Bai Ling

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Bai Ling
Bai Ling 2007.jpg
Bai Ling in 2007
Chinese name 白靈 (traditional)
Chinese name 白灵 (simplified)
Pinyin Bái Líng (Mandarin)
Born (1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 47)[1]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–present
Parents
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陳彬彬)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Bai.

Bai Ling[a] (Chinese: 白灵, born October 10, 1966)[1] is a Chinese-born American actress known for her work in films such as The Crow, Red Corner and Wild Wild West, and in TV series such as Entourage and Lost. She speaks both English and Mandarin fluently.

Early life[edit]

Bai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China in 1966. Her father, Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥), was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later a music teacher. Her mother, Chen Binbin (陈彬彬), was a dancer, stage actress, and a literature teacher in Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and later remarried. Her mother remarried to the writer Xu Chi (徐迟), renowned for his report titled Goldbach's Conjecture, about Chinese mathematician Chen Jingrun. Bai Ling has one older sister Bai Jie (白洁), who works for the Chinese tax bureau, and a younger brother Bai Chen (白陈), who emigrated to Japan and works for an American company.

Bai has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), she learned how to perform by participating in Eight model plays, at her elementary school shows. After her graduation from middle school, Bai was sent to do labor work at Shuangliu (双流), a county near Chengdu, where the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located.

She soon passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an artist soldier in Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet, where she served from age 14 to 17. Her main activity there was entertaining in the musical theater. She also served briefly as an Army nurse. Ling later stated that during her time in Tibet she, along with other female performers, was regularly plied with alcohol and sexually abused by older male Chinese officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy, which she was forced to terminate with an abortion. She cites this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction.[2] Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital.

Soon after her release from the hospital, Bai joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. Her performance as a young man in the stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger drew the attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), which gained her her first movie role in On The Beach (1985), as a village girl who becomes a factory worker and struggled against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.

In later years, she appeared in several movies. She temporarily moved to New York in 1991 to attend New York University's film department as a visiting scholar, but later obtained a special visa that allowed her to remain in the United States until she became a citizen in 1999.

Acting career[edit]

At a party in July 2007

Bai had previously appeared in several Chinese movies. In 1984, Bai appeared as a fishing village girl in the movie On the Beach (海滩). Later she filmed several other movies, including Suspended Sentence (缓期执行), Yueyue (月月), Tears in Suzhou (泪洒姑苏) without much attention. She became famous after playing a girl with a psychological disorder who has an affair with her doctor, in the film The Shining Arc (弧光) directed by Zhang Junzhao (张军钊). She attended Moscow International Film Festival in 1989. Since coming to the United States in 1991, she has appeared in a number of American movies.

She appeared in The Crow (1994), playing the half-sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. The Shining Arc was her most celebrated role in the Chinese film industry. In 1997, she played the lead female role, opposite Richard Gere, in the American film Red Corner. The New York Times praised Bai Ling's performance, saying that she gave the film "not only grace but also substantial gravity".[3] For that role, she received the National Board of Review Freedom for Breakthrough Female Performance and the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress for her role in Red Corner.[4] The film was critical of human rights abuse in China : as a result, Bai Ling's Chinese citizenship was revoked. She later became a US citizen.[5]

She was named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1998. She appeared in Chris Isaak's music video "Please" in 1998. She shaved off her hair, which was longer than 36 inches (90 cm) for her role in Anna and the King, and is widely known in Thailand as "Tuptim", her character's name from the film, even though the movie is officially banned because of its depiction of the King of Siam. She filmed scenes for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) as Senator Bana Breemu, but her role was cut during editing. She claimed that this was because she posed nude in the June 2005 issue of Playboy magazine, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the movie's May 2005 release, but director George Lucas denied this, stating that the cut had been made more than a year earlier.[6] Her scenes were included in the "deleted scenes" feature of the DVD release.

In 2004, Bai starred in independent filmmaker Fruit Chan's Dumplings and the performance earned her the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. In the same year she has been critically accaimed for her performance in another independent movie, The Beautiful Country, with Nick Nolte, by Hans Petter Moland.

