by Staci Layne Wilson
My favorite movie of Bai Ling's is definitely The Breed, a very unusual vampire story about a hardboiled detective who is given the unusual and risky assignment of tracking down a bloodsucker who threatens to expose a secret government operative which would integrate vampires into mortal society. His search for the rogue leads him to the lair of Lucy Westenra (Ling), a sexy and very hungry vamp with a penchant for pet panthers. However, the film's director said that Ling had problems with a nosy big cat when it persisted on sticking its muzzle between her legs (hence the reason her glorious gams are tightly crossed in several scenes).
When I caught up with Ling at a recent Hollywood premiere, I just had to ask if the story was true.
Q: I heard the story about you and the amorous big cat in The Breed…
Ling: I definitely remember working with the big cats in The Breed. I worked with a wild leopard, who bit me.
Q: Was he de-fanged?
Ling: Yes. He was the only one there [that was] allowed to interact with humans. I liked him so much; I played with him a lot in rehearsal. But when it came time to shoot I wasn't wearing many clothes and he smelled my 'animal things' and started biting me. I was so terrified! But I kept on working with him, because I have a wild side. I think I was an animal in a previous life.
Q: I understand you're in Star Wars Episode III. What's that experience been like?
Ling: It was an extremely nice experience. I feel I'm very fortunate to be in the last Star Wars. Unfortunately I cannot talk too much about it because I signed a contract. I can tell people I'm in it, but the other things I cannot really talk about. I don't want to get myself in trouble.
Q: What's your look in the movie? Are you a human, or an alien?
Ling: I'm all naked with tattoos on my body. You have to find out why, when you see the movie.
Q: Do you do any stunts?
Ling: No, my role doesn't have [any]. It was just a nice experience. Eight stages were set up just for [at Fox and] I've never seen such big monitors: two of them, with super high quality screens. I was like, "Wow!" And also watching George Lucas work... I said, "George, do you prepare for every day of shooting?" There's so many people there. There were 1,000s of extras. He said, "No. For me it's like I've been doing it so long, for me it's easy." I felt like it was an amusement park for him where all of his toys play.
Q: How much of the script were you allowed to see?
Ling: Basically I only got to see the scenes I'm in. They have so many that say "Confidential". When I got back -- I took my scenes -- and the production company called me to FedEx them back to them. I said, "Okay, I'll let my agent do it." But they wouldn't even let my agent read it. It had to come straight from me.
Q: What was the atmosphere like on the set?
Ling: It was fun and relaxed. It's an otherworldly experience because he put all the different characters -- the human beings and creatures that look like they're from someplace else -- and put everybody all together. It was fascinating.
Q: Was it weird walking around between takes and seeing the otherworldly creatures?
Ling: It is. All the different characters are fascinating, different colors, hair and make-up…
Q: Next up you've got "The World of Tomorrow" coming out. What's your role in that?
Ling: I play a mysterious woman from the future. She's very sexy and very hip, and very powerful. It's an action movie. I kick Jude Law's butt all the time in the movie.
Q: Was that fun?
Ling: Oh yeah, that was really fun. I had to do all kinds of kung fu stuff in it. It was very graceful. I made her very sexy, very graceful, and mysterious -- and very nice to watch.
Q: What kind of training did you have to do to prepare?
Ling: I used sticks and also fighting -- a lot of kung fu stuff. I had to wear the pants very tight. In the beginning the pants were so tight I couldn't even kick or lift my leg up so we had to redo it. It was fun. I had to wear glasses and I had this heavy hat. I couldn't even hear or see. It was miserable, but it had to be very graceful and sometimes that was difficult. After I took off all of my makeup and hair, hat, and glasses, I felt really relieved.
Q: What's it like to kick Jude Law's butt?
Ling: He's so charming. I was so afraid of really kicking him. He said, "Do it!" I said, "I'm afraid I'm going to hurt you." He said, "Just go for it!" He's really very charming and very handsome and sexy. I liked him a lot.
Q: Did you have any accidents where you actually did kick him?
Ling: Yes, I did hurt his head one time when we were rehearsing. I felt bad but he's like, "Cool." He's very cool. I hope one day I'll do a romantic movie with him where we play lovers.
Q: Me, too. I guess I'll have to become an actress first, though!
Interview by Staci Lane Wilson. Please visit Staci's website