Edited by Jeon Gyeong Ju
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
The Silent Sea, the last Korean project of Netflix for this year, has been a hot topic since the production stage. The space SF material that’s rarely seen in K-dramas, Jung Woo Sung’s participation as a producer, and a star-studded cast that includes Bae Doo Na and Gong Yoo all combined to raise expectations. In particular, Bae Doo Na, who Netflix once again chose after Sense8 and Kingdom, plays biologist Song Ji An in The Silent Sea and leads the mystery within the story. If you enjoyed seeing Bae Doo Na’s charms in The Silent Sea, you could check out these indispensable seven movies and dramas in her career.
Country Princess (2003)
The 2003 MBC series Country Princess is a work that opened the door to becoming a leading actress for Bae Doo Na. Lee Eun Hee, played by the actress, is a typical tomboy branded as the worst troublemaker in the neighborhood since she was young. The process of Eun Hee going from a single mother to a career woman was adequately combined with the secret of birth and her love triangle with two men (Kang Dong Won and Shin Sung Woo), drawing favorable responses. It goes without saying that Bae Doo Na, whose image was that of a youth star, left a strong impression on the viewers.
SBS’s How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor depicts the daily lives and romance of four men and women living in the same village. Though the story centers around their romance, the series added excitement with mysterious side stories, such as a murder case in the neighborhood or a hidden family secret. As always, Bae Doo Na perfectly pulled off the role of Jung Yoon Hee, an ordinary character thaㅊㅊㅊㅊㅊㅊt catches the eye. Interestingly, Bae Doo Na and Kim Seung Woo, who first met as a couple having an affair in the 2003 drama Rosemary, first appeared to be a couple. But soon, with the emergence of Park Si Hoo, she ended up becoming an item with him.
Master of Study (2010)
Based on the Japanese manga Dragon Zakura, it revolves around a special class devoted to getting five troublemakers into the most prestigious college. Bae Doo Na took on the role of Han Soo Jung, a first-time English teacher who struggles with a lack of experience. Like the character from the original work, Soo Jung fiercely confronts the main character at first. But she gradually assimilates and becomes a strong ally for the students and practices the “enjoyable English” education as she wants. Despite the various letdowns in the plot, Master of Study is a project where you can see Bae Doo Na acting in a comedy genre.
The actress met the Wachowski sisters when she appeared in the movie Cloud Atlas (2012). Then in 2015, she starred in the Netflix original Sense8 directed by the sisters. She didn’t just play a minor Asian role but the role of Park Sun, one of the eight main characters. Sense8 is an SF series portraying eight strangers from different parts of the world who suddenly find themselves mentally and emotionally linked. Park Sun is a complicated character who is the daughter of a powerful Seoul business executive, a burgeoning star in the underground kickboxing world, and a person falsely accused of a crime by her broken family. Unfortunately, Sense8 ended with season 2 and one special episode, but if you’re a fan of Bae Doo Na, you should binge-watch the show and check out her skills.
Matrimonial Chaos (2018)
KBS’s Matrimonial Chaos, a remake of Japanese TV series of the same title, is also a work where Bae Doo Na reunited with director Yoo Hyun Ki eight years after Master of Study. It’s a rom-com that delightfully depicts four men and women standing at the crossroads between marriage and divorce. Bae Doo Na plays Kang Hui Ru, who constantly gets entangled with her ex-husband Jo Seok Moo (Cha Tae Hyun) even after the divorce. Although the ratings were disappointing, Hui Ru’s change as she becomes more honest with her feelings and matures as a person through her relationship with her ex reached viewers with a quiet yet deep echo through Bae Doo Na.
tvN’s Stranger is a drama that marked a heavy turning point in the career of Bae Doo Na, who was most recognized for her realistic and friendly performance. The actress played the just and honest detective Han Yeo Jin and led the play as the partner of Hwang Shi Mok, a lonely prosecutor who doesn’t feel emotions, played by Cho Seung Woo. The two actors showed such impressive chemistry that fans were cheering for their relationship even when It wasn’t a romance drama. Additionally, Bae Doo Na received favorable reviews for her convincingly expressing Yeo Jin’s growth throughout two seasons. Hope remained in the hearts of viewers thanks to Yeo Jin’s determination to push her belief in justice until the end despite the agony of bringing down her superior, whom she admired, with her own hands and the pain of having to endure the piercing gaze of her coworkers.
Kingdom, which became the starting point of Netflix’s ‘Korean Jackpot,’ is also a work that elevated Bae Doo Na’s stature at an international level. She captivated the viewers as Seo Bi, who fulfills her duty as a physician’s assistant who desperately seeks to find a cure for the zombie disease. Season 2 ending and spin-off Kingdom: Ashin of the North foretold the meeting of Yi Chang’s party, who had left for the North, and Ashin. Now, we’re looking forward to seeing how Bae Doo Na’s kind acting will shine against Ashin (Jun Ji Hyun), the culprit of spreading the zombie disease and the protagonist of another tragedy.
Editor Jeon Gyeong Ju: A natural-born media geek who is physically Korean and mentally multinational. All dramatic stories are my favorite sweets for life. TVs and streaming platforms are not only the playgrounds but also the weapons.
Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.