Birth Date: October 10, 1970
Birth Place: Chengdu, China
Height: 5' 3"
Quote: "Sex with another woman is something I wanted to experience, so I did."
Bai Ling Biography
Bai Ling (meaning "White Spirit") was born in Chengdu, China, on October 10, 1970. Her father was a music teacher, and her mother was a dancer and stage actress, but she was primarily raised by her grandmother after Ling's parents ran afoul of Chinese authorities during the Cultural Revolution.
While Bai Ling sang in her school choir as a child, it wasn't until she turned 14 and became a "soldier" in the People's Liberation Army that she took to the stage; she was put in a performance troupe sent to entertain soldiers in Tibet for three years. Like her parents before her, Bai Ling clashed with authority, and she was accused of insubordination for using tobacco and alcohol. By the end of her army service, Bai Ling suffered from depression and was hospitalized.
Her breakdown notwithstanding, Bai Ling had found that she could express herself through acting. She joined the Szechwan Theater Company after her recovery, and she soon caught the eye of a number of progressive and traditional Chinese directors. She was cast in film roles ranging from a peasant girl to a pop star, including her most acclaimed early role in the contemporary Chinese drama Hu guang (a.k.a. Arc Light) in 1988, where she played a woman suffering from mental illness. The next year, Bai Ling took part in the infamous Tiananmen Square protests, which further alienated her from the Chinese government.
At age 21, Bai Ling came to America as a visiting scholar at NYU's film school and took classes at the Lee Strasberg Institute. It was supposed to be a temporary move, but Bai Ling was eager to learn English so that she could break into American films, and she was issued a special visa and allowed to stay in the United States due to her actions at Tiananmen Square. Making her American film debut, Bai Ling played a villain in 1994's dark thriller The Crow and in 1995 she played a Chinese interpreter in Oliver Stone's biopic Nixon.
Bai Ling's English-language breakthrough came in 1997 when she played a Chinese lawyer in Red Corner, opposite Richard Gere. The film was an indictment of the Chinese judicial system and human rights abuses; although she knew she would suffer repercussions from her participation, Bai Ling felt that the evils going on in her country needed to be exposed. Sure enough, Red Corner was banned in China and North Korea. Bai Ling's contracts to appear in upcoming Chinese films were torn up and her passport was revoked. However, the National Board of Review gave Bai Ling a Breakthrough Performance award; more importantly, Uncle Sam gave her U.S. citizenship in 1999.
Once her relocation was made permanent, Bai Ling appeared in a number of big Hollywood productions. 1999 saw her in Wild Wild West and Anna and the King (for which she had to cut her waist-length hair). More recently, she's been seen in The Beautiful Country (2004), My Baby's Daddy (2004), Spike Lee's She Hate Me (2004), and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
Bai Ling has a small role as a senator in the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (2005), and will also appear in Man About Town (2005), starring Ben Affleck. Bai Ling lives in Marina del Rey, California, and is dating singer/actor Chris Isaak.
Bai Ling Filmography
Razor's Gift (2006) .... Mary Wong
Toxic (2007) .... Lena
The Gene Generation (2006) .... Michelle
Living & Dying (2006) .... Nadia
Stranded with a Star (2006) (TV) .... Panelist
Southland Tales (2006) .... Serpentine
Man About Town (2006) .... Barbi Ling
Edmond (2005) .... Peep-Show Girl
- Chinatown (2005) TV Episode .... Li Lei
Lords of Dogtown (2005) .... Punky Photographer
... aka American Knights (Philippines: English title)
... aka Dogtown Boys (Germany)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) (uncredited) .... Senator Bana Breemu
... aka Revenge of the Sith (USA: short title)
... aka Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (USA: DVD box title)
... aka Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (USA: promotional title)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) .... Mysterious Woman
Gaau ji (2004) .... Mei, the cook
... aka Dumplings (International: English title)
Saam gaang yi (2004) .... Mei (segment "Dumplings")
... aka Three, Monster (South Korea)
... aka Three... Extremes (International: English title)
She Hate Me (2004) .... Oni
The Beautiful Country (2004) .... Ling
My Baby's Daddy (2004) .... XiXi
- Cater Waiter (2003) TV Episode .... Mei Ling
Paris (2003) .... Linda/Shen Li
The Extreme Team (2003) .... RJ
... aka The X-Team (USA: TV title)
Taxi 3 (2003) .... Qiu
Point of Origin (2002) (TV) .... Wanda Orr
... aka In the Heat of Fire (Europe: English title: DVD title)
Storm Watch (2002) .... Skylar
... aka Code Hunter (UK) (USA: video title)
... aka Virtual Storm (UK: DVD title) (USA)
Face (2002) .... Kim
The Breed (2001) .... Lucy Westenra
The Lost Empire (2001) (TV) .... Kwan Ying
... aka Monkey King - Ein Krieger zwischen den Welten (Germany)
Row Your Boat (2000) .... Chun Hua
... aka Angel: The Series (USA)
- She (2000) TV Episode .... Jhiera
Anna and the King (1999) .... Tuptim
Wild Wild West (1999) .... Miss East
Somewhere in the City (1998) .... Lu Lu
"Touched by an Angel"
- The Spirit of Liberty Moon: Part 1 (1998) TV Episode .... Jean Chang
- The Spirit of Liberty Moon: Part 2 (1998) TV Episode .... Jean Chang
Red Corner (1997) .... Shen Yuelin
Nixon (1995) .... Chinese Interpreter
Dead Weekend (1995) (TV) .... Amelia A
"The Cosby Mysteries"
- The Hit Parade (1995) TV Episode .... Dr. Valerie Chong
Dead Funny (1994) .... Norriko
The Crow (1994) .... Myca
"Homicide: Life on the Street"
... aka Homicide (USA: informal short title)
- And the Rockets' Dead Glare (1993) TV Episode .... Lin Chang
Hu guang (1988) .... Jing Huan
... aka Arc Light (USA)
Shan cun feng yue (1987)