Bai Ling just finished shooting Star Wars: Episode III with George Lucas in Australia. But, of course, she's gotta warn you up front: "I can tell you a little bit, but I signed a contract that I'm not supposed to talk about it."
Contract or no, the Chinese-born actress, 36, who's already made a splash on the big screen with films such as 1997's Red Corner opposite Richard Gere and 2000's Anna and the King with Jodie Foster, dished to PEOPLE about her brush with Lucas and her experience working on the final prequel in the massively popular sci-fi saga. She plays a senator, but little else is known about her role in the film. Not that we didn't try.
Any funny stories from the set? I got to know George Lucas and his daughter, and he's a very simple, down-to-earth man. I feel like the whole thing is an amusement park for him and all of us are toys. I said, "Do you prepare for the whole day of shooting all in advance?" He said, "Not really. I've been doing it for so long." I would describe him like great Chinese calligraphy. When he lifts up the pen, the whole world starts to dance. That's just how I feel.
How do the actors immerse themselves into this world? We got there on the set and it just makes you feel like you're in a different world. I was there for two weeks. It was really fun.
Did you get any fight scenes? Can you tell us about them? No. I'd get into trouble. They're very strict.
Where did you stay while you were shooting? I stayed in Quay Grand Hotel, which all of the actors stay in, overlooking the city bridge. The opera house is next door. I opened my curtains and, oh, the skyline, it's like sunrise it is so beautiful. I had to take a picture. I was half asleep and naked. It was so beautiful. I was calling everyone.