Later in 2005, Bai was a cast member on the VH1 program called But Can They Sing?. The show gave several non-singer celebrities an opportunity to sing on every episode and then allowed the audience and home viewers to vote off one contestant each week. Bai Ling was most famous for her raunchy outfits and her performances of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated". She was eliminated just before the grand finale but was invited back in the final week for a special performance of Divinyls' "I Touch Myself". Also in 2005, Bai made a guest appearance on episode 6 of season 2 of Entourage titled "China Town". She played a stunt co-ordinator named Li Lei, who prepares Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) for scenes in a beverage commercial made for the Chinese market. She is later seen hanging with the gang at an EA Sports sponsored video game event.

In 2007, she starred as Coco in the film adaptation of the controversial Chinese contemporary novel, Shanghai Baby, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and she appeared in one episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land") of the show Lost.

In 2011 she served as an official festival judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Personal life[edit]

On February 14, 2008, Bai Ling was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries.[7] It was an "emotionally crazy" day, Bai explained to E! News. She was coping with the "huge problem of breaking up [before] Valentine's Day...wrong boyfriend."[8] She also wrote on her blog after the incident: "Life happens to you whether you like it or not, sometimes I feel you have to be so brave to stand in front of the world, and just hope that people will have a tender heart towards you."[9] On March 5, 2008 she pleaded guilty to the charge of disturbing the peace. She was fined $200 (US$700 including the fine and penalties).[10][11]

In a 2009 interview, Bai claimed that she is from the moon, where her grandmother lives. "I'm not really in reality. I'm in my own universe and my mind is a million miles somewhere else," she stated, further explaining, "Why I feel like I come from the moon is because my mother told me I was found somewhere." She believes that when she looks up at the moon, she can often spot her grandmother there, still living in her childhood home.[12]

Regarding her public image and troubles over the years, she stated:

I accidentally or innocently destroyed the beautiful Bai Ling that everybody loved, that beautiful, talented actress. Instead, the media brought me out as this crazy slut showing her nipples everywhere. I become this character the pop culture Hollywood machine created. Somehow, I become a victim to that image.[13]

In 2011 she appeared in the fifth season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented her recovery from alcohol addiction.[14]

Bai is bisexual.[15][16]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1984 Hai tan (海滩, The Beach) Lu Xiao Mei (陆小妹)
1985 Tears in Suzhou (泪洒姑苏, Lei sa Gu Su) Wang Lingjuan (王怜娟)
Suspended Sentence (缓期执行) Yang Lei (杨蕾)
1986 Yue Yue (月月) Yue Yue (月月)
The Bloody Trace (血案疑踪)
1987 Shan cun feng yue (山村风月, "Wind and Moon of Mountain Village") 桂儿
College Student Stories (大学生轶事, Da xue sheng yi shi) Xiao Qian (小钱) aka. On Their One
1988 Hit Without Gun (无枪枪手, Wu qiang qiang shou) Yan Hong (严红)
1989 The Shining Arc (弧光, Hu guang) Jing Huan (景唤)
The Illegal Gunman (非法持枪者)
1992 Pen Pals Sharice
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street Lin Chang/Teri Chow TV series, 1 episode
1994 The Crow Myca
Dead Funny Norriko
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Dr. Valerie Chong TV series, 1 episode
Dead Weekend Amelia A TV film
Nixon Chinese Interpreter
1997 Red Corner Shen Yuelin Best Actress - San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
Breakthrough Female Performance - National Board of Review
Female Discovery of the Year - Golden Apple Awards
1998 Touched by an Angel Jean Chang TV series, 2 episodes
Somewhere in the City Lu Lu
1999 Row Your Boat Chun Hua
Wild Wild West Miss East
Anna and the King Tuptim
2000 Chi-Chian: The Black Seed Chi-Chian (voice) TV series
Angel Jhiera TV series, 1 episode
The Wild Thornberrys Mei-Mei/Mother Panda TV series
2001 The Monkey King (TV miniseries) Guanyin TV film
Shaolin Soccer Mui Voice
The Breed Lucy Westenra
2002 Face Kim
Storm Watch Skylar
Point of Origin Wanda Orr
2003 Taxi 3 Qiu
The Extreme Team RJ
Paris Linda/Shen Li
Jake 2.0 Mei Ling TV series, 1 episode
2004 My Baby's Daddy XiXi
The Beautiful Country Ling
She Hate Me Oni
Dumplings (餃子; Jiao zi) Mei Best Supporting Actress - 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress - Golden Bauhinia Awards
Best Supporting Actress - Golden Horse Film Festival
Three... Extremes (三更2; Sam gang yi) Mei Segment Dumplings
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Mysterious Woman
2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Senator Bana Breemu deleted scenes
Lords of Dogtown Punky Photographer
Entourage Li Lei TV series, 1 episode
Nomad Gaukhar Voice
Edmond Peep show Girl
2006 Man About Town Barbi Ling
Best of Chris Isaak (Video) Segment Please (uncredited)
Southland Tales Serpentine
Scarface: The World Is Yours U-Gin Bar Manager Video game, Voice
2007 Lost Achara TV series, 1 episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
Living & Dying Nadia
The Unit Princess TV series, 1 episode
Shanghai Baby Coco
The Gene Generation Michelle
2008 Toxic Lena
The Hustle Han
A Beautiful Life Esther
Dim Sum Funeral Deedee
2009 Crank: High Voltage Ria
Chain Letter Jai Pham
2010 The Lazarus Papers Kyo
Comedy Makes You Cry (拍卖春天, Pai mai chun tian) Zhang Qian (张倩)
Love Ranch Samantha
Circle of Pain (Video) Victoria Rualan
The Confidant Black
Magic Man Samantha
Petty Cash Coco
Locked Down Guard Flores
The Bad Penny Nok
The Being Frank Show TV series
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Esmeralda TV series, 1 episode
Clash of the Empires Laylan
Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale The Stranger Short
2013 Speed Dragon Jackie Best Feature Film - New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
The Gauntlet Kim Lee Best Actress - Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood (Fall 2013)
Best Actress - 2014 Asians On Film Festival
American Girls Amanda Chen
2014 Blood Shed Lucy
Terms & Conditions The Bodyguard
Beyond the Game TBD
Everlasting Cristiane
6 Ways to Sundown June Lee
When the Devil Rides Out TBD
The Haunted Secret ZiZi
Call Me King Li Soo

