Bai Ling

Last updated
Bai Ling
Bai Ling 2007.jpg
Bai Ling in 2007
Born (1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 52) [1] [2]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActress
Years active1981–present
Parent(s)
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陈彬彬)
Awards
Hong Kong Film AwardsBest Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Golden Bauhinia AwardsBest Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Golden Horse AwardsBest Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 白靈
Simplified Chinese 白灵
Bai Ling
Traditional Chinese 白靈
Simplified Chinese 白灵

Bai Ling (Chinese :白灵, born October 10, 1966) [1] is a Chinese-American actress known for her work in films such as The Crow , Red Corner , Crank: High Voltage , Three... Extremes , Wild Wild West , Anna and the King and Southland Tales , as well as TV shows including Entourage and Lost .

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

<i>The Crow</i> (1994 film) 1994 film by Alex Proyas

The Crow is a 1994 American superhero film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J. Schow and John Shirley. The film stars Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. The film is based on James O'Barr's comic book of the same name, and tells the story of Eric Draven (Lee), a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his own death as well as the rape and murder of his fiancée.

<i>Red Corner</i> 1997 American film by Jon Avnet

Red Corner is a 1997 American mystery thriller film directed by Jon Avnet, and starring Richard Gere, Bai Ling and Bradley Whitford. Written by Robert King, the film is about an American businessman who ends up wrongfully on trial for murder. His only hope of exoneration and freedom is a female defense lawyer from the country. The film received the 1997 National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award and the NBR Award for Breakthrough Female Performance. Ling also won the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress. The film was censored in the People's Republic of China due to its unflattering portrayal of China's judicial system.

Contents

Early life

Bai was born in Chengdu. 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.

Chengdu Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Sichuan, Peoples Republic of China

Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is a sub-provincial city which serves as the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan. It is one of the three most-populous cities in Western China, the other two being Chongqing and Xi'an. As of 2014, the administrative area housed 14,427,500 inhabitants, the largest in Sichuan, with an urban population of 10,152,632. At the time of the 2010 census, Chengdu was the fifth-most populous agglomeration in China, with 10,484,996 inhabitants in the built-up area including Xinjin County and Deyang's Guanghan City. Chengdu is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification, according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Peoples Liberation Army Combined military forces of the Peoples Republic of China

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and its founding and ruling political party, the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. Units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defence budget in the world. It is one of the fastest modernising military powers in the world and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities.

Sichuan University

Sichuan University is a university in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, China. It has a long history and many predecessors, of which the earliest one was founded in 1740 with the origin in BCE 141. It was transformed to be a modern university in 1920s and the name National Sichuan University (國立四川大學) was adopted in 1931.

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, in the outskirts of Chengdu.

In 1978, after graduating from high school, she passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an artist soldier in Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet. 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 officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy she aborted. She cites this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction. [3] Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital.

Nyingchi Prefecture-level city in Tibet, Peoples Republic of China

Nyingchi, also known as Linzhi, is a prefecture-level city in southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The administrative seat of Nyingchi is Bayi District. The Chinese claim part of Arunachal Pradesh, which is one of the states of India, as part of the prefecture.

Tibet Autonomous Region Autonomous region

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, called Tibet or Xizang for short, is a province-level autonomous region in southwest China. It was formally established in 1965 to replace the Tibet Area, an administrative division the People's Republic of China (PRC) took over from the Republic of China (ROC) about five years after the dismissal of the Kashag by the PRC following the 1959 Tibetan uprising, and about 13 years after Tibet's incorporation into the PRC in 1951.

Soon after her release from the hospital, in 1981, 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.

Yueqin a traditional Chinese string instrument

The yueqin or yue qin, formerly romanized as yüeh-ch‘in and also known as the moon guitar, moon zither, gekkin, laqin, or la-ch‘in, is a traditional Chinese string instrument. It is a lute with a round, hollow wooden body which gives it the nickname moon guitar. It has a short fretted neck and four strings tuned in courses of two, generally tuned to the interval of a perfect fifth. Occasionally, the body of the yueqin may be octagonal in shape. It is an important instrument in the Peking opera orchestra, often taking the role of main melodic instrument in lieu of the bowed string section. The frets on all Chinese lutes are high so that the fingers never touch the actual body—distinctively different from western fretted instruments. This allows for a greater control over timbre and intonation than their western counterparts, but makes chordal playing more difficult.

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 U.S. citizen in 1999.

New York University private research university in New York, NY, United States

New York University (NYU) is a private research university based in New York City. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan. NYU also has degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, and academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.

