Lee Na-young (Hangul: 이나영; RR: Yi Nayeong; born February 22, 1979) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her leading roles in TV Series Ruler of Your Own World (2002) and Ireland (2004) and film Someone Special (2004) and Maundy Thursday (2006). Aside from acting, Lee is also known for appearing in numerous commercials.
Lee Na-young began her modeling career in a Jambangee Jeans TV commercial in 1998, then made her acting debut that same year. Following supporting roles in 1999 television dramas Did We Really Love?, KAIST and Queen, Lee starred in the tepidly received 2000 Hong Kong sci-fi action film Dream of Warrior starring Leon Lai. She also appeared in the 2001 music video for "Catherine's Wheel" by Britpop band Rialto.
But Lee rose to fame in 2002 with the critically acclaimed series Ruler of Your Own World. She played an indie rock musician who unexpectedly falls for a terminally ill grifter, and Lee and her fellow cast members were praised for their realistic, nuanced acting. She later reunited with Ruler of Your Own World screenwriter In Jung-ok for Ireland, a 2004 drama about a Korean adoptee who journeys to her homeland, but its reception was less positive.
During this time, Lee had become one of the top-ranked and highest-paid commercial models, endorsing diverse products such as cosmetics (notably Laneige and Lancôme), electronics, clothing lines, beverages, food, telecommunications, and construction companies. She is considered to have one of the most beautiful and idealized faces in Korea. Lee later became the first Korean to appear on the cover of fashion magazine W Korea, for its November 2009 issue.
But unlike her graceful and glamorous public persona in advertisements, her image in film has been the opposite, with Lee choosing to portray women who are awkward and eccentric. In 2002, she starred in the cyber romance Who R. U.? as an introverted character similar to her role in Ruler of Your Own World. Lee then played a quirky, English-challenged civil servant in Kim Sung-su's comedy film Please Teach Me English (2003) and the harmless stalker of a struggling baseball player in Jang Jin's romantic comedy Someone Special (2004). She won several Best Actress prizes for Someone Special, notably from the prestigious Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Lee again drew praise in 2006, this time for her dramatic chops in Maundy Thursday, Song Hae-sung's film adaptation of Gong Ji-young's novel Our Happy Time about a suicidal rape victim who develops a close bond with a death row inmate. She next played an emotionally tormented sleepwalker in Kim Ki-duk's Dream (2008), and nearly died while filming a scene where her character hangs herself.
In 2010, Lee headlined Lady Daddy, playing a trans woman photographer whose life is disrupted with the sudden arrival of a young boy who claims that she's his biological father. To promote the film, she made a guest appearance in the sitcom High Kick Through the Roof. Lee then returned to television with the big-budget action-mystery series The Fugitive: Plan B, in which she performed her own action scenes without a stunt double.
When Lee's contract with talent agency KeyEast expired in 2011 (she had signed with KeyEast in 2006, and with the William Morris Agency in 2009), she joined Eden 9 Entertainment. In 2012, she starred in Yoo Ha's suspense thriller Howling, about a veteran detective (played by Song Kang-ho) who teams up with a female rookie (Lee) to solve a series of murders involving a mysterious wolfdog.
In 2013, Lee appeared in a minor role in the two-part Japanese film SPEC: Close. She then played an actress having a secret romance with a boom operator in Sad Scene; it was among the three short films in the omnibus Woman, Man commissioned by W Korea for its 10th anniversary in 2015.
Lee married actor Won Bin on May 30, 2015 in a small, private ceremony in a wheat field near an inn in Won's hometown, Jeongseon County, Gangwon Province, South Korea. The couple belong to the same talent agency Eden 9, and reportedly began dating in August 2012 (though Eden 9 only confirmed the relationship in July 2013). A press release from Eden 9 on December 19, 2015 announced that Lee had given birth to the couple's first child, a son.
|2001||Dream of a Warrior||Shosho|
|2002||Who R. U.?||Seo In-joo|
|2003||Please Teach Me English||Na Young-ju|
|2004||Someone Special||Han Yi-yeon|
|Sweet Home||short film|
|Leaving Me, Loving You||(cameo)||Hong Kong film|
|2006||Maundy Thursday||Moon Yu-jeong|
|2013||SPEC: Close||Woman who speaks Korean||Japanese film|
|2015||Woman, Man||segment: "Sad Scene"|
|1998||One Day Suddenly||So-hee, a ghost (bit part)||SBS|
|Three Guys and Three Girls||(bit part)||MBC|
|MBC Best Theater
"What Was I to You?"
|Did We Really Love?||Kang Jae-young||MBC|
|MBC Best Theater
"Goodbye Audrey Hepburn"
|Magic Castle||Hong Yoon-hee||KBS2|
|Love Story "Message"||So-young||SBS|
|2000||Cool Friends||Broadcasting writer Lee Na-young||KBS2|
|2002||Ruler of Your Own World||Jeon Kyung||MBC|
|2009||High Kick Through the Roof||Lee Na-bong (guest, episode 85)||MBC|
|2010||The Fugitive: Plan B||Jini||KBS2|
|1998||"Kiss Me"||Park Jin-young|
|"The Last Lie"||Yoon Sang|
|"Miracle"||Kim Dong-ryool feat. Lee So-eun|
|2000||"Only You Wouldn't Know"||As One|
|"My Love"||Im Chang-jung|
|"Goodbye, My Love"||Jo Sung-mo|
|2002||MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Ruler of Your Own World||Won|
|2004||12th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actress||Someone Special||Won|
|25th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|5th Women in Film Korea Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Ireland||Nominated|
|Popularity Award, Actress||Won|
|2006||6th Korea Advertisers Association||Good Model Award||N/A||Won|
|27th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||Maundy Thursday||Nominated|
|2007||1st Korea Broadcast Advertising Festival - Model Awards||Best Partner Award||N/A||Won|
|41st Taxpayer's Day||Prime Minister's Commendation||N/A||Won|
|2010||KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama||The Fugitive: Plan B||Nominated|