Bai Ling stars in the new drama A Beautiful Life, hitting theaters this month. Now 43 years old, the infamous B-list actress has kept up her appearance, but reportedly refuses plastic surgery.
Bai Ling, the Chinese born actress better known in the States for often strutting the red carpet in scandalously short dresses, is hitting the big screen this month in A Beautiful Life, a film completed in 2008, but delayed for release until just now. The drama features Ling as an L.A. exotic dancer who finds herself in a maternal role over a young drifter, played by newcomer Angela Sarafyan, and an illegal immigrant played by Jesse Garcia.
As with many dramas set in L.A., the film parallels the characters “mosaic” style and gives the stories equal weight amid elements of sex, drugs, thugs, and tragedy. Many critics have already panned the film, calling it trite and formulaic. But, there are no complaints about Ling’s performance.
At 43, Ling has had a healthy career in Hollywood, albeit never in a blockbuster film. Her list of credits is a bit uneven. Her American film debut was The Crow in 1994, followed by the good (Oliver Stone’s Nixon), the bad (Wild Wild West) and then others that evade both categories (Crank: High Voltage).
Ling combines statuesque beauty with a kind of natural screen presence, a combination she embraces.
“Acting to me is real life – I don’t act,” she told AskMen.com. “That’s why I’m good at it. I like to live that moment of the magic on set, and life is really happening If you’re prepared and you already know what you want from the scene, your mind is controlling it, and there’s no life in that, and people can feel it. For me, that’s not fun, and I feel I lose the magic.”
Her abilities have little to do with how she looks, as she demonstrates them. In 2005, she told critic Roger Ebert that plastic surgery isn’t an option – not then, now or ever. There’s been no reason to believe she ever changed her mind.
“Myself, I will never have plastic surgery,” she said. “When you do that, you start to lose yourself.”
Going by her comments through the years, it appears she doesn’t regard aging in the same way that other female celebrities do – perhaps putting her in the minority.
“For me, every day is a new day,” Ling said. “No thinking about growing old. We as individuals are perfect sculptures.”