Q&A: Bachelorette Jenn Tran Steps into the Spotlight

Jenn Tran, Asian Bachelorette speaking at an event
Jenn Tran, the first-ever Asian Bachelorette, talks fashion, family and staying grounded with her newfound fame. (Photo courtesy of Disney/Wade Payne.)

Jenn Tran will be the first-ever Asian Bachelorette to try her luck at handing out those illustrious red roses starting July 8. 

Bachelor Nation was first introduced to the energetic and charismatic Tran during Joey Graziadei’s season of “The Bachelor.” She entered the fray not by limo but by go-kart, making Graziadei fall head-over-heels for her and her bubbly personality. The two shared many heartfelt moments during the run of the season, with Tran making headlines for being the first-ever monoracial Asian woman to go on a one-on-one date in the show’s history — a surfing date where she simultaneously conquered her deep-seated fear of sharks and opened up about her less-than-perfect family life. Unfortunately, Tran was sent home a week before hometown dates, but fortunately, producers at ABC could tell audiences wanted more of the spunky physician’s assistant (PA) student and offered her the role of Bachelorette. 

Character Media had the chance to sit down with Tran, discussing everything from being a “high-boots girl” to bridging the gap between Vietnamese and American culture. 

Jenn Tran and the 25 men who are vying for her heart. (Photo courtesy of Disney/Michael Kirchoff.)

Character Media: To start off with a little icebreaker, in the Bachelor franchise, the women are always serving looks. Do you have a fashion icon that you are inspired by? 

Jenn Tran: Lately, it’s been Sabrina Carpenter. I’m loving the little short skirts and the high boots. I’ve always been a high-boots girl, but my skirts aren’t as short as hers. But hey, I’m inspired. I could go shorter.

CM: Exactly [laughs]. So, what got you on “The Bachelor” in the first place? And then, what made you say yes to being “The Bachelorette”?

JT:  I got an Instagram DM for “The Bachelor” because somebody discovered my PA school TikTok. It’s funny because I was like, “If I never made a PA school TikTok, I would not be sitting in this chair right now.” I wasn’t sure if [the DM] was real or not, [but] then I did a couple of interviews and ended up on “The Bachelor”! 

When I was asked about “The Bachelorette,” I definitely had hesitation. I had big shoes to fill. And I wanted to find love, but I didn’t know if I wanted everything that came with being the Bachelorette. I’m a fairly private person, [so] I had to really think about if I was going to be able to handle it all. 

During the first episode, the suitors must make a lasting impression on Jenn Tran to continue throughout the season. (Photo courtesy of Disney/John Fleenor.)

CM: You were scouted. Okay, girl. I see you! Were there nerves going into leading the show and, of course, being the first Asian Bachelorette?

JT: For sure. Going into being the lead of the show and being the first Asian Bachelorette, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it “right” — to be a role model and not let anybody down. What I learned is [that] I needed to be myself and to embrace that as much as I could — [to] not think about what anybody else was going to think.

I really struggled growing up. I had an identity crisis — struggling with my Vietnamese and American cultures and how to mix them, how just to be me [and to determine] who I am between [the two cultures]. [But] I was excited to enter this role because I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m so easily able to embrace the fact that I’m Vietnamese American, and I’m so happy that I get to share my story with other people like me. 

CM:  Were your family members “The Bachelorette “ or reality TV watchers before any of this? 

JT: I remember in college, my friends were fans of the show, and I was like, “I don’t do reality TV. It’s not for me.” I did get into it a little bit after college, which is funny. 

My family, though? No, they do not watch reality TV. When I told my mom I was going to be the Bachelorette, she was like, “Oh my god. Jenn, I cannot go on TV. I can’t do that. You’re going to have to hire a fake mom to go on TV. It’s not going to be me.” So, bless her soul. But she did amazing, and she supports me so much — my entire family does. I’m so grateful for them.

CM: Do you have any siblings? How did they feel about you going on the show?

JT:  I have one brother. He’s my biggest fan. I know he’s my biggest supporter, but it’s funny seeing how big of a supporter he is of the show now [laughs]. He is always looking out for me.

CM: That’s awesome. It’s cool to have an Asian family on “The Bachelor.” I’ve been a fan of the show for so many years, and seeing that is so different.

JT: Growing up, I never saw anybody’s bilingual family on TV, and I don’t think we’ve seen that on “The Bachelor,” so it’s going to be amazing to be able to do that. I’m so proud.

CM: How are you balancing pursuing PA school, being the Bachelorette and doing all this press?

JT: I’m a Sagittarius, which means I’m an overachiever. I like to do everything at once. [But] what I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks is that I may need to hit the brakes a little bit. I took a pause on PA school. I pushed it back a couple of months because right now my life has really, really changed. I want to be able to fully focus on school and give it the time that it deserves because at the end of the day, my main goal is to be a good provider.

Tran prepares for her very first rose ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Disney/John Fleenor.)

CM: That’s so fair. Throughout this whole experience, there’s been some stress and pressure. What kinds of things have you used to ground yourself?

JT: I go to the gym every day, and that definitely gives me a boost of endorphins. But truly, it’s being with my friends and family. Those are the people whose opinions I care the most about because they really know me. That’s how I ground myself. I go to them and they give me a hug, or they sit on the couch with me, eat ice cream and watch a movie. That’s all I really need.