Known for her colorful accolades in the film and television industry, Bae Doo-na started out her career as a model after being street-cast while she was a student in Hanyang University. She got her love for acting from her mother, famous theater actress Kim Hwa-young.
Bae Doo-na is also famous in the international scene after doing several movie projects in the US. Her range goes from drama, action, sci-fi, and romance. Take your time checking out our featured star for this edition of In Spotlight!
School 1 (KBS2 / 1999) – Bae Doo-na
Her drama debut was in the first-ever installment of the “School” series back in 1999.
Kwangki (KBS2 / 1999) – Pyo Lu-na
This is one of her earliest drama appearances was through another KBS drama opposite Won Bin. This just proves she’s been winning in life since her younger years.
Ring Virus (1999) – Eun-seo
She also debuted the big screen later that year as the ghost in The Ring Virus, the Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring.
8 Love Stories – Miss Hip-hop and Mr. Rock (SBS / 1999-2000) – Young-yi
Appearing in the sixth episode of this SBS drama anthology with So Ji-sub as her love interest.
Mothers and Sisters (MBC / 2000) – Kong Jan-mi
She had a minor role in the family drama “Mothers and Sisters” starring Hwang Su-jeong and Go Soo.
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) – Park Hyun-nam
This movie won awards in the 2001 Slamdance Film Festival, 25th Hong Kong International Film Festival, Buenos Aires International Film Festival (Argentina), Munich Film Fest (Germany). It’s about a part-time lecturer who wanted to get rid of the barking dog in an apartment complex. Her first project with acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho, Bae Doo-na appeared as the apartment’s custodian and bookkeeper.
Look Back in Anger (KBS2 / 2000) – Lee Mi-na
She starred as the youngest daughter and a juvenile delinquent in this family drama.
Plum Blossom (2000) – Seo Nam-ok
Top-billed by Kim Rae-won, this coming-of-age film delves into first experiences – sex, love, heartbreak. Bae Doo-na played the role of a cheerful nurse who taught Kim Rae-won how to love again.
Take Care of My Cat (2001) – Yoo Tae-hee
Another coming-of-age movie, this time about five girls in their early twenties who have been close friends since high school. This film gave Bae Doo-na a Best Actress award in the 2002 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) – Cha Yeong-mi
Known as the first installment in award-winning PD Park Chan-wook’s revenge trilogy, the movie was about a deaf-mute factory worker who engaged in the black market for his sister’s kidney transplant.
Saving My Hubby (2002) – Jung Geum-soon
She played the role of a young mother who rescued her husband after he was held hostage by a nightclub owner for failing to pay the bill.
Country Princess (MBC / 2003) – Lee Eun-hee
She plays another young mother role in this drama about birth secrets and twisted fate. Bae Doo-na played the role of Eun-hee, the long lost granddaughter of a wealthy family grew up living in poverty after her mother died during childbirth.
Rosemary (KBS2 / 2003) – Shin Kyoung-su
She portrayed an indiscreet young woman who had to take care of a dying woman’s two children.
Tube (2003) – Kay
This film revolved around the showdown between an out-of-control terrorist and a determined detective in the middle of a city hostage. She appeared as the pickpocket girl named Kay who was involved in the subway train hijacking.
Spring Bears Love (2003) – Jung Hyun-jae
This cute romance flick is about a store clerk who is super unlucky when it comes to love. She will become obsessed with the mysterious love notes inside her father’s art books, believing that they are meant for her, and begins to look for the writer with the notes as her clues.
Six Love Stories | Beating Heart (MBC / 2005) – Bae Doo-na
In 2005, she led the MBC mini-seriesas the bright heroine who was afraid to fall in love again after her husband of three months left her abruptly.
Linda Linda Linda (2005) – Song (vocalist)
Back in 2005, Bae Doo-na starred in the Japanese film Linda Linda Linda. She played the role of Son, a Korean exchange student who was suddenly recruited as a lead vocalist for the band of her newfound friends.
Tea Date (2005) – Sun-hee
This is an American/Korean short film starring Mark Barkan as an English teacher and Bae Doo-na as his Korean student. This is also her first ever English-speaking role before mainstream Hollywood. She appeared as an exchange student who would talk about life over hot tea with his elderly volunteer tutor who recently lost his wife.
The Host (2006) – Park Nam-joo
One of South Korea’s top grossing and critically-acclaimed films of all time, The Host reunited Bae Doo-na with director Bong Joon-ho. She appeared as an archer with national medals in the monster movie.
Someday (OCN / 2006) – Hana Yamaguchi
This drama is about a struggling Japanese manga artist who gets caught in a love triangle with a rich doctor and a private detective.
