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Drinking interview with Lee Da-hae (Part 2)
by | February 28, 2010 | 64 Comments

And here’s the continuation of the drinking interview with actress Lee Da-hae. (You can read Part 1 here)…

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:

  1. Chanel handbag
  2. Chuno‘s Episode 16 script
  3. Makeup pouch
  4. Accessory ring given by her manager
  5. Red scarf bought for 30,000 won at a Dongdaemun store
  6. Red perfume bottle

From Un-nyun’s list that is being circulated online:

  1. Because of Un-nyun, Dae-gil’s family was destroyed.
  2. Because of Un-nyun, Song Tae-ha’s teacher died
  3. Because of Un-nyun, her brother suffers greatly
  4. Because of Un-nyun, Danny Ahn is stabbed
  5. Because of Un-nyun, the old rural man’s shed is destroyed
  6. Because of Un-nyun, the Buddhist monk cannot enter nirvana
  7. Because of Un-nyun’s blurred scenes, viewers are overcome with frustration
  8. Because of Un-nyun, General Song has a hole in his arm
  9. 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)

Via IS Plus, IS Plus


64 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jihwan

    Even though I’m a LDH fan, this interview doesn’t seem sincere. It appears to me that she’s just dodging a lot of questions and making excuses for herself.

  2. lanlan

    who cares??
    do not even know who she is. once is enough, leave the spot for some other interesting news.

  3. krnkimbap

    I haven’t watched Chuno so I don’t know what all this brouhaha over her character is about, but I really liked her in My Girl and I’ve seen her in interviews so I really don’t think she (or anyone, really) deserves all the personal criticism she’s been getting. I guess I’ll just have to watch it for myself to decide. I think netizens tend to latch on to the latest victim because they’re just insecure about themselves. Well that’s just my two cents, what do I know right? hahaha~ 🙂

  4. Annie

    lol…that list is kind of funny…….

  5. RunLolaRun

    Thank you so much for translating this nice little interview!

    Also, I really like her handbag.

  6. langdon813

    I always enjoy the “drinking” interviews, you never know what you’re going to get. LDH does seem a bit reserved in the interview, but that’s probably just her nature, and in light of recent criticism, I can’t really blame her. I didn’t realize she’s only 25 years old, for some reason I was putting her around 28 or 29.

    I’m one of the ones who wasn’t feeling her Chuno character much, but recent episodes have made me a sing a different tune. I think (hope) by the end of the drama, we’ll see exactly what she’s capable of.

    Thanks JB!

  7. loveydovey

    agree with Jihwan..

  8. asianromance

    “Because of Un-nyun, the Buddhist monk cannot enter nirvana”—-> this line makes me laugh the most!

  9. mimi

    I don’t know enough about her personally to say anything negative (or positive) but that “Because of Un-Nyun” list is kind of funny. But the writers and the director are at fault if you think about it. They created a character that gives people the feeling of putting salt on an open wound, if you get my drift…Her character’s really irritating.
    But the whole list is quite funny.

  10. 10 müge

    the interview mostly seems to mention about her role in chuno and its negative feedbacks. many opinions may be true but I think no need to exaggerate it!
    as a whole, the drama rocks as it can be seen on ratings.

  11. 11 cathy

    I have read several comments on LDH acting not UN faults as above . Anyway
    her acting better since epi 10 .

  12. 12 jo

    “excessive work done”?
    Just admit that you’ve got “minor” ones done then. *shakes head*
    Is it really THAT difficult for a celeb to be honest. If you’ve had work done, just say so.

  13. 13 WTF


  14. 14 xiahkixiri

    Not quite as enlightening as the other drinking interviews, you don’t really get a sense of her personality still. Thanks for translating though, javabeans! ^^

    I think I’ll stay out of the comment section on Lee Da Hae posts from now on. People irritate.

  15. 15 mei

    It’s crystal clear from the 2001 photos that she had had work done. Her eyes were a lot smaller then.
    But I can believe that the work that she had had done was not excessive, she’s prettier now, but she wasn’t exactly ugly back then.
    The interview is a lil bit….cold, I suppose. Don’t feel like I know her any better at all.

