She adopted her stage name, Han Chae-young and forayed into acting sans any training. She made her debut with the August 26, 2000 released South Korean horror flick ‘The Record’ in which she featured as Eun-mi.
She also made her TV debut in 2000 with theKBS2 aired South Korean romantic television drama ‘Autumn in My Heart’. The popular series saw her featuring in the role of the antagonist, Choi/Yoon Shin-ae.
Her inexperience and unpolished acting skills drew criticism. However, tagged by the press as "Barbie Doll of Korea" for her striking features, Han went on to bag several commercial endorsements.
Her next few projects would see her typecast as a rich and unapproachable beauty. These included films like ‘Bet on My Disco’ (2002), ‘Wild Card’ (2003) and television dramas like ‘Affection’ (2002) and ‘Beijing My Love’ (2004).
Her big break came in the form of the South Korean contemporary, romantic comedy television series ‘Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang’. She played the titular role of Sung Choon-hyang in the series, which was a modern retelling of one of the famous and classic love stories and folk tales of Korea, ‘Chunhyangjeon’.
‘Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang’ which was aired on KBS2 from January 3, 2005 to March 1, 2005 became extremely popular, thus catapulting Han to stardom. Her excellent portrayal of Sung Choon-hyang earned her Popularity Award for actress and the Best Couple Award (shared with Jae Hee) at the 2005 KBS Drama Awards.
She then went on to play the role of Cha Eun-jae, a 20-year-old obstinate and proud girl who is passionate about cooking, in the SBS aired Korean comedy romance drama TV series ‘Only You’ (2005). The series is so far the only Korean drama that has been filmed in Italy.
In 2006, she featured in the starring role of Shin Na-ra in the MBC aired romantic melodrama ‘Exhibition of Fireworks’ and also played the cameo role of Choi Han-na in the SBS aired romantic comedy drama ‘My Girl’.
She was the recipient of the Korea Best Dresser of the Year Award in 2007. That year she was seen in the glamorous role of So-yeo in the couple-swapping flick ‘Love Now’, which fetched her nomination for the Best New Actress award at the Grand Bell Awards in 2008.
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She made her on-stage debut with Jang Jin's play ‘Clumsy People’. The play remained houseful starting from December 7, 2007 to March 2, 2008.
In 2008,she came up with her clothing line Rachel Han's, produced in association with Korean online auction and shopping mall website ‘Gmarket’.
She featured as Kim Yi-yeon in the October 22, 2009 released South Korean film ‘Good Morning President’ that starred Lee Soon-jae, Jang Dong-gun and Go Doo-shim. That year, she also essayed the supporting role of Min Seo-hyun in the popular KBS2 aired South Korean romantic comedy drama ‘Boys Over Flowers’.
According to Han, the one role that resembled her the most and which she "had most fun playing” was that of Jin from the December 17, 2009 released South Korean romantic comedy film ‘Girlfriends’. That year, she bagged the Female Star Award at the Andre Kim Best Star Awards.
She played the starring role of Jin Bo-bae in the South Korean action romance series ‘A Man Called God’. The weekend series, which is an adaptation of manhwa writer Park Bong-seong’s 1999 comic book bearing the same title, was aired on MBC with 24 episodes starting from March 6, 2010 to May 23, 2010.
Other appearances of Han in 2010 were as J in the March 3 released four-part mystery-fantasy online film ‘The Influence’ and as Stylist in the September 9 released tourism based mini-movie ‘Haru: An Unforgettable Day in Korea’.
Han, who can speak English, signed with Los Angeles based American agency named Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2010 in pursuit of initiating her career in Hollywood.
Although not in Hollywood, Han eventually succeeded in making her international debut with the Liwen Ma directed Chinese fantasy-comedy ‘A Big Deal’. She starred alongside Chapman To, Leon Jay Williams and Blue Lan in the film that released on December 2, 2011.
In 2012, she landed up with the lead role of Lin Wei Wei, starring opposite Zhu Zi Xiao in the Chinese television drama ‘Dream in Blue’ which was aired on Zhejiang TV.
She made her comeback to the Korean small-screen with a starring role in the South Korean romantic workplace drama ‘Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek’ which was aired on KBS2 with 16 episodes from February 4, 2013 to March 26, 2013.
Her next homeland appearances were in the form of a starring role in the KBS2 aired romantic comedy series ‘Pretty Man’ and in a guest appearance in the SBS aired series ‘My Love from the Star’, both in 2013.
She hosted her first variety show titled ‘Take Care of My Dressing Table’ in 2015. That year, she played Shang Wanting in the Chinese TV drama ‘1931 Love Story’.
Other Chinese projects of Han include the April 1, 2016 released crime thriller film ‘The Guest’ and Chinese TV drama ‘The Rebirth of a Celebrity Superstar’ (2016).
In 2017,she played the lead role of Hye-Mi in the September 21 released Korean comedy film ‘The Star Next Door’. She also appeared in the variety show ‘Knowing Bros’ and is a cast member of the show ‘Sister's Slam Dunk’.
Presently she can be seen in the MBC TV aired South Korean travel based reality show ‘Wizard of Nowhere’.