Birthday: October 11, 1979
Nationality: South Korean
South Korean Women
Age: 40 Years, 40 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Libra
Born in: Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea
Famous as: South Korean Actress
Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females
father: Hwa-yeong Kim
mother: Bae Jong Deok
siblings: Bae Doo-han
City: Seoul, South Korea
awards: 2015 · A Girl at My Door - Asian Film Award for Best Actress
2000 · Barking Dogs Never Bite - Blue Dragon Film Award for Best New Actress
2002 · Take Care of My Cat - Baeksang Arts Award for Best Leading Actress in Film
2016 - Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Female
Bae Doona is a South Korean actor, model and photographer, who started her career with modelling in 1999 and eventually forayed into the acting world with the TV drama series ‘School’. In the same year, she was seen in the Korean remake of the popular Japanese horror film ‘The Ring’ titled ‘The Ring Virus’. But she was destined to become one the few South Korean actors who carved a niche for themselves internationally as well. Her film ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’ somehow made in big in the west, and along with director Park Chan-wook, she became quite a celebrity in the shores of Hollywood and European cinema. Director Bong Joon-ho’s horror comedy film ‘The Host’ also made it big internationally and apart from doing significant work at home in Korea such as ‘Doomsday Book’ and ‘Saving my Hubby’, she was now becoming an international icon. She eventually entered into Hollywood with The Wachowski’s ‘Cloud Atlas’, a mega ambitious project and more recently she was seen in Netflix’s series ‘Sense8’, also directed by The Wachowskis. Apart from the film roles, she has been known to make her appearances on the small screen with TV series’ such as ‘Someday’, ‘Gloria’ and ‘Beating Heart’.
Childhood & Early Life
Bae Doo-na was born on 11th October 1979 in Seoul, South Korea in a well respected family. Her mother Kim Hwa-young happened to be a seasoned theatre actress and that was Bae’s first introduction to the world of show business. She would follow her mother around all the time and would eventually be astonished by all the passions she observed while the performers were performing their lines during the play rehearsals.
The experience quite changed her and although she liked what she saw in there, she believed somewhere deep down that only special people were able to bring out something magical like that. But Bae couldn’t resist rehearsing lines with the actors and closely observing their mannerisms and the way they carried themselves. She said in later interviews that it involved a huge chunk of her childhood and the experience at those theatre rehearsals was way better than any film school that she could have attended. But all said and done, it was not really the time for her to start desiring to become an actor.
She grew up in Seoul with her aspirations high about art, thanks to her mother, who kept discussing the nuances of acting at her house, which got Bae somehow interested in acting as a profession during her teenage. And when she expressed her desires to her parents, there wasn’t a question of saying no and she got herself enrolled into Konkuk University in the Department of Fine Arts to train herself further in filmmaking and acting.
Bae then attended Hanyang University in the late 90’s and that was when she was accidentally scouted by a talent agent, while she was walking around with her friends in Seoul. She agreed to the offer of appearing in COOLDOG’s catalogue and after doing a few more modelling assignments, the dream of being a film actor started becoming more and more clear to her, which eventually led her to drop her college and she then went all out with auditioning for roles in films and TV.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In 1999, she made her screen debut with the TV drama ‘School’ in a very minor role, but her performance in the film ‘The Ring Virus’ was what got her a widespread exposure. The film was highly awaited by Korean audiences as it was a remake of a very successful Japanese horror film ‘The Ring’ and right around that same time, director Park Chan-wook was trying to find his footing in Korean film industry.
Chan was looking for actors for his film ‘Barking Dogs Never Bite’ when he came across Bae and instantly connected with her earlier performances. This was going to be one of the most fruitful collaborations of Bae’s career as the film became a cult hit when it got released in 2000. Bae appeared in the film with practically zero makeup and this was a rare thing among the Korean actresses at that time, which led her to receive applauds and in the same year, she also appeared in drama series ‘Mothers and Sisters’.
She then became part of two moderately successful films ‘Plum Blossom’ and ‘Take care of my Cat’ before joining hands with Park Chan-wook again for a revenge thriller film titled ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’. This was the first one of Chan’s world renowned revenge trilogy and went on to become a mega success in Korea, both commercially and critically. The film opened ways for Bae to get some more roles but her next two films turned out to be colossal failures, titled ‘Tube’ and ‘Spring Bears Love’.
This affected Bae negatively and she went on a temporary break from films and immersed herself into her other passion, photography. She made a solid comeback with Japanese film ‘Linda Linda Linda’ in 2005 and later that year, she appeared in an experimental TV series titled ‘Beating Heart’.
And then came ‘The Host’ in 2006, directed by internationally acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho, the film became the highest grossing Korean film of all times upon its release and became an international hit.
Bae then went on to do a few TV roles in ‘Someday’ and ‘How to Meet a Perfect Stranger’. These two roles further concreted the fact that she was the best active South Korean actress with an impeccable script sense. In 2009, she received massive appreciation for her role in the film ‘Air Doll’, a horror film, and then received further applauds for the series’ ‘Master of Study’, where she played a high school teacher and ‘Gloria’, where she played a singer.
During all that time, she was growing a solid fan-base internationally, particularly among the American filmmakers. 2012 was an eventful year for her, as it would mark the beginning of her collaborations with the cult Hollywood director duo The Wachowskis, with a mega budget experimental film which featured Bae in many different roles titled ‘Cloud Atlas’. The film was internationally hailed for its ambitious storytelling techniques and path-breaking visual effects.
Bae then went back to Korea to star in the 2014 film ‘A girl at My Door’ as a female police officer. The film became another milestone for her career as it went on to feature at the highly prestigious Cannes Film Festival and for her memorable performance in the film, Bae won the award for Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards. Bae was so emotionally invested in the role that she agreed to work on the film without any pay.
Wachowskis approached her again 2015 for the space opera ‘Jupiter Ascending’, where she made a guest appearance as a bounty hunter. And it was followed by collaboration with the directors for the stint that would make her a household name in America as well, the series ‘Sense8’. The philosophical TV series by Netflix revolved around a group of people all over the globe who happened to be telekinetically connected to each other. The series became a mega critical success and turned Bae into the favourite Korean actress for the Americans.
She recently appeared in the show ‘Tunnel’ and is all set to appear in film ‘Drug King’, again a very ambitious project.
Bae has won several awards during her career for her performances, such as Blue Dragon Award, Busan Film Critics Award, and a Director’s Cut Award among many others.
Bae Doona is quite active on the social media platforms and as her fan-base keeps growing by each one of her projects, she keeps in touch with her fans via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Bae is reportedly dating Jim Sturgess and there have been talks about the couple getting married, but nothing has been confirmed yet from either side.