Bae Doona

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Bae Doona
Bae Doona.jpg
Born(1979-10-11) October 11, 1979 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationHanyang University (dropped out)
Konkuk University - Film
OccupationActress, photographer
Years active1999–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationBae Du-na
McCune–ReischauerPae Tu-na
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Bae Doona
Bae Doona.jpg
Born(1979-10-11) October 11, 1979 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationHanyang University (dropped out)
Konkuk University - Film
OccupationActress, photographer
Years active1999–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationBae Du-na
McCune–ReischauerPae Tu-na

Bae Doona (born October 11, 1979) is a South Korean actress and photographer. She first became known outside Korea for her roles as the protagonist's political activist girlfriend Cha Young-mi in Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), as archer Park Nam-ju in Bong Joon-ho's The Host (2006), and as an inflatable sex doll-come-to-life in Hirokazu Koreeda's Air Doll (2009).[1] She then had a starring role as the revolutionary clone Sonmi~451 in the film Cloud Atlas (2012), directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Bae Doona was born in Seoul, South Korea. Growing up, Bae would follow her mother, Kim Hwa-young, a famous stage actress in Korea, around the theater and rehearsal halls, learning the lines of dialogue as she went along. This did not initially lead Bae towards acting, saying: "People might say that since my mother is a theater actor, I became an actress. But to me, those experiences probably had the opposite effect. On the contrary, because I saw many great actors working with my mother, I thought this was a job only people with extraordinary talent could do."[3]

A Hanyang University student in 1998, Bae was scouted by a model talent agency while walking in Seoul. This led to modeling clothing for COOLDOG's catalog, amongst others. In 1999 she made the switch to acting, debuting in the TV drama School. Later the same year, she appeared as the ghost Eun-Suh in The Ring Virus, a Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring.[4]

In 2000, director Bong Joon-ho cast her as Hyeon-nam in the film Barking Dogs Never Bite for her willingness to do the part without makeup, something other South Korean actresses were unwilling to do.[5] In Kim So-young's documentary Women's History Trilogy (2000–2004), Bae notes her admiration for veteran South Korean actress Yoon Jeong-hee. Yoon returns the compliment saying "Bae Doo-na owns her world." In this same documentary, Bae shares how her own most memorable scene is being chased by the homeless man throughout the apartment in Barking Dogs Never Bite.[6] That same year she gave a risque performance (albeit with a body double for the more intense scenes) in Plum Blossom,[7] and slowly started getting more work on television.

She followed this with two more critical successes, 2001's Take Care of My Cat, directed by Jeong Jae-eun,[8] and 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, directed by Park Chan-wook.[9][10]

2003 was less kind to Bae, as she saw both Tube and Spring Bears Love flop at the box office. After completing principal photography on Spring Bears Love, Bae decided to take time off from film, saying: "I never lived even once without having anything to do. The moment a film was presented to the press, I was almost always already shooting the next one ... I thought by myself: now my first cycle is really over. While I rest a little, I wanted to make a fresh new start."[3]

During her hiatus from the big screen, Bae took up photography, much of which can be seen between her official blog and her published photo books.[11] She also continued to work on TV, starring in Country Princess and Rosemary.[12] Bae finally stepped onto a theater stage in 2004, for a production of Sunday Seoul (not to be confused with the South Korean movie of the same title), a play co-written by Park Chan-wook.[3][13]

In 2005 Bae gave a memorable turn as an exchange student who joins a band in the Japanese film Linda Linda Linda,[7][14][15][16] then played a divorced woman in the experimental omnibus TV series Beating Heart.[17]

She reunited with Bong Joon-ho in 2006's The Host, which became the highest grossing film in South Korean box office history. For her role, she trained in archery for months that she was told if she really wanted, she had enough talent to make it at an amateur level.[18] She then returned to television, through the series Someday and How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor.[19]

