With the right styling Min Jung turns into a glamorous and sophisticated creature who graces the pages of magazines. It's such a contrast to the characters she plays and shows her versatility.
Birthdate: 1982 February 16
Birthplace: South Korea
Height: 167cm (5'5")
Weight: 49kg (108lbs)
Blood Type: O
Min Jung graduated from Sungkyunkwan University with a degree in theater. In 2004, she started her career in theater performing in Jang Jin's Taxi Driver and Clumsy People. In 2007 she played Silvia in The Game of Love and Chance.
Starting out with small parts in movies, Min Jung was an extra in The Gate of Destiny (1996) and was Jin Sung's (Song Ji Hyo) ballet dance double in Wishing Stairs (2003). She played Han Yi Yeon's friend in Someone Special (2004), a second year student in Wet Dreams 2 (2005), and the suicidal Yoon Hee in the comedy, Moodori (2006).
It was also in 2006 that she met her future husband, Lee Byung Hun. But more on that later.
Min Jung played Yoon Soo Ah / Helena in the indie film, Pruning the Grapevine (2007). In 2009, as Soo Yeon in Searching for the Elephant, she got her toe sucked by Lee Sang Woo in a bubble bath. She was the wife of a sex addict and the film had many 18+ scenes, though she did not appear in any of them. That same year she portrayed corporate assistant Si Young in the mystery, White Night and won the Best New Actress award for it from the Korean Association of Film Critics.
In 2010, Min Jung played Hee Joong in Cyrano Agency and recorded It Was You with Park Shin Hye for the OST. She won for Best New Actress and Popularity at the Grand Bell Awards, Style Icon - Movie Actress at the Style Icon Awards, Best New Actress at the Blue Dragon Film Awards, University Film Festival of Korea, and Director's Cut Awards, and a nomination at the Baeksang Art Awards.
Then in 2012, Min Jung got to show more of her musical side in Wonderful Radio aka Love On-Air where she plays a former idol turned radio host. She recorded Again and Write the Truth, and with Seo Young and Ahn Mi Na, You're My Angel for the OST.
Min Jung started off in small roles in dramas, playing Dong Woo's sister in Love and Sympathy (2005), Dong Gyu's sister in Love Me When You Can (2006), Lee Min Do in Kimcheed Radish Cubes (2007), and Young In's friend in Who Are You? (2008).
Her 2009 role as Ha Jae Kyung, Jun Pyo's spunky fiance in Boys Over Flowers catapulted her career and landed her in lead roles.
In 2009, Min Jung portrayed the quirky, moody Seo Jung In in SBS's weekend drama, Smile, You. She showed her range as