Career

At a party in July 2007 Bai Ling.jpg
At a party in July 2007

Bai began her acting career in China, appearing in several Chinese feature films. In 1984, she made her film debut 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), her most highly acclaimed role in the Chinese film industry. In 1991, Bai moved to the United States, where she appeared in a number of American films and television shows.

Bai's first major American film role was in The Crow (1994), where she played the half-sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. 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". [4] For her role in Red Corner , she received the National Board of Review Freedom for Breakthrough Female Performance and the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress. [5] The film was critical of human rights abuse in China, and as a result, Bai Ling's Chinese citizenship was revoked. She later became a U.S. citizen. [6]

Bai was named one of People 's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" 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 film 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 naked 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. [7] Her scenes were included in the deleted scenes feature of the DVD release.

In 2004, Bai made a comeback to Chinese cinema, co-starring with Hong Kong actress Miriam Yeung in independent filmmaker Fruit Chan's horror thriller Dumplings . Her portrayal of the villainous local chef Aunt Mei in the film earned her the 2005 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, and led to her renewed popularity among the Chinese film audience. In the same year, she also received critical acclaim for her performance in another independent movie, The Beautiful Country , co-starring Nick Nolte, and directed by Hans Petter Moland.

Later in 2005, Bai was member of the official jury at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival. On television, she was a cast member on the VH1 program called But Can They Sing? . Also in 2005 Bai guest-starred in season 2 of Entourage in which she played a love interest of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).

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 also guest-starred in one episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land") of the show Lost . Since 2007, she has appeared in a number of films including Love Ranch , Crank: High Voltage and A Beautiful Life , although she became more well known for her red carpet appearances and outrageous fashions. [8]

In 2013, Bai enjoyed a career resurgence with the movie The Gauntlet, which earned her the Best Actress award at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, and at the 2014 Asians on Film Festival. Also, for Speed Dragon, she received the Best Feature Film Award at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. In late 2014, Bai starred alongside David Arquette in The Key , Jefery Levy's adaptation of the novel by Nobel Prize laureate Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. In October 2014, Bai was a member of the jury in the "India Gold 2014" section of the Mumbai Film Festival.

Personal life

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]

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. [11] Bai is openly bisexual. [12] [13]

On February 14, 2008, Bai was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries. [14] 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." [15] Bai 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." [16]

On March 5, 2008, Bai pleaded guilty to the charge of disturbing the peace. Bai was fined $200 (US$700 including the fine and penalties). [17]

Filmography

YearFilmRoleNotes
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, Feifa chiqiangzhe)Nu Siji
1992 Pen Pals Sharice
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street Lin Chang/Teri ChowTV series (1 episode)
1994 The Crow Myca
Dead Funny Norriko
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Dr. Valerie ChongTV series (1 episode)
Dead Weekend Amelia ATV film
Nixon Chinese Interpreter
1997 Red Corner Shen Yuelin Best ActressSan 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 ChangTV 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 JhieraTV series (Episode: "She")
The Wild Thornberrys Mei-Mei/Mother PandaTV series
2001 The Monkey King Guanyin TV film
Shaolin Soccer MuiVoice
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 LingTV 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 Actress2005 Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress – Golden Bauhinia Awards
Best Supporting Actress – Golden Horse Film Festival
Best Supporting Actress – Chinese Film Media Awards
Three... Extremes (三更2; Sam gang yi)MeiSegment: Dumplings
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Mysterious Woman
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Senator Bana BreemuDeleted scenes
Lords of Dogtown Punky Photographer
Entourage Li LeiTV series (1 episode)
Nomad GaukharVoice
Edmond Peep show Girl
2006 Man About Town Barbi Ling
Best of Chris Isaak Segment: "Please" (uncredited)
Southland Tales Serpentine
Scarface: The World Is Yours U-Gin Bar Manager (voice) Video game
2007 Lost AcharaTV series (Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land")
Living & Dying Nadia
The Unit PrincessTV 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 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 EsmeraldaTV series (1 episode)
Clash of the Empires Laylan
Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale The StrangerShort
2013 Speed Dragon JackieBest Feature Film – New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
Game of Assassins Kim LeeBest Actress – Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood (Fall 2013)
Best Actress – 2014 Asians On Film Festival
American Girls Amanda Chen
2014 Blood Shed Lucy
Assassin's GameThe Bodyguard
The Key Ida
2015 6 Ways to Sundown June Lee
Call Me King Li Soo
Everlasting Cristiane
Finding Julia ZiZi
ABCs of Superheroes Galvana
Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance Doggé
Party Pieces Lydia
Boned The Mistress
2016 Enter the Samurai Herself Documentary on the creation of Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance
Better Criminal Miss Jasmine Feng
2017 Maximum Impact Scanlon

Discography

Singles

Music videos

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References

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  16. 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.
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Further reading