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Han Ye-seul

Han Ye-seul South Korean actress, singer and model

South Korean actress, singer and model
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro South Korean actress, singer and model
A.K.A. 한예슬
Is Actor Singer Film actor Model
From South Korea United States of America
Type Fashion Film, Television, Stage and Radio Music
Gender female
Birth 18 September 1981, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
Age: 38 years
The details
Biography

Han Ye-seul (born Leslie Kim on 18 September 1981) is an American-born South Korean actress. She made her acting debut in the sitcom Nonstop 4 (2003), and has since played leading roles in television dramas such as Couple or Trouble (2006), Tazza (2008), "Spy Myung-wol" (2011) and Birth of a Beauty (2014), as well as the films Miss Gold Digger (2007) and Penny Pinchers (2011).

Early life

Leslie Kim (or Kim Ye-seul-i in Korean) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Cerritos High School and graduated from Cerritos College with an associate degree in Computer Graphics. She is fluent in both English and Korean.

Career

Acting debut

She began her modeling career in South Korea after winning the SBS Supermodel Contest in 2001. Under the stage name Han Ye-seul, she made her acting debut in the popular sitcom Nonstop 4 in 2003. Han quickly rose to fame, and she renounced her U.S. citizenship in 2004 and became a naturalized South Korean citizen to continue establishing herself in Korean entertainment. But her performances in Forbidden Love (2004) and That Summer's Typhoon (2005) received poor reviews, with critics dismissing her as primarily a commercial model and not a real actress.

Breakthrough

Han starred in Couple or Trouble (also known as Fantasy Couple, 2006), a remake of Overboard written by the Hong sisters. She was praised for her comic timing and the series was a hit.

She continued starring in screwball comedy genres with her first film Miss Gold Digger (2007). Despite the film's box office failure, Han's won several Best New Actress accolades from local award-giving bodies, including the prestigious Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Han starred in Tazza (2008), a TV adaptation of Huh Young-man's manhwa of the same name. This was followed up with the Lee Kyung-hee-penned Will It Snow for Christmas?.

Spy Myung-wol controversy

In 2011, Han was cast as the titular character in Spy Myung-wol. But the series gained notoriety when Han failed to show up for her scheduled filming on August 14–15 and instead flew to Los Angeles on August 16; it was the first instance of a leading actor abruptly leaving in the middle of a Korean drama shoot. Her then-agency SidusHQ cited conflicts with television director Hwang In-hyuk over her working conditions, and that exhaustion had compromised her judgment. Han's absence effectively halted production, and the KBS network lambasted her actions as "unilateral, irresponsible and will not be tolerated," while Lee Kim Productions threatened legal action. After extensive press coverage, Han returned to Korea and continued filming Spy Myung-wol on August 18. Upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, she apologized but maintained that her demands had been legitimate, "I want to believe that I did the right thing." Han drew criticism from TV industry professionals and viewers, but fans defended her, saying the stressful Korean drama live-shoot system was at fault.

Romantic comedy film Penny Pinchers was released two months after Spy Myung-wol finished airing.

Comeback

After the Spy Myung-wol controversy, public backlash resulted in Han taking a three-year hiatus from acting.

In late 2014, she made a comeback in Birth of a Beauty. This was followed with leading roles in romantic comedies Madame Antoine (2016), and 20th Century Boy and Girl (2017).

Personal life

On 2 May 2011, Han hit a man with the surname Do on the hip with the wing mirror of her Porsche while driving into the parking lot of her home in an apartment building in Samseong-dong. Do sustained minor injuries and Han's lawyers offered him ₩5 million in compensation, but Do claimed that she had fled the scene. Her then-agency SidusHQ denied this, saying she had apologized and checked if he was okay (but did not step out of her vehicle). After an investigation, police cleared Han of the hit-and-run allegations.

In May 2013, Han dated YG Entertainment record producer Teddy Park. The two were reported to have broken up on October 24, 2016.

In January 2015, the FSS included Han in a list of people who were found to have violated the foreign currency-related law by failing to report their asset acquisition (such as real estate overseas) to relevant authorities. This referred to a commercial building in Koreatown, Los Angeles that Han had bought in 2011, but her agency KeyEast issued a statement that the omission had been a technical mistake, because Han had transferred the building's ownership to a company in which she was the major shareholder and was unaware that she should report it.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2007 Miss Gold Digger Shin Mi-soo
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens Susan Murphy/Ginormica (voice, Korean dubbed)
2011 Penny Pinchers Gu Hong-sil

Television series

Year Title Role Network
2003 Nonstop 4 Han Ye-seul MBC
2004 Forbidden Love Chae-yi KBS2
Nonstop 5 Han Ye-seul (cameo) MBC
2005 That Summer's Typhoon Han Eun-bi
2006 Couple or Trouble Anna Jo / Na Sang-shil
2008 Tazza Lee Nan-sook / Mi-na SBS
2009 Will It Snow for Christmas? Han Ji-wan
2011 Spy Myung-wol Han Myung-wol KBS2
2014 Birth of a Beauty Sara / Sa Geum-ran SBS
2016 Madame Antoine Go Hye-rim JTBC
2017 20th Century Boy and Girl MBC

Variety show

Year Title Network Notes
2004 MBC Gayo Daejejeon MBC Host
전파견문록 Guest, episode 233
2004-2005 Section TV Host
Inkigayo (Popular Music) SBS Host
2005 Good Morning Guest, episode 2157
2006 MBC Drama Awards MBC Host
2007 Ya Shim Man Man SBS Guest, episode 239
Golden Fishery: The Knee-Drop Guru MBC Guest, episode 70
She's Olive: Han Ye-seul in L.A. O'live
Sang Sang Plus KBS2 Guest, episode 160
Entertainment Weekly: Guerrilla Date Guest, episode 1203
2008 24 Hour Famine SBS Guest
Entertainment Weekly: Guerrilla Date KBS2 Guest, episode 1252
SBS Drama Awards SBS Host
2009 46th Grand Bell Awards Host
2010 4th Asian Film Awards Host
2014 Running Man SBS Guest, episode 219

Music video appearances

Year Song Title Artist
2003 "With Me" Wheesung
2010 "Love Song" Rain

Discography

Year Title Artist Notes
2004 "You Are Different" Han Ye-seul Track 6 on Nonstop 4 OST
"Say It" Shinhwa feat. Han Ye-seul Track 11 on Winter Story 2004–2005
2005 "Memory" Han Ye-seul Track 2 on That Summer's Typhoon OST
2007 "Make Me Shine" Han Ye-seul Track 1 on Miss Gold Digger OST
2009 "Love Class" Mighty Mouth feat. Han Ye-seul Track 2 on Love Class EP

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 SBS Supermodel Contest Juliet Award N/A Won
2004 6th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best OST "You Are Different" - Nonstop 4 Nominated
MBC Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Sitcom/Comedy Nonstop 4 Won
2006 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Couple or Trouble Won
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Best Couple Award with Oh Ji-ho Won
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
Most Popular Actress (TV) Won
2008 3rd Asia Model Festival Awards Model Star Award N/A Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Miss Gold Digger Won
45th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress Won
BMW Popularity Award, Actress Won
29th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Won
31st Golden Cinematography Awards: Best New Actress Won
7th Korean Film Awards Best New Actress Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Tazza Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
2014 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Birth of a Beauty Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple Award with Joo Sang-wook Won
2015 15th Huading Awards Best Global Actress in a TV series Won
2016 9th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Madame Antoine Nominated
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