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Rehab" (2011)[17]
  • "U Touch Me, I Don't Know U" (2011)[18]
  • "I Love U My Valentine" (2012)[19]
  • "Tuesday Night 8pm" (2012)[20]

Music videos[edit]

  • "Rehab" (2011)[21]
  • "U Touch Me, I Don't Know U" (2011)[22]
  • "I Love U My Valentine" (2012)[23]
  • "Tuesday Night 8pm" (2012)[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ simplified Chinese: 白灵; traditional Chinese: 白靈; pinyin: Bái Líng.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bai Ling Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  2. ^ Lynn Elber (July 2, 2011). Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army. Associated Press. Accessed 2012-05-24.
  3. ^ The Red Corner (1997) FILM REVIEW; Lady Killer? Beijing Is Not Charmed, The New York Times, 31 October 1997
  4. ^ "Awards for Red Corner". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bai Ling biography on cnn.com
  6. ^ "Ling claims Star Wars bosses cut her after Playboy pose". Contact Music. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  7. ^ Dan Whitcomb (February 14, 2008). "Actress Bai Ling arrested for shoplifting in L.A". Reuters. 
  8. ^ "Bai Ling Blames Her Arrest on Bad Breakup - Crime & Courts, Bai Ling". People.com. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  9. ^ "BAI LING OFFICIAL WEBSITE 白靈官方網站: No matter what happens, today is a Valentines day, I still want to wish all the loved ones are together sharing love and smile and a tender kiss under the beautiful sky". Ling-bai.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  10. ^ "Mywire.com". Mywire.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Alex Dobuzinskis (April 18, 2009), "Bai Ling cranks up moonstruck life for 'High Voltage'", Reuters. Accessed 2012-05-24.
  13. ^ "Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  14. ^ "Intake". Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Season 5. Episode 1. June 26, 2011. VH1.
  15. ^ Vicki Hogarth. "Bai Ling Interview". AskMen. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  16. ^ "Actress Bai Ling Discusses Her Bisexuality". GLAAD. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  17. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rehab-single/id471916130
  18. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/u-touch-me-i-dont-know-u-single/id497001093
  19. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-love-u-my-valentine-single/id502005374
  20. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tuesday-night-8pm-single/id536850912
  21. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKaP0pe5mS0
  22. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-bpGwyXpAA
  23. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nQyc3IVUCk&list=UUFEvEvtQU0bA2Pd3jS8XCsA
  24. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtf_CXJgmho

External links[edit]