Entertainment Kelly Marie Tran and Carlos López Estrada. Good Deed Entertainment Kelly Marie Tran on Becoming a Disney Princess: "It Feels Like a Weird Fever Dream" "Open those notebooks. Start that screenplay. The world needs your voice!" the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress encourages other would-be creatives. "And if you need some nudging, go watch Summertime. It opens in theaters this week, and is full of people doing things that scare them," Tran says. "May their bravery and vulnerability inspire you the way it did me." According to an official synopsis, the film brings together "a skating guitarist, a tagger, two wannabe rappers, an exasperated fast-food worker, a limo driver" and more who "all weave in and out of each other's stories" during a summer day in L.A. "Through poetry they express life, love, heartache, family, home, and fear. One of them just wants to find someplace that still serves good cheeseburgers," the synopsis adds. Poster for Summertime. Good Deed Entertainment RELATED VIDEO: Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Kelly Marie Tran Opens Up About Her Overnight Fame In a release, Estrada, 32, says that Summertime was "the scariest artistic experiment I have ever worked on, but I would also be lying if I said that it was not the most rewarding creative experience of my life." "Everything about the process behind Summertime was unexpected and reaffirming," he continues. "A sunset overlooking downtown from the roof of a Cadillac limousine, an entire improvised day shooting on an iPhone, the radical sincerity these artists brought to set every day. It is the kind of sincerity that, I believe, has the power to inspire lasting change." Tran says in the release that watching the movie felt "like falling in love for the first time." "It's a love letter to Los Angeles and to the many incredible artists and individuals living in it. I can't wait for you to fall in love with these incredible poets — fully, completely, and inexplicably — the way I did," she adds. Summertime hits theaters in Los Angeles and New York City on Friday, expanding to additional theaters July 16.