Bae Doona

Last updated
Doona Bae
Doona Bae promoting The Tunnel.png
Bae in 2016, during the promotion of the film The Tunnel
Born (1979-10-11) October 11, 1979 (age 39)(40 Korean age)
Education Konkuk University – Department of Film Arts
Occupation Actress, photographer
Years active1999–present
AgentSBD Entertainment
Korean name
Revised Romanization Bae Du-na
McCune–Reischauer Pae Tu-na

Doona Bae (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). [1] She has had English-speaking roles in the Wachowski films Cloud Atlas (2012) and Jupiter Ascending (2015), and their TV series Sense8 (2015–2018). Her latest work is on a netflix TV series Kingdom (2019-present).

Hangul Native alphabet of the Korean language

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great. It may also be written as Hangeul following the standard Romanization.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.

Photographer person who takes photographs

A photographer is a person who makes photographs.


Early life

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." [2]

Seoul Special City in Seoul Capital Area, South Korea

Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris.


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. [3] Later that year, she appeared as the ghost in The Ring Virus , a Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring . [4]

Hanyang University private research university in South Korea

Hanyang University is one of the leading private research universities of South Korea, especially in the field of engineering. The main campus is in Seoul, and its branch, the Education Research Industry Cluster at Ansan, or ERICA campus, is located in Ansan. Hanyang (한양;漢陽) derives from the former name of the capital Seoul used during the Joseon Dynasty. The university was established as an engineering institute in 1939, and became the founding facility of Hanyang University with its motto and educational philosophy of Love in Deed and Truth. Hanyang University enrolls over 3,000 foreign students each year and more than 3,300 students study abroad annually, and counts its 777 partner universities in 76 countries as of 2018.

Korean drama Television program genre

Korean dramas, or K-dramas, are television series in Korean language, made in South Korea.

<i>The Ring Virus</i> 1999 film by Kim dong-bin

The Ring Virus (Hangul: 링) is a South Korean horror film adapted from the Japanese novel Ring by Koji Suzuki. A joint project between Japan and Korea, this version has Park Eun-Suh as the creator of the cursed videotape. Although the filmmakers claimed that the film was adapted from the novel, there are various scenes in the film that match the 1998 film Ring, such as the sex of the lead character, some of the scenes on the videotape as well as copying other film scenes directly from the original film, including the film's climax.

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. [5] [6] 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." [7] 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. [8] That same year she gave a risque performance (albeit with a body double for the more intense scenes) in Plum Blossom , [9] and slowly started getting more work on television.

Bong Joon-ho South Korean film director and screenwriter

Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean film director and screenwriter. His films include monster movie The Host (2006) and sci-fi action movie Snowpiercer (2013), both of which are among the highest-grossing films of all time in South Korea. His most recent film, Okja, debuted at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a four-minute standing ovation.

<i>Barking Dogs Never Bite</i> 2000 film by Bong Joon-ho

Barking Dogs Never Bite is a 2000 South Korean dark comedy-drama film. The film's original Korean title is a satirical take on A Dog of Flanders, a European pet story that is very popular in parts of East Asia. It is also the directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho, who would later go on to direct Memories of Murder in 2003, The Host in 2006, and Snowpiercer in 2013.

Yoon Jeong-hee is a South Korean actress active since 1967.

This was followed by two more critical successes, 2001's Take Care of My Cat , directed by Jeong Jae-eun, [10] and 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance , directed by Park Chan-wook. [11] [12]

<i>Take Care of My Cat</i> 2001 film by Jeong Jae-eun

Take Care of My Cat is a 2001 South Korean coming of age film, the feature debut of director Jeong Jae-eun. It chronicles the lives of a group of friends — five young women — a year after they graduate from high school, showing the heartbreaking changes and inspiring difficulties they face in both their friendships and the working world.

Jeong Jae-eun is a South Korean film director.

<i>Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance</i> 2002 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean action thriller film directed and co-written by Park Chan-wook which follows the character Ryu trying to earn enough money for his sister's kidney transplant and the path of vengeance that follows. It is the first part of The Vengeance Trilogy and is followed by Oldboy (2003) and Lady Vengeance (2005).

2003 was less kind to Bae, as she saw both Tube and Spring Bears Love flop at the box office. [13] [14] 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." [2]

<i>Spring Bears Love</i> 2003 film

Spring Bears Love is a 2003 South Korean film directed by Donald Yong-ih.