Perfect Neighbor (SBS / 2007) – Jung Yoon-hee
This was a reunion project project for Kim Seung-woo and Bae Doona who appeared together in the 2003 KBS drama Rosemary. They were joined by Park Si-hoo and Wang Ji-hye in this drama.
Air Doll (2009)
She top billed the 2009 Japanese movie, which was about a doll who suddenly developed human feelings one day without her owner’s knowledge.
Master of Study (KBS2 / 2010) – Han Soo-jung
Then young stars Yoo Seung-ho, Go Ah-sung, Lee Hyun-woo, and Park Ji-yeon called Bae Doo-na their “seonsaengnim” in this top rated KBS youth series Master of Study / God of Study.
Gloria (MBC / 2010-2011) – Na Jin-jin
She and Lee Chun-hee paired up in MBC’s weekend drama Gloria in 2010. The 50-episode series revolved around Bae Doo-na’s character Na Jin-jin who dreamed of becoming a singer.
Doomsday Book (2012) – Park Min-seo (segment “Happy Birthday”)
She had a cameo in the three-part science fiction film Doomsday Book. She briefly appeared in the segment “Happy Birthday” about a dysfunctional family who reconnected in the midst of an apocalypse.
As One (2012) – Lee Boon-hee
In 2012, she worked with South Korea’s finest actresses, and . The film was based on the events during the 1991 World Table Tennis Championship where the first ever joint North-South Korean Team played and won gold medal.
Cloud Atlas (2012) – Son-mi
She made her debut in the US through the movie, a time-bending story of six people’s “souls” intertwined in different eras.
A Girl At My Door (2014) – Young-nam
She starred in the drama flickwith and . This movie, where she played the role of police officer Lee Young-nam, was screened in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. She also won the Best Actress trophy in the 9th Asian Film Awards.
Jupiter Ascending (2014)
She was cast in the 2015 sci-fi movieas the bounty hunter named Razo. This was also her reunion project with the film’s producers’ Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Tunnel (2016) – Se-hyun
She appeared opposite Ha Jung-woo in the disaster movie. The film was about a car salesman who was trapped inside a collapsed tunnel and was on survival mode through the guidance of the rescue team.
Chang-ok’s Letter (2017) – Eun-ha
In 2017, she was tapped to star in Chang-ok’s Letter, a four-part Japanese web series directed by Shunji Iwai, the director of the classic hit movie Love Letter. She unleashed her versatility in playing the role of a dutiful daughter-in-law, wife, and a mother.
Stranger (tvN / 2017) – Han Yeo-jin
For the first season of the hit tvN crime drama, Bae Doo-na appeared is the badass detective Han Yeo-jin, who teamed up with, in catching a serial killer while exposing the corruption in the prosecutor’s office.
Sense8 (Netflix / 2015-2018) – Sun Bak
was her third project with the American director-producers Lana and Lilly Wachowski. She played the role of the kickboxer Sun Bak in the Netflix original series.
Matrimonial Chaos (KBS2 / 2018) – Kang Whee-roo
This romantic comedy was a remake of the popular 2013 Japanese drama of the same name penned by Sakamoto Yuji. Also known as The Best Divorce, she starred alongside Cha Tae-hyun as a divorced couple who suddenly find themselves in love with each other once again.
The Drug King (2018) – Kim Jeong-ah
In 2018, she teamed-up with actorsand for the crime drama flick, The Drug King. Set in the 1970s, she took on the role of the well-connected lobbyist Kim Jeong-ah.
Persona (2019) – (segment “Love Set”)
She was a guest in the Netflix anthologytopbilled by IU. Titled as “Love Set,” Bae Doona was about to marry IU’s father, and the story took off with both of them engaged in a tennis match with a thrilling bet at stake.
Kingdom (Netflix / 2019) – Seo-bi
Starring in her first sageuk, Bae Doon-na takes on the role of Seo-bi, a physician’s assistant who is first to discover the outbreak of zombie-causing plague, in the thriller series Kingdom.
#iamhere / #JeSuisLà (2019) – Soo
This film is about a French chef who goes to South Korea to visit a mysterious Korean woman he fell in love with on Instagram.
Kingdom Season 2 (Netflix / 2020) – Seo-bi
Seo-bi continued her journey in search for the cure in the second season of the hit Netflix series Kingdom.
Stranger 2 (tvN / 2020) – Han Yeo-jin
2020 is the year of second seasons for Bae Doo-na’s drama portfolio. She also reprises her role in another hit drama Stranger 2, who is now the Senior Inspector at Yongsan Police Station, Officer Han Yeo-jin!