Rumors of plastic surgery seemed to incite anti-fans.
At this question, Lee Da-hae immediately pushes on her nose to make a “pig-nose.” It’s a gesture that shows her feeling of being wronged and also asserts her innocence.
“Actually, I haven’t had excessive work done as people think. [Laughs] Do you want me to show you my childhood pictures?”
A week later, her manager sent me “certified photos.” They are of her as a baby and in grade school in a children’s musical choir group.
Then what are those pictures floating around on the Internet?
“Ah, I’ve seen those. It’s from the 2001 Miss Chunhyang pageant. I was in my second year of high school then. I was the youngest of the contestants, and I had a lot of baby fat. The shots came out kind of strangely. [Laughs]”
You’ve also had a lot of scandals.
(“Scandals” refers to gossip regarding one’s romantic affiliations.)
“I think you’re talking about the incident with Kang Ji-hwan not long ago. That was really a coincidence. I was in Thailand with friends on vacation, and I met oppa there by chance. We were glad to see each other, and since we were scheduled to return to Korea within a day of each other, we deliberately took the same flight home. People misunderstood when they saw us returning together. They took it too simply.”
What about with Lee Dong-wook?
“We really became close after My Girl. He’s a close oppa to me, and I met him the day before he enlisted for military service. We exchange text messages now, too. Back in the days of My Girl, netizens grabbed onto photos of us wearing similar hats, accessories, and using similar phones and that caused a misunderstanding. There were photos of Dong-wook in sponsored clothes and me in photo shoots that were different, but comparing them later I thought it was pretty interesting.”
Then what is your ideal type like?
“Earlier this year, there was an “ideal type world cup” on KBS’s Sweet Night and Daniel Henney was picked as the top selection. That’s true for me too. I’ve thought of making an international marriage, too. I like men who are gentle and understanding. However, I also tend to feel disappointment strongly so once I think it won’t work, I turn away for good.”
What kinds of things hurt your feelings?
“Lies, not keeping promises, someone who’s different at the start and at the end, and mama’s boys.”
I hear you have a connection with Jang Dong-gun.
“Yes, we live in the same apartment in Nonhyundong. We’re friendly neighbors.”
You’re quite good at English.
“I lived in Sydney, Australia, from sixth grade through my last year of high school. I went to Burwood High School.”
That’s why your accent is almost like a native’s.
“It’s not quite that level. Lately I’ve forgotten a lot of my English, so I’m studying again.”
In what way and how much do you study?
“I study twice a week, two hours each time, with a private teacher. I’m also interested in Chinese.”
How good is your Chinese?
“I can get by in daily life? I can manage with general communication.”
You’re ready to try your hand and Hollywood or Chinese markets.
“I think I’ll be going to China soon for a drama, and I think I’ll have an opportunity in the U.S. too.”
From February 17 to 20, Lee Da-hae headed to L.A. as the only Asian actor invited to meet with major studio Warner Bros. It was a launching party for Pucca, a Korean brand that is extending as a global fashion presence, co-sponsored by Warner Bros. The party was attended by Warner Bros. VP Maryellen Zarakas, writer Jessica Szohr of Gossip Girl, Julia Stiles of Bourne Identiy, and others.
What other opportunities are you considering?
“I’m always studying and I write a diary in Chinese, and eventually I’m thinking of publishing teaching materials. I want to help others learn Chinese by applying the things I’ve used in my lessons.”
This hard-won interview is already at a close. Of the two bottles of makgulli we received gratis, the white bottle is nearly empty. Lee Da-hae says she’s not that strong a drinker, but cleanly finishes her last cup. A smile has spread across her face. Her expression has softened a lot from the start, and contains the confidence that she’ll be showing in the future as Chuno’s Hye-won.
Inside Lee Da-hae’s bag:Via IS Plus, IS Plus
- Chanel handbag
- Chuno’s Episode 16 script
- Makeup pouch
- Accessory ring given by her manager
- Red scarf bought for 30,000 won at a Dongdaemun store
- Red perfume bottle
From Un-nyun’s list that is being circulated online:
- Because of Un-nyun, Dae-gil’s family was destroyed.
- Because of Un-nyun, Song Tae-ha’s teacher died
- Because of Un-nyun, her brother suffers greatly
- Because of Un-nyun, Danny Ahn is stabbed
- Because of Un-nyun, the old rural man’s shed is destroyed
- Because of Un-nyun, the Buddhist monk cannot enter nirvana
- Because of Un-nyun’s blurred scenes, viewers are overcome with frustration
- Because of Un-nyun, General Song has a hole in his arm
- Because of Un-nyun, we see the start of her seduction
Lee Da-hae’s profile
Birthday: April 19, 1984
Stats: 170 cm tall, 47 kg
Family: 1 older brother
School: Konkuk University, English department
Debut: 2001, 71st Miss Chunhyang pageant winner
Primary filmography: Sweet 18 (2004), Lotus Flower Fairy (2004), Green Rose (2005), My Girl (2005), Hello Miss (2007), Robbers (2008), East of Eden (2008), Chuno (2010)