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)
PinyinBái Líng (Mandarin)
Born(1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 47)[1]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
OccupationActress
Years active1984–present
Parents
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陳彬彬)
 
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Bai Ling
Bai Ling 2007.jpg
Bai Ling in 2007
Chinese name白靈 (traditional)
Chinese name白灵 (simplified)
PinyinBái Líng (Mandarin)
Born(1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 47)[1]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
OccupationActress
Years active1984–present
Parents
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陳彬彬)

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. 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. 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, and Red Corner (1997) would be considered[by whom?] her break-out role[citation needed] in English film. 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.[3] 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".

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.

Bai made a guest appearance on an episode of Entourage titled "China Town". She played a stunt co-ordinator named Li Lei, who sleeps with Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).

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.[4] 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."[5] 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."[6] 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).[7][8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

Bai is bisexual.[11][12]

Filmography[edit]

YearFilmRoleNotes
1984Hai tanLu Xiao Mei (陆小妹)海滩, lit. "The Beach"
1985Tears in SuzhouWang Lingjuan (王怜娟)泪洒姑苏; pinyin: Lei sa gu su
1985Suspended SentenceYang Lei (杨蕾)缓期执行
1986Yue YueYue Yue (月月)月月
1986The Bloody Trace血案疑踪
1987On their Own aka. College Student StoriesXiao Qian (小钱)大学生轶事; Da xue sheng yi shi
1987Shan cun feng yue(桂儿)山村风月; lit. "Wind and Moon of Mountain Village"
1988Arc LightJing Huan (景唤)弧光; Hu guang
1988Hit Without Gun无枪枪手
1989The Illegal Gunman非法持枪者
1992Pen PalsSharice
1993Homicide: Life on the StreetLin ChangTV series, 1 episode
1994The CrowMyca
Dead FunnyNorriko
1995The Cosby MysteriesDr. Valerie ChongTV series, 1 episode
Dead WeekendAmelia ATV film
NixonChinese Interpreter
1997Red CornerShen Yuelin
1998Touched by an AngelJean ChangTV series, 2 episodes
Somewhere in the CityLu Lu
1999Wild Wild WestMiss East
Anna and the KingTuptim
2000AngelJhieraTV series, 1 episode
Row Your BoatChun Hua
2001The Monkey King (TV miniseries)GuanyinTV film
Shaolin SoccerMuiVoice
The BreedLucy Westenra
2002FaceKim
Storm WatchSkylar
Point of OriginWanda Orr
2003Taxi 3Qiu
The Extreme TeamRJ
ParisLinda/Shen Li
Jake 2.0Mei LingTV series, 1 episode
2004My Baby's DaddyXiXi
The Beautiful CountryLing
She Hate MeOni
Dumplings (餃子; Jiao zi)MeiBest Supporting Actress at the 24th HKFA
Three... Extremes (三更2; Sam gang yi)MeiSegment Dumplings
Sky Captain and the World of TomorrowMysterious Woman
2005Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SithSenator Bana Breemudeleted scenes
Lords of DogtownPunky Photographer
EntourageLi LeiTV series, 1 episode
NomadGaukharVoice
EdmondPeep show Girl
2006Man About TownBarbi Ling
Southland TalesSerpentine
Scarface: The World Is YoursU-Gin Bar ManagerVideo game, Voice
2007Living & DyingNadia
LostAcharaTV series, 1 episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
The UnitPrincessTV series, 1 episode
Shanghai BabyCoco
The Gene GenerationMichelle
2008The HustleHan
ToxicLena
Dim Sum FuneralDeedee
2009Crank: High VoltageRia
Magic ManSamantha
A Beautiful LifeEsther
The GauntletKim Lee
The Bad PennyNok
The Lazarus PapersKyo
The Land of the AstronautsErika
GeraldineGeraldine
CrossSunshine
2010Chain LetterJai Pham
The ConfidantBlack
Love RanchSamantha[13]
Locked DownFlores
2011Celebrity RehabHerself
2012Hawaii Five-0Madame EsmeraldaTV series, 1 episode ("Popilikia / Misfortune")
2013Killer's CreedMichelle

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. ^ "Ling claims Star Wars bosses cut her after Playboy pose". Contact Music. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  4. ^ Dan Whitcomb (February 14, 2008). "Actress Bai Ling arrested for shoplifting in L.A". Reuters. 
  5. ^ "Bai Ling Blames Her Arrest on Bad Breakup - Crime & Courts, Bai Ling". People.com. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Mywire.com". Mywire.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Alex Dobuzinskis (April 18, 2009), "Bai Ling cranks up moonstruck life for 'High Voltage'", Reuters. Accessed 2012-05-24.
  10. ^ "Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ Vicki Hogarth. "Bai Ling Interview". AskMen. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  12. ^ "Actress Bai Ling Discusses Her Bisexuality". GLAAD. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  13. ^ Paul Fischer (April 16, 2009). "Exclusive Interview: Bai Ling for 'Crank: High Voltage'". Dark Horizons. Accessed 2012-05-24.

External links[edit]