After winning accolades for Air Doll, a 2009 film by Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda about an inflatable sex doll that develops a soul and falls in love,[20][21][22][23] Bae made back-to-back TV series in 2010, playing a high school teacher in Master of Study,[24][25] and a night club singer in weekend drama Gloria.[26][27][28]

Her 2012 sports film As One was based on the true story of the world table tennis championship held in Chiba, Japan in 1991 where North Korean player Ri Bun-hui and South Korean player Hyun Jung-hwa overcame their difficulties and came together to defeat the unbeatable Chinese team. Bae and co-star Ha Ji-won were trained by Hyun herself, and Bae learned to play left-handed like Ri.[29][30][31][32][33][34] Afterwards she made a brief appearance in the science fiction film Doomsday Book.[35]

Bae made her English-language, Hollywood debut in Cloud Atlas, as Sonmi~451, a clone in dystopian Korea.[36] She also played the minor roles of Tilda Ewing, the daughter of a slave-holder and wife of an abolitionist in pre-Civil War America, and a Mexican woman who kills an assassin out to murder a journalist and a whistleblower who are trying to expose a nuclear plant safety cover-up. Co-directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, the $100 million adaptation of David Mitchell's novel premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival to divisive reviews, though Bae's performance was unanimously praised by critics.[37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48] The Wachowskis later cast her again in a supporting role in their next science fiction film Jupiter Ascending.[49][50][51]

Back in Korea, Bae has been cast in the upcoming film Dohee-ya, to be directed by Jung Joo-ri and produced by Lee Chang-dong. She plays a small town police officer who tries to save a mysterious young girl she suspects is a victim of domestic violence.[52]



Television dramas[edit]

Music videos[edit]






Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
1999KBS Drama AwardsBest New ActressSchool, Ad MadnessWon
2000Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest New ActressBarking Dogs Never BiteWon[55]
KBS Drama AwardsPopularity AwardRNAWon
2001Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsBest ActressTake Care of My CatWon
Chunsa Film Art AwardsBest ActressTake Care of My CatWon[56]
2002Baeksang Arts AwardsBest ActressTake Care of My CatWon[57]
Pusan Film Critics AwardsBest ActressTake Care of My CatWon[58]
Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest ActressSympathy for Mr. VengeanceNominated[59]
Director's Cut AwardsBest ActressSympathy for Mr. VengeanceWon
2003MBC Drama AwardsExcellence Award, ActressCountry PrincessNominated[60]
2006Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest Supporting ActressThe HostNominated[61][62][63]
Director's Cut AwardsBest Performers Award (ensemble cast)The HostWon[64][65]
2007SBS Drama AwardsExcellence Award, Actress in a MiniseriesHow to Meet a Perfect NeighborNominated
2008Chlotrudis Society for Independent FilmBest Supporting ActressLinda Linda LindaNominated[66]
2010Tokyo Sports Film AwardsBest ActressAir DollWon[67][68]
Japan Academy PrizeBest ActressAir DollNominated[69][70][71][72]
Asian Film AwardsBest ActressAir DollNominated[73]
Takasaki Film FestivalBest ActressAir DollWon[74][75][76]
MBC Drama AwardsExcellence Award, ActressGloriaNominated[77]