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. [15] She also continued to work on TV, starring in Country Princess and Rosemary. [16] [17] 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. [2]

In 2005 Bae gave a memorable turn as an exchange student who joins a band in the Japanese film Linda Linda Linda , [9] [18] [19] [20] then played a divorced woman in the experimental omnibus TV series Beating Heart . [21]

Bae Doona promoting The Host in 2006. Bae Doo-Na in 2006.jpg
Bae Doona promoting The Host in 2006.

She reunited with Bong Joon-ho in 2006's The Host , which became the highest-grossing film in South Korean box office history. [22] 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. [23] She then returned to television, through the series Someday and How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor . [24] [25]

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, [26] [27] [28] [29] Bae made back-to-back TV series in 2010, playing a high school teacher in Master of Study , [30] [31] and a night club singer in weekend drama Gloria . [32] [33] [34]

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. [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] Afterwards she made a brief appearance in the science fiction film Doomsday Book . [41]

Bae made her English-language, Hollywood debut in Cloud Atlas , as Sonmi~451, a clone in dystopian Korea. [42] [43] [44] 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. [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53]

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. [54] 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. [55] [56] The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, [57] and Bae later won Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards. [58] [59] [60]

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. [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] 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. [66]

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. [67] 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. [68]

Back on the big screen, Bae starred alongside Ha Jung-woo in the survival drama film The Tunnel . [69] She then teamed up with Japanese director Shunji Iwai and actor Kim Joo-hyuk for the short film, Chang-ok’s Letter. [70] [71]

Bae returned to Korean TV screens in 2017 with mystery legal thriller Stranger , playing a passionate police officer. [72] The series was a hit and gained favorable reviews for its tight plot, gripping sequences and strong performances. [73] [74]

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). [75] The same year, Bae starred in crime thriller The Drug King . [76] [77] She also stars in Netflix's zombie series Kingdom , [78] and romance drama Matrimonial Chaos , a remake of the Japanese television series of the same title. [79]



YearEnglish titleOriginal titleRoleNotes
1999 The Ring Virus (Ring) Park Eun-suh
2000 Barking Dogs Never Bite 플란다스의 개 (Dogs of Plandas)Park Hyun-nam
Plum Blossom 청춘 (Youth)Seo Nam-ok
2001 Take Care of My Cat 고양이를 부탁해 (Take Care of My Cat)Yoo Tae-hee
2002 Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance 복수는 나의 것 (Vengeance Is Mine)Cha Young-mi
Saving My Hubby 굳세어라 금순아 (Be Brave, Geum-soon!)Jung Geum-soon [80]
2003 Tube 튜브 (Tube)Song In-kyung
Spring Bears Love 봄날의 곰을 좋아하세요? (Do you like springtime bear?)Jung Hyun-chae
2005 Linda Linda Linda リンダ リンダ リンダ (Linda Linda Linda)SonJapanese film
Tea DateN/ASun-heeAmerican short film [81]
2006 The Host 괴물 (Moth)Park Nam-joo
2009 Air Doll 空気人形 (Air Doll)NozomiJapanese film
2012 Doomsday Book 인류멸망보고서 (Report of Human Fall)Adult Park Min-seo (cameo)segment: "Happy Birthday"
As One 코리아 (Korea) Ri Bun-hui
Cloud Atlas N/ASonmi~451 /
Sonmi~351 /
Tilda Ewing /
Megan's mom /
Mexican woman
German / American film
2014 A Girl at My Door 도희야 (Dohiya)Lee Young-nam
2015 Jupiter Ascending N/ARazoAmerican film
Red Carpet DreamN/AHerself Web film
2016 The Tunnel 터널 (Tunnel)Se-hyun
2017Chang-ok's LetterN/AShort film
2018 The Drug King 마약왕 (Drug king)Kim Jeong-ah