  16. 16 Thomas

    That list, the number 6 just cracked me up ^^ : Because of Un-nyun, the Buddhist monk cannot enter nirvana. LOL

    So funny, this just made my day 🙂

  17. 17 alison

    if i’m not mistaken, i think there’s a chun jung myung drinking interview that came out earlier before? it would be so awesome if you could translate it for us, JB! : D

  18. 18 xiaoSxin

    i am still one of her fans.. nobody can be perfect. LDH fighting!!!

  19. 19 norahbetty stocking

    I love the part on her relationship with Lee Dong Wook (yeah cos I just know her through MY GIRL). Hope to see them together again in another drama or movie-such AMAZING CHEMISTRY.

  20. 20 Victoria Stuard

    Thanks for translating the interview. LDH is a beautiful woman. If she has had surgery, I don’t think it has been extensive. I think people want to criticize too much. Give the poor girl a break. I guess I am ranting over here. . She has a quiet, serene beauty and I think this is what was needed initially in the beginning epi’s of Chuno. Even if her character develops into a stronger persona.. underneath she still conveys a quiet beauty. This will not change.. This is who she is… or appears to be.

    While I don’t believe in plastic surgery as an elective surgery, it does have its place. There is nothing wrong with having work done if it is not a compulsion. We all have our insecurities about how we look, but I believe beauty is about the inner person. It makes a difference if one the quiet, inner confidence, grace, and elegance. It shows in the face. 🙂 Just my opinion. 🙂

  21. 21 Qwenli

    #12 and #15: I believe she hasnt has excessive work done, she probably just slim her face down. In today’s technology alot of things can be done the non-invasive way like using electrical pulses and heat technology without having to cut up anything. So if she has done these, then I agree with her that these are not consider plastic surgery.

    I think she is a bright and hardworking girl, taking time to study English and Chinese. I can tell you, for a foreigner, Chinese is a very difficult language to learn.

    I think asking abt the two guys is a waste of time, what do you expect her to say? That she dated them?

    All the best LDH, I hope you break into Hollywood and laugh all the way to the bank!

  22. 22 whatever

    Well, I kind like and understand her better. Tough she didn’t fully answered but I understand her answers and had answered lots of questions of mine too.

    Well, good luck girl. You sure can go afar. Just make sure don’t easily irritated by the criticism. Ignored the unreasonable one, and tried to take notes and swallow the reasonable one. It make you grew wisely. Improved better.

    All the best dear.

  23. 23 Joy

    I still don’t like her after the interview. Oh wells.
    Btw I heard that plastic surgery is so good nowadays that you can do the pig nose thing even with a fake nose. So much for proving that its natural!

  24. 24 zero2303

    Chuno scriptwirter really doesn’t do justice to her character.

    Till now I still find her character very lame and troublesome as compared to the other shiny lively female characters int he drama.

  25. 25 Angela

    Isn’t there usually a test they take at the end of the interview? Why didn’t she have to take it?

  26. 26 moochi

    i don’t exactly love her but i still like her as an actress. I know a lot of people found her annoying in my girl but I absolutely loved her in that drama. I don’t know why people have to keep commenting about the plastic surgery, out of all the female celebs in Korea it is true that her surgeries are quite minor. I don’t see why there’s so much criticism on her acting, is it because everyone else in Chuno are that much better? I really find her quite okay. I think this is because I’m her mini-fan.
    Regardless I found her answers pretty satisfying as well, I don’t think she’s like the shiny happy bubbly person like Han Hyo Joo, rumours probably have made her smarten up and say less. The less you say the better it is in the entertainment realm..at least I think so.

  27. 27 Anonymous

    Based on the all the videos that I have seen her offscreen, found her the most bubbliest person, sometimes too much I think, anyways at least she is not pretentious.

