Bae in 2016, during the promotion of The Tunnel.
October 11, 1979|
Seoul, South Korea
|Education||Konkuk University – Department of Film Arts|
|Revised Romanization||Bae Du-na|
Bae Doo-na (Hangul: 배두나; Korean pronunciation: [pɛduna]; born October 11, 1979) is a South Korean actress and photographer. She became known outside Korea for her roles as a political activist in Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), archer Park Nam-joo in Bong Joon-ho's The Host (2006), and as an inflatable sex doll-come-to-life in Hirokazu Koreeda's Air Doll (2009). She has had English-speaking roles in the Wachowski films Cloud Atlas (2012) and Jupiter Ascending (2015), and the TV series Sense8 (2015–2018).
Bae was born in Seoul, South Korea. Growing up, Bae would follow her mother, Kim Hwa-young, a stage actress in Korea, around the theater and rehearsal halls, learning 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."
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 before completing her studies at Hanyang University, debuting in the TV drama School. Later that year, she appeared as the ghost in The Ring Virus, a Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring.
In 2000, director Bong Joon-ho cast her 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. Bae later cited this part as the role that pushed her to pursue a serious acting career, saying: "That film made me decide to become an actress – a good actress – and that film thereby changed my whole life." In Kim So-young's documentary Women's History Trilogy (2000–2004), Bae stated her admiration for veteran South Korean actress Yoon Jeong-hee; Yoon returned the compliment, saying "Bae Doo-na owns her world." In this same documentary, Bae shared how her own most memorable scene was being chased by the homeless man throughout the apartment in Barking Dogs Never Bite. That same year she gave a risque performance (albeit with a body double for the more intense scenes) in Plum Blossom, and slowly started getting more work on television.
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."
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-essay books. She also continued to work on TV, starring in Country Princess and Rosemary. 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.
In 2005 Bae gave a memorable turn as an exchange student who joins a band in the Japanese film Linda Linda Linda, then played a divorced woman in the experimental omnibus TV series Beating Heart.
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. She then returned to television, through the series Someday and How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor.
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, Bae made back-to-back TV series in 2010, playing a high school teacher in Master of Study, and a night club singer in weekend drama Gloria.
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. Afterwards she made a brief appearance in the science fiction film Doomsday Book.
Bae made her English-language, Hollywood debut in Cloud Atlas, as Sonmi~451, a clone in dystopian Korea. She also played the minor roles of Tilda Ewing, the wife of an abolitionist in pre-Civil War America, and a Mexican woman who crosses paths with an assassin. Co-directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, the US$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.
Back in Korea, Bae next starred in the 2014 film A Girl at My Door, directed by July Jung and produced by Lee Chang-dong. Playing a small-town police officer who tries to save a mysterious young girl she suspects is a victim of domestic violence, Bae said she was so fascinated by the story and emotionally challenging role that she decided to star in the movie without pay three hours after reading the script. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and Bae later won Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards.
In 2015, she reteamed with the Wachowskis for their space opera Jupiter Ascending, in which she played a small supporting role as a bounty hunter. This was followed by Sense8, an American science fiction series created by the Wachowskis (in Bae's third collaboration with them) and co-written by J. Michael Straczynski. About eight strangers from different cultures and parts of the world who share a violent psychic vision and suddenly find themselves telepathically connected, Sense8 began streaming on Netflix in 2015.
She then appeared in a 90-minute web film directed by her older brother, commercial director Bae Doo-han. Titled Red Carpet Dream, it is a biopic of how Bae dreamed of becoming an actress when she was young, and her 20-year acting career. Commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Busan International Film Festival and sponsored by MAC Cosmetics, the film screened at the festival as well as on Facebook and cable channel CGV.
Back on the big screen, Bae starred alongside Ha Jung-woo in the survival drama film The Tunnel. She then teamed up with Japanese director Shunji Iwai and actor Kim Joo-hyuk for the short film, Chang-ok’s Letter.
Bae returned to Korean TV screens in 2017 with mystery legal thriller Stranger, playing a passionate police officer. The series was a hit and gained favorable reviews for its tight plot, gripping sequences and strong performances.
In June 2018, Bae was one of 14 professionals from the Korean film industry invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The same year, Bae is set to appear in omnibus romance film The Romantic and crime thriller Drug King. She will also star in Netflix's zombie series Kingdom, and romance drama Matrimonial Chaos, a remake of the Japanese television series of the same title.
