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Moon Yun Choi visits with Bai Ling of WORLD OF TOMORROW, and Kelly Hu of X-MEN 2 at the Maui Film Fest

Father Geek back with another great report from our reporter at The Maui Film Festival, this one concentrating on getting up close to some of the beautiful ladies of this year's fest...

Moon Yun Choi back with another report from fun-tastic Maui...

Beautiful Chinese actress Bai Ling sounded like she had a lot of fun “kicking Jude Law’s ass” in the martial arts sequence of the just completed film, “World of Tomorrow.”

Although she’s done martial arts in films before, she said, “This one is more stylishly done. Because I’m doing it [the martial arts], I’ll make her sexy and elegant. I’ll add that to it. Otherwise nobody can be like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. If I’m doing it, I’ll have [to add] something else.”

Ling describes her role in this futuristic action-adventure as: “I play a mysterious woman from the future. In the film, I’m kicking Jude Law’s ass all the time. It’s a science fiction and I’m doing a lot of Kung-Fu in it. It’s a very cool character, very stylish and very sexy.”

The strikingly gorgeous actress looked very stylish and sexy herself at the Rob Reiner award ceremony held at the Grand Wailea Ballroom on June 12. You couldn’t help asking if she got to wear really cool outfits in the movie.

Ling, who’s comfortable about her femininity and sensuality, replied: “Yeah, you’ll see. I have on black leather. I have a chic futuristic look and red, red lipstick. I wear very stylish make-up. It’s special.”

In addition starring with Jude Law, she plays opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie in THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.

When asked of Paltrow’s engagement to Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, Ling replied: “She’s really, really in love with him because when we were shooting he was there all the time. In between the takes, they were kissing and hugging. It was sweet. You can see the smile and the light in her. She’s really happy. I love his music. I think they are very smart and intelligent people and they share love and respect.”

Ling has five movies coming out. “’My Baby’s Mama,’ a Miramax comedy, is coming out in the summer. Anthony Anderson (“Kangaroo Jack” and “Barbershop”) plays my boyfriend. It’s hilarious. We’re like cute, touchy and hilarious couple.” In this urban version of “Three Men and a Baby,” Ling plays “Kwan,” the long-suffering girlfriend to the reluctant father of her child (Anderson).

Ling added: “I have another film called ‘Beautiful Country.’ It’s a Sony Classic Picture with Tim Roth and Nick Nolte. Terrence Malick is the writer (story)/producer and Edward Pressman is [also] the producer. That’s going to come out after that (“My Baby’s Mama”). There’s another film coming out called “Paris.” It was screened in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival.”

Ling is writing a book about her experience in Tibet in the army. Born in the Szechwan province of The People’s Republic of China, Ling’s first exposure to acting came at the age of 14, when she served a three-year stint in the Chinese Army as part of a performance troop entertaining soldiers in Tibet. “It’s going to be a fantastic book because no one knows about the woman’s soldier’s life in Tibet when she was 14. It’s how she looks at the world differently from others. It’s a beautiful book,” she said.

How does it feel to be an Asian actress in an industry where it’s predominately Caucasian?

Ling responded: “Actually, that’s not how I think. I think we’re just like specialist in the world. If you think that way, you corner yourself already. It’s not about color or race. You have to somehow break that first yourself.”

Check out photos of Ling at the Rob Reiner and Geena Davis Award Ceremonies: By Clicking Right Here

Ling also mentioned during a separate interview on June 14 that she’s going to be in “Face” and in a French movie directed by Luc Besson called “Taxi 3” where the versatile actress plays a wily gangster’s moll. She said she had to learn to speak French for this role.

She was part of the Filmmaker’s panel titled “Wahine (women in Hawaiian) in Film: Stars Rising Nightly” held at the Wailea Marriott, an Outrigger Resort. Kelly Hu, who was among the panelist, teased Ling about her five upcoming movies by saying: “Wow, Bai, leave some roles for us.”

Although Ling is a gentle, soft-spoken woman, she has a wicked sense of humor and quick wit. She was cracking up the panelist and the audience with her account of the difference in making films in China and the United States. She said the big difference is the language and how in China, people value the group and the community, while in the U.S., people value the individual. She said when she was just starting out in the U.S. and she was making “The Crow,” at the end of the filming she would bring in the props and help carry the equipment. The crewmembers were stunned and they jumped all over her saying “what are you doing? That’s our job.” She said when she was in the Chinese Army as part of a performance troop, everyone helped gather the props after the show and she thought it was the same in the U.S.

My focus turned to Hawaii actress Kelly Hu. I told her that I thought she played a beautiful, yet deadly, strong and powerful character (Lady Deathstrike) in “X2: X-Men United” but I added, “Did you kind of wish you had more dialogue?” She burst out laughing at that one.

She admitted that at first it did kind of freak her out that they were cutting all of her lines. But she said that not having much dialogue made it harder to play because “you had to be more conscious of how you walk, how you looked and how you projected yourself on the screen.”

Hu said she’s working on a couple of films in which the titles are still in the works. One of them is “Jade” but they’re looking for another title because there’s another movie with the same title. That was the ill-fated movie starring David Caruso, after he left “NYPD Blue.” The other one is a Korean-American theme movie.

CSI: Miami’s Sofia Milos also participated on Wahine in Film panel discussing the issues of being a woman in Hollywood. During the festival Milos attended to introduce the premiere of her film “Passionada” along with director Dan Ireland. In addition to Hu and Ling, Catherine Hardwicke, the director and co-writer of the Sundance sensation, “Thirteen,” also participated in the discussion. Her film was screened at the festival on the closing night, June 15. A riveting coming-of-age drama, “Thirteen” was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Festival and won the Director’s Award.

Hardwicke, who’s a compassionate, intelligent, creative and talented woman, is a filmmaker to watch. For her first film, she tackled directing Best Actress Oscar winner Holly Hunter. And the amazing thing about the script was that she co-wrote it with a 13-year-old cast member, Nikki Reed. Hardwicke likes her films to be gritty, realistic and truthful. Although this is a “tough movie” and is rated “R,” Hardwicke said it's a good movie for teens to go with their parents. They can touch on the issues which are troubling their relationship and maybe the film can lead to a healing process.

Before directing her first independent feature, she was the production designer for "Vanilla Sky," "Three Kings," "Tombstone," and a whole slew of other movies. As a self-described workaholic and a person who likes to be on the go, Hardwicke addressed the audience during the panel and said she “would love some tips on great surf spots on Maui.”

Check the lovely ladies at the Wahine in Film Panel: By Going to My Photo Scrapbook Site

The 4th Annual Maui Film Festival had a spectacular 5-day run. According to the Festival, More than 17,500 people attended this year’s Festival, up from last year’s 10,000. The festival showed 50 films. In my next report, I’ll have coverage and photos of the Greg Kinnear award ceremony and reviews of the films that I saw.

Until then, Moon Yun signing out

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