  28. 28 notoriousnoona

    Thank you for translating!
    I actually had no qualms with the interview though it does seem to have a different tone from the others. But I’m not sure we can blame that entirely on her.
    As for “the list” its just silly! I do wish she had made more of a distinction btw herself and the character. LDH isn’t the reason HW/UN is the way she is entirely and she definitely isn’t the cause of half that crap on the list. She’s more of an excuse used for men to do what they wanted to do.
    I’m not a fan of her character but I also haven’t seen the recent eps. For me UN/HW is more of an indifferent character for me by ep 13, which actually is a pleasant change from continuously pissing me off.
    I’m not sure if we have much to look for from the character in the future but with Chuno, I think it is more that appropriate to keep your hopes up.

  29. 29 cathy

    i am not concern regarding her cosmetic intervention , she is pretty , if she had some
    done , who is a skillful surgeon , good job , i can not see any change in her .
    Let forget all cosmetic stuff , her acting is better since epi 10 , HW is more
    active not half stupor as before . I always like LDH , she is talented .

  30. 30 asianromance

    i think her interview is probably stiffer than Han Jyo Joo and Kang Ji Hwan’s drinking interviews because the others have usually been interviewed after finishing a very successful and lovable role that has gained the actor/actress new fans and a stronger love. Lee Da Hae gets her drinking interview in the midst of all this Un-nyun hate and then spends half the interview talking about it. I think if this was an interview given after My Girl, it would have taken a totally different tone. I hope her next role will make her more lovable and still sell well.

  31. 31 JDGLEGRA

    Who is she kidding by saying she hasn’t had anything work with her face .. she barely can move her face .. she is so pale .. she has no expression … poor girl …. she has it after my girl .. and it gets worse after … i like her face then …

  32. 32 ellen

    When I watched Lee Da hae in “My Girl” I thought, Wow! This girl is really pretty! Her beauty is really pleasant to look at. Even when she was acting she carries elegance in her. In MY Girl she made me laugh, she made me cry. I was convinced she could act. In Chuno I’m happy with the way she portrays UN’s character.

    If she’s done minor changes to her face I don’t detect it. Some who have done changes are so obvious that it becomes an eye sore, Lee Da Hae is one of the Korean actresses that has the look of a natural beauty. So I enjoy watching her & the drama she’s in. I hope she will do more Kdramas even if she moves to Chinese or anywhere else.

    Thank you for the interview. I hope there will be more in future. She’s entitled to say whatever she’s comfortable to reveal about her private life. But I”d like to know who her boy friend is. Lee Dong wook is my favorite with LDH.

    The list blame on UN is ridiculous. These kind of people are mad. Chuno is no longer just an entertainment for them. Are they imagining themselves in Chuno.
    Its become like a reality for them & they are out to get UN for all the troubles wherever she is close by. In real life these kind of people are dangerous, Bunch of loonies on the loose!!

    All the best to Lee Da hae. Ignore the loonies on the loose!!!

  33. 33 cta

    “I haven’t had excessive work done as people think.”

    hmm, it means she did something with her face, just not as excessive right? of course, that pageant picture looks so different. her eyes were so small and her nose bridge was flat too.

  34. 34 waver

    One thing for sure, there are lots of jealous gals out there!

    Don’t give a damn about them LDH!

  35. 35 heloo

    Lee Da Hae ftw!

  36. 36 rzv

    everything for her is a “misunderstanding”. no matter what the question is, the answer will be “it’s a misunderstanding” or “it’s a coincidence”.

    YEAAAA,right !!!!!

  37. 37 Mr Bloo

    Her Chanel is gorgeous!!!

  38. 38 m

    ditto to asianromance in regards to the tone – can’t expect her to be all happy and bubbly when the main reason why they’re interviewing her now is because of all the critical hubbub there is going on around her character and people blaming everything on her as an actress. i do hope things turn around for her, though – i really loved her in “my girl.”

  39. 39 SuperFanGirl

    She looks like 2NE1’s Bom to me O.O
    Her cheeks looked so stiff (botox, much?). I don’t think she’s a natural beauty, though. (And, LDH, don’t ever think of sending me any of your “certified” baby photos, please!)