|1999||The Ring Virus||Park Eun-suh|
|2000||Barking Dogs Never Bite||Park Hyun-nam|
|Plum Blossom||Seo Nam-ok|
|2001||Take Care of My Cat||Yoo Tae-hee|
|2002||Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance||Cha Young-mi|
|Saving My Hubby||Jung Geum-soon|
|Spring Bears Love||Jung Hyun-chae|
|2005||Linda Linda Linda||Son||Japanese film|
|Tea Date||Sun-hee||American short film|
|2006||The Host||Park Nam-joo|
|2009||Air Doll||Nozomi||Japanese film|
|2012||Doomsday Book||Adult Park Min-seo (cameo)||segment: "Happy Birthday"|
|As One||Ri Bun-hui|
|Cloud Atlas||Sonmi~451 /
Tilda Ewing /
Megan's mom /
|German / American film|
|2014||A Girl at My Door||Lee Young-nam|
|2015||Jupiter Ascending||Razo||American film|
|Red Carpet Dream||Herself||Web film|
|2017||Chang-ok's Letter||Short film|
|2018||Drug King||Kim Jeong-ah|
|Ad Madness||Pyo Roo-na||KBS2|
|2000||Love Story "Miss Hip-hop and Mr. Rock"||Young-yi||SBS|
|Look Back in Anger||Lee Mi-na||KBS2|
|Cruise Ship of Love||Bae Doo-na||KBS2|
|I Want To Keep Seeing You||Ham Choon-bong||SBS|
|Mothers and Sisters||Gong Chan-mi||MBC|
|2001||Open Drama Man & Woman
"You say it's love, but I think it's desire"
|2003||Country Princess||Lee Eun-hee||MBC|
|2005||Beating Heart||Bae Doo-na||MBC|
|2007||How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor||Jung Yoon-hee||SBS|
|2010||Master of Study||Han Soo-jung||KBS2|
|Matrimonial Chaos||Kwang Hwi-roo||KBS2|
Music video appearances
|"Party Time"||Ray Jay|
|2007||"Every Time I Look at You"||Kang Kyun-sung|
|2009||"Tsumetai Ame"||Every Little Thing|
|2010||"Seesaw" / "Confession"||Hot Potato|
|"Temperature of Separation"||Yoon Jong-shin feat. You Hee-yeol|
|Radio TenTen Club||SBS||DJ|
|2004||Sunday Seoul||Actress, producer|
|2005||リンダ リンダ ("Linda Linda")||Linda Linda Linda OST |
we are PARAN MAUM EP
|僕の右手 Boku no Migite ("My Right Hand")|
|終わらない歌 Owaranai Uta ("Never Ending Song")|
|2010||글로리아 ("Gloria")||Gloria OST|
|바보랍니다 ("I'm a Fool")|
|"Ready to Fly" (feat. Jung Jae-yun)|
|2006||Doona's London Play||Taste Factory||ISBN 89-958439-0-X|
|2007||Doona's Tokyo Play||Taste Factory||ISBN 89-958439-5-0|
|2008||Doona's Seoul Play||Chung-Ang Books||ISBN 978-89-6188-765-6|
Awards and nominations
|1999||KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||School, Ad Madness||Won|
|2000||37th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actress||Barking Dogs Never Bite||Nominated|
|21st Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actress||Won|||
|3rd Director's Cut Awards||Best New Actress||Plum Blossom||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Popularity Award||RNA||Won|
|2001||21st Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Best Actress||Take Care of My Cat||Won|
|9th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|2nd Women in Film Korea Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|2002||38th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Won|||
|3rd Busan Film Critics Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance||Nominated|||
|2003||MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||Country Princess||Nominated|||
|2006||27th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Host||Nominated|||
|9th Director's Cut Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|2007||SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor||Nominated|
|2008||Chlotrudis Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Linda Linda Linda||Nominated|
|2010||19th Tokyo Sports Film Awards||Best Actress||Air Doll||Won|||
|33rd Japan Academy Prize||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|4th Asian Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|23rd Takasaki Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|||
|MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||Gloria||Nominated|||
|KBS Drama Awards||Netizens' Award, Actress||Master of Study||Nominated|||
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|2013||CinEuphoria Awards||Best Supporting Actress - International Competition||Cloud Atlas||Nominated|
|International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA)||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2014||30th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards||Best Actress in a Foreign Film||A Girl at My Door||Won|||
|23rd Buil Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|2015||20th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|9th Asian Film Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|2nd Wildflower Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|51st Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Nominated|||
|2016||37th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Tunnel||Nominated|
|Popular Star Award||Won|||
|53rd Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2017||53rd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Supporting Actress (Film)||Nominated|
|22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|26th Buil Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
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- Cho, Jae-eun (6 April 2012). "Athletes' story of friendship retold in As One". Korea JoongAng Daily.
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- ""I'm Coming Out of Being Lee Boon-Hee," says Bae Doo-Na". Seen in Jeonju. Issue Daily. 4 May 2012.
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- "Cloud Atlas Star Can't Help Falling in Love with Filmmaking". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 February 2013.
- Lovatt, Phoebe (February 2013). "Lana Wachowski selects Doona Bae". Dazed Digital.
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- "Bae Doona to appear in the Wachowskis' next film". Yonhap News Agency. 16 April 2013.
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- "Ha Jung-woo, Bae Doo-na to star in movie 'Tunnel'". The Korea Herald. 24 November 2015.
- "BAE Doo-na, KIM Joo-hyuk Team Up for IWAI Shunji Short". Korean Film Biz Zone. 9 December 2016.
- "CHANG-OK'S LETTER with BAE Doo-na and KIM Joo-hyuk Debuts on Youtube". Korean Film Biz Zone. 28 February 2017.
- "Mystery Series Marks Double TV Comeback for Two Top Stars". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 June 2017.
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- "'Stranger' ends amid much fanfare". The Korea Herald. 31 July 2017.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bae Doona.|
- Official website (in Korean)