Her range of acting in the film went from subdued and obedient follower of Chinese law and politics to one of defiance when she realizes Gere's character is being railroaded and framed for a murder he didn't commit and her character becomes an activist of sorts against the Chinese court system, its secrecy and the way it handles those accused, guilty until proven innocent.
I had lost track of Ling until she appeared on the reality TV show Celebrity Rehab on VH1. When she first appeared I was not only shocked but saddened as to what had happened to this wonderful actress since making Red Corner.
As she said on the show “When I drink champagne, everyone is my friend. I'm allergic to alcohol, I shouldn't even drink at all. I feel dangerous and scared and I need help.”
What came out of that rehab was being able to combat the past deep seeded demons of sexual abuse by her military superiors when she was a teenager and in the People's Liberation Army. Not only was she sexually abused but became pregnant and underwent an abortion according to an interview she did with the Associated Press in 2011. "Because of the Chinese culture of obedience, you don't ask questions. ... You follow and obey."
Because she can now discuss that very dark period of her life she is now helping others through the organization LACF according to a press release earlier this year, She will be speaking with women and young girls, who have or are currently dealing with sexual abuse, in groups.
Bai Ling hopes to be able to pull from her own personal experiences to help those who are suffering move forward with their lives and have confidence that they no longer need to fear their abusers. She plans to share the details that she can from her own obstacles and how she’s worked to overcome them, offering inspiration to those who need it most.
For those of us in the LGBT community, in particular those who like myself are bisexual, for her to be open about her sexuality will be inspiring. But it is equally, if not more important that Bai Ling can help so many others learning of her ordeal with sexual abuse and becoming a survivor.
And by staying sober help many more. While this may put pressure on Ling to keep all of her demons in check, it may also help her in that difficult task.
In this age of celebrity and the pitfalls which can come with it, right now, perhaps more than ever, we the "fans" have found someone we can root for in her continuing success both personal and career and be damn proud of the fact Bai Ling is one of us.