  40. 40 Rachel

    There is something in the tone of the article that rubs me the wrong way. Rather like the “je ne sais quoi” javabeans mentioned.

    I think I’ll reserve judgment though until episode 10.

  41. 41 Cherry 5678hye

    I agree some LDH fans say her beautiful is natural.If you had watched her every drama.May be her face look like difference some time because of the baby fat. Don’t you see nowaday she look more slim than last few year old picture? I have seen her children’s time picture before.She god a pair of big eyes,cute face. LDH ‘s fans are you agree with me? PLS Reply.

  42. 42 eneldy

    She is very very pretty …. but nothing about her exicites me. I wish she was little bit carefree. Her interview sound so meticulous…

  43. 43 Gems

    Javabeans, I really wish you would have snowflake icons for individual IP addresses. Pretty please?

  44. 44 emtee

    She’s earned quite a bit of goodwill from me because of Green Rose (shocking, I know) and My Girl. And I agree with those that have pointed out above that she’s rightfully reserved because of the nature of her interview. The other people whose Drinking Interviews we’ve enjoyed have all come off of success — Han Hyo Joo from Brilliant Legacy, Kang Ji Hwan from Civil Servant Level 7. She’s in the midst of being blamed for essentially being less than her male cohorts.

    I’m guilty of not particularly caring for the character of Un Nyun, but that’s because I have broody Dae Gil and boyscout Tae Ha to occupy my fangirl sentiments. I think all she’s to blame for here is being too pretty and being a typical female of the era. Or as typical as she can be with the character study of a woman born to slavery and then later assuming the status of a well-born lady. Neither of those two roles say ass-kicking female.

    Kudos to her for giving a polished interview. She totally could have gone on a rant and I think she kept it tame. I think she’s learning (maybe?) from the East of Eden fiasco.

  45. 45 JJK

    She obviously admitted for having some work done on her face. “Excessiveness” is relative and what she considers to be not excessive may be so for other people. So, obviously she is not a natural beauty. I want her plastic surgeon phone number hehehe..I’ll ask him to transform me to become LDH.

  46. 46 Cam


    Gosh, I really love her EVER when I enjoyed watching her in that drama “My Girl” and I thought she was, like, so AWESOME and down-to-earth = her acting is so superb! Lolz. O_______O

    Oh, jeez……((scoffs)) I don’t understand why some people have all of despicable comments about her — did I ever complain about her acting? Huh? I DON’T THINK SO — I REALLY REALLY don’t care about some despicable people complaint about her and think about her — Forget about it & KEEP IT UP WITH YOUR SUCCESS WORK to Lee Da HAE!!! ((clapping so excitedly)) Bravo! ^______^

    AGREE + AGREE = AGREE with #32 (Ellen) comment — OF COURSE!

    Oh my……I really miss my best favorite actor LEE DONG WOOK – (( BOTH of them have a strong and good chemistry together since “My Girl” )), oh yeaa!

    ONE thing — (smirks)……..THANKS for translating the interview, heh!

    *** DO your BEST & FIGHTING!!! ** to Lee Da Hae

  47. 47 uzhmakai


    “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.”

    Because we all know how accurate baby pictures are. At least haul out the ones from high school.

    Pathetic. I’m disappointed I was a fan of her during My Girl.

  48. 48 zero2303

    Don’t know why my posts keep disappearing ?

    Anyway, I just feel bad for LDH as 2 of her latest projects seem to attract many antis.

    I do think Chuno writer is not giving justice to her lame character.

    Till now, I have yet to appreciate the existence of her character which is really root of many problems too. LOL

    It irk me seeing this character in the drama though no fault of LDH.

    Her character shouldn’t be so clean cut from face to clothing in the earlier episodes as a runaway slave, which may be more convincing to us. It make LDH stick out like a sore thumb instead.

  49. 49 ella

    Not an LDH fan, but I can’t help but be irritated when people just comment to say things like “I don’t know her, so who cares?”. Then why read the interview if you don’t know her? 😐

  50. 50 Moon

    some stupids comments here, you guys have too much time in your hand so you go around and bad mouth about other

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