It's quite a day when one gets not one but two interviews with Bai Ling, who's promoting Crank: High Voltage. Because Ling is one of these stars who doesn't disappoint, ever. Ling, known for sartorial impunity, red carpet ubiquity, Playboy spreads, a shoplifting accusation and a general oeuvre of "antics," is as committed to the cult of her own absurdity as are we, and it's a solid partnership. It must be said, she doesn't dish about Mickey Rourke (or at any rate she's so vague that it's hard to tell what she's talking about) and sometimes it's hard to tell what's not taking herself seriously and what...is. But we kinda like having to guess for a change.
On the subject of her notorious fashion choices ("I had a stylist in the beginning, and I fired him because I really don't need it), she explains she's impervious to criticism because "I don't read anything. I'm not good on the computer." Her more exhibitionist tendencies, and the questionable decision to sport "band aids of truth" she attributes to "Eight Little Spirits in Miniskirts." Quoth she,
They're sitting on your hair, on your shoulder, on your nails. I'm like their peacemaker, because they don't like each other. I have a panda, a chicken, a dolphin … I have a monkey … All in miniskirts
Of her work, Ling, who also writes the blog Naked Seduction, declares, "I deserve so much more than the roles I get offered now. I'm one of the best actresses. One day I will win an Oscar. I'm already winning it. I just have to find the platform to show it." Karl Lagerfeld, in his oblique way, either agrees or disagrees; either way, she says the Kaiser likened her to "a female Andy Warhol. I'm kind of advanced in a way, and free."
As to the upcoming Nipples, which Harper-Collins is apparently releasing later this year, Ling "explains" it thusly:
It's a point of view of how I see the world. Like, I'm wearing purple and pink, you're wearing blue; maybe I'm wearing red, you're wearing yellow. Our eyes are limited. There are a lot of beautiful, magical things in the universe we don't see, but I see. Sometimes on my balcony I sit for the whole afternoon, watching the sun cast through the trees. Sometimes I see a butterfly there, a chair, a boat. But those are a high form of spirit giving art. They are there for its own existence. But only you have the sensitive heart and soul to recognize and enjoy that moment, but 10 minutes past when the sun moves a little bit, they're gone. The book is about my perspective - very erotic, very intimate. I share a lot of relationships that I had with different gentlemen - very intimate, very advanced, very crazy and very bold in a modern way. I wrote it in 40 days without even thinking; the book is there and I'm just here to reveal it.
Needless to say, we will read it, and not ironically! Because Bai Ling is that rare thing, a unique Hollywood creature, blissfully untamed by the sound byte or the publicist's statement. What's more, she seems to take her role as free spirit and artistic innovator seriously - "It's not only an intelligent woman who's not sexy. Or a sexy woman with no brain. You can embrace both sides. That's what I'm encouraging others to find in themselves" - even if the rest of the world doesn't. An exhibitionist? Well, yeah. But as long as they have senses off humor, that's something we've always got room for.