(; born October 11, 1979) is a South Korean actress
. She is best known outside Korea for her role as the protagonist's political activist girlfriend, Cha Yeong-mi, in Park Chan-wook
's film Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
(2002) and as archer Park Nam-ju in The Host
Bae was born on October 11, 1979, in Seoul
, South Korea
. Growing up, she would follow her mother, Kim Hwa-young, a famous stage actress in Korea, around the theater and rehearsal halls, learning the 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, debuting in the KBS TV drama School
. Later the same year she appeared as Eun-suh in The Ring Virus
, a Korean remake of the Japanese horror film Ring
In 2000, director Bong Joon-ho
cast her as Hyeon-nam 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. In Kim So-young's documentary......