Television series

YearEnglish titleOriginal titleRoleNotesNetwork
1998Angel's Kiss천사의 키스 Angel's Kiss) KBS2
1999 School 학교 (School)Doona Bae KBS1
Ad Madness광끼 (Cow)Pyo Roo-naKBS2
2000Love Story "Miss Hip-hop and Mr. Rock"러브스토리: 미스 힙합과 미스터 록Young-yi SBS
Look Back in Anger 성난 얼굴로 돌아보라 (Turn to the angry faceLee Mi-naKBS2
Cruise Ship of LoveDoona BaeKBS2
RNA [3] RNAPark Se-miKBS2
I Want To Keep Seeing You [82] 자꾸만 보고 싶네 (I'd love to see you)Ham Choon-bongSBS
Mothers and Sisters [83] 엄마야 누나야 (I'm your mother)Gong Chan-mi MBC
2001Open Drama Man & Woman
"You say it's love, but I think it's desire"
2003Country Princess위풍당당 그녀 (She is an idol)Lee Eun-heeMBC
Rosemary로즈마리 (Rojeumari)Shin Kyung-sooKBS2
2005 Beating Heart 떨리는 가슴 (Trembling chest)Doona BaeMBC
2006 Someday 썸데이 (Someday)Hana Yamaguchi OCN
2007 How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor 완벽한 이웃을 만나는 법 (How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor)Jung Yoon-heeSBS
2010 Master of Study 공부의 신 (God of study)Han Soo-jungKBS2
Gloria 글로리아 (Geulroria)Na Jin-jinMBC
2015–2018 Sense8 N/ASun Bak Netflix
2017 Stranger 비밀의 숲 (Secret Forest)Han Yeo-jin tvN
2018 Matrimonial Chaos 최고의 이혼 (Best Divorce)Kwang Hwi-rooKBS2
2019–present Kingdom 킹덤 (Kingdom)Seo-biNetflix
2019 Persona 페르소나 (Persona)Doona"Love Set" episode

Music video appearances

YearSong titleArtist
"Party Time"Ray Jay
"단"Kim Don-kyoo
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


1999Music Camp MBC MC
Radio TenTen Club SBS DJ


2002 Robert Zucco N/AProducer
2004Sunday SeoulActress, producer
2008 The Visit N/AProducer


YearTrackFrom Album
2005リンダ リンダ ("Linda Linda") Linda Linda Linda OST
僕の右手 Boku no Migite ("My Right Hand")
終わらない歌 Owaranai Uta ("Never Ending Song")
2010글로리아 ("Gloria") Gloria OST
바보랍니다 ("I'm a Fool")
"Ready to Fly" (feat. Jung Jae-yun)


2006Doona's London PlayTaste Factory ISBN   89-958439-0-X
2007Doona's Tokyo PlayTaste Factory ISBN   89-958439-5-0
2008Doona's Seoul PlayChung-Ang Books ISBN   978-89-6188-765-6

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
1999 KBS Drama Awards Best New ActressSchool, Ad MadnessWon
200037th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress Barking Dogs Never Bite Nominated
21st Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New ActressWon [84]
3rd Director's Cut Awards Best New Actress Plum Blossom Won [85]
KBS Drama Awards Popularity AwardRNAWon [86]
200121st Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Take Care of My Cat Won [87]
9th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best ActressWon [88]
2nd Women in Film Korea AwardsBest ActressWon [89]
200238th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Won [90]
3rd Busan Film Critics Awards Best ActressWon [91]
23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance Nominated [92]
2003 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, ActressCountry PrincessNominated [93]
2006 27th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Host Nominated [94] [95] [96]
9th Director's Cut Awards Best ActressWon [97] [98]
2007 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor Nominated
2008Chlotrudis AwardsBest Supporting Actress Linda Linda Linda Nominated
201019th Tokyo Sports Film Awards Best Actress Air Doll Won [99] [100]
33rd Japan Academy Prize Best Actress Nominated [101] [102] [103]
4th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated [104]
23rd Takasaki Film FestivalBest ActressWon [105] [106]
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Gloria Nominated [107]
KBS Drama Awards Netizens' Award, Actress Master of Study Nominated [108]
Excellence Award, Actress in a MiniseriesNominated
2013CinEuphoria AwardsBest Supporting Actress Cloud Atlas Nominated
International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA)Best Supporting ActressNominated
201430th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actress in a Foreign Film A Girl at My Door Won [109] [110]
23rd Buil Film Awards Best ActressNominated [111]
201520th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best ActressWon [112]
9th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Won [58] [113]
2nd Wildflower Film Awards Best ActressNominated [114]
51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Nominated [115]
2016 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Tunnel Nominated
Popular Star AwardWon [116]
53rd Grand Bell Awards Best ActressNominated
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Supporting Actress (Film)Nominated
22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Supporting ActressNominated
26th Buil Film Awards Best Supporting ActressNominated
1st Elle Style AwardsSuper Icon (Female)N/AWon [117]
2018 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Matrimonial Chaos Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a MiniseriesNominated
Best Couple (with Cha Tae-hyun)Won [118]

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