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  2. ^ Yamato, Jen (23 October 2012). "Korean Star Doona Bae On Sonmi-451 And Her Crossover Journey To Cloud Atlas". Movieline. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cine21 Interviews Bae Doo-Na". Twitch Film. 3 November 2005. 
  4. ^ Ho, Stewart (11 May 2012). "Bae Doo Na Reveals She Was Sadako Crawling Out of the TV Screen From The Ring Virus". enewsWorld. 
  5. ^ Paquet, Darcy. "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Bae Doo-na". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  6. ^ Hartzell, Adam. "Women's History Trilogy (2000-4)". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  7. ^ a b "Bae Doo-na: Acting Without a Pretty Face On". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 April 2006. 
  8. ^ Park, Jeong-ho (7 October 2001). "Flashy, Rebellious and Ready for Stardom". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  9. ^ Lee, Seung-heon (25 March 2002). "Park Chan-Uk – Song Kang-Ho Duo's New Movie, Revenge Is Mine". The Dong-a Ilbo. 
  10. ^ Paquet, Darcy. "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  11. ^ "Bae Doo-na Promotes Seoul in Photo Book". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 November 2008. 
  12. ^ Cheon, Seung-hoon (11 March 2003). "Bae Doo-na, Heroine in New MBC TV Series A Confident Girl". The Dong-a Ilbo. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Bae Du-na Makes Surprise Debut as Singer in Japan". KBS Global. 16 March 2005. 
  15. ^ "Korean actress Bae Doona greets to the house on the occasion of the opening day of a Japanese Film Linda Linda Linda". via Hancinema. 24 July 2005. 
  16. ^ Kevin B. Lee, Michael Kerpan (28 February 2008). "We love Bae Doo-na (even if Korea doesn’t)". Shooting Down Pictures. 
  17. ^ "I'm Young for the Role of a Divorced Woman, But...". The Dong-a Ilbo. 30 March 2005. 
  18. ^ "PRESS SCREENING: 괴물 (The Host)". Twitch Film. 7 July 2006. 
  19. ^ "Bae Doona, "Right now? I'm having the time of my life!"". Broasia via Hancinema. 7 September 2007. 
  20. ^ Cho, Bum-ja (25 March 2010). "Bae Doo-na says Doll nude scene filming was "surprising"". 10Asia. 
  21. ^ "Bae Doo-na Braves Nude Scene in Japanese Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 27 March 2010. 
  22. ^ Sung, So-young (9 April 2010). "Bae brings life to an Air Doll". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  23. ^ Beck, Una (1 July 2009). "The Actress of Positive Stateless/BAE Doo-na of Air Doll". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  24. ^ Han, Sang-hee (5 January 2010). "Heroines Line Up for Dramas in 2010". The Korea Times. 
  25. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (5 January 2010). "PREVIEW: KBS TV series God of Study". 10Asia. 
  26. ^ Lucia Hong, Lee Ji-hye (28 July 2010). "Bae Doo-na was "worried over bad singing"". 10Asia. 
  27. ^ "Bae Doo Na: 'Practicing Singing Is Tough'". KBS Global. 29 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Oh, Jean (1 August 2010). "Bae Doo-na grabs the mike in Gloria". The Korea Herald. 
  29. ^ Cho, Jae-eun (6 April 2012). "Athletes' story of friendship retold in As One". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  30. ^ Kwak, Je-yup (10 April 2012). "Sports flick As One targets patriots". The Korea Times. 
  31. ^ Oh, Mi-jung (17 April 2012). "Bae Doo Na Thought about North Korea's Great Leader". enewsWorld. 
  32. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (26 April 2012). "Interview: Bae Doo Na Opens Up About Her Lee Bun Hui Character in Korea". enewsWorld. 
  33. ^ ""I'm Coming Out of Being Lee Boon-Hee," says Bae Doo-Na.". Issue Daily via Seen in Jeonju. 4 May 2012. 
  34. ^ Park, Hyun-min (3 May 2012). "Bae Doo Na Talks of How She Lost Her Toenail in Shoot for Korea". enewsWorld. 
  35. ^ Lee, In-kyung (13 April 2012). "How Would You Rate Bae Doo Na's Doomsday Book Fashion Sense?". enewsWorld. 
  36. ^ "Bae Doo-na Ice Cool Ahead of Hollywood Debut". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 September 2011. 
  37. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (27 December 2011). "Bae Doo Na’s Hollywood Debut Piece Wraps Filming". enewsWorld. 
