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Doona Bae        

South Korean actress and photographer

Bae Doona is a South Korean actress and photographer. Bae 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," as archer Park Nam-joo in Bong Joon-ho's "The Host," and as an inflatable sex doll-come-to-life in Hirokazu Koreeda's "Air Doll." She then had English-speaking roles in various works of The Wachowskis, including the films "Cloud Atlas" and "Jupiter Ascending," and the TV series "Sense8."

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

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 "Dohee-ya" (released internationally as 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. 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 re-teamed 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. It is 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.

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