  38. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (11 September 2012). ""BAE Doo-na is marvellous": Cloud Atlas gets raves reviews after its Toronto premiere". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  39. ^ Rich, Katey (29 October 2012). "Cloud Atlas Star Doona Bae On Romancing Jim Sturgess And Emptying Herself Into Sonmi". Cinema Blend. 
  40. ^ Lee, Rachel; Jung, Hyun-mok (1 November 2012). "Cloud Altas star talks Hollywood experience". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  41. ^ Shim, Sun-ah (13 December 2012). "Actress Bae Doona in love with her role in Cloud Atlas". Yonhap. 
  42. ^ Park, Eun-jee (14 December 2012). "Cloud Atlas team touches down in Seoul". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  43. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (6 January 2013). "Interview: Bae Doo Na is Proud She Made It Into Hollywood Herself". enewsWorld. 
  44. ^ Shim, Sun-ah (7 January 2013). "(Yonhap Interview) Actress Bae Doona proud of her roles in Cloud Atlas". Yonhap. 
  45. ^ Lee, Claire (7 January 2013). "Bae Doo-na, on her own". The Korea Herald. 
  46. ^ Park, Eun-jee (8 January 2013). "Bae Doo-na takes her career to the clouds". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  47. ^ "Cloud Atlas Star Can't Help Falling in Love with Filmmaking". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 February 2013. 
  48. ^ Lovatt, Phoebe (February 2013). "Lana Wachowski selects Doona Bae". Dazed Digital. 
  49. ^ "Bae Doona to appear in the Wachowskis' next film". Yonhap. 16 April 2013. 
  50. ^ "Bae Doo-na stars in new film by Wachowski siblings". The Korea Herald. 16 April 2013. 
  51. ^ Lee, Sun-min (17 April 2013). "Bae Doo-na cast in new Wachowski movie". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  52. ^ Conran, Pierce (2 September 2013). "BAE Doo-na and KIM Sae-ron Team up with Producer LEE Chang-dong". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  53. ^ "BIFF 2005 Archives: Tea Date". Busan International Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  54. ^
  55. ^ "21st Blue Dragon Awards". Blue Dragon Film Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  56. ^ "Korean Film Awards, 1962-present". Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  57. ^ "38th Baeksang Arts Awards". Baeksang Arts Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  58. ^ Paquet, Darcy (19 October 2005). "Film Awards Ceremonies in Korea". 
  59. ^ "23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards". Blue Dragon Film Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  60. ^ "2003 MBC Drama Awards". (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  61. ^ "27th Blue Dragon Film Awards". Blue Dragon Film Awards (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  62. ^ "다정하게 손잡고 들어서는 배두나-고아성" (in Korean). Star News via Daum. 15 December 2006. 
  63. ^ Jamier, Samuel (15 December 2006). "The 27th Blue Dragon Awards". Tracking the Blue Dragon Dumplings. 
  64. ^ Yi, Chang-ho (28 December 2006). "Director's Cut Awards Diversity of Films". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  65. ^ "Hong Wins Director of the Year Award". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 December 2006. 
  66. ^ "Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress". Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  67. ^ Hong, Lucia (21 January 2010). "Actress Bae Doona wins third award in Japan". 10Asia. 
  68. ^ "Bae Doo-na Wins Three Acting Awards in Japan". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 January 2010. 
  69. ^ Han, Sang-hee (23 December 2009). "Bae Doo-na Receives Award From Japan Academy Prize". The Korea Times. 
  70. ^ Chang, Tony (23 December 2009). "Actress Bae Doo-na receives lead actress award in Japan". Yonhap. 
  71. ^ "Bae Doo-na Wins Japanese Best Actress Award for Air Doll". KBS Global. 24 December 2009. 
  72. ^ "The 33rd Japan Academy Awards". Zimbio. 4 March 2010. 
  73. ^ "4th AFA Nominees & Winners". Asian Film Awards. 20 January 2010. 
  74. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (14 January 2010). "Bae Doona wins best actress award at Japanese film fest". 10Asia. 
  75. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (14 January 2010). "Bae Doo-na Named Best Actress". The Korea Times. 
  76. ^ "배두나 日최우수 여우주연상 수상" (in Korean). 15 January 2010. 
  77. ^ "‘2010 MBC 연기대상’ 여자 우수상, 박은혜-이소연 공동수상 "울컥"" (in Korean). Union Press. 31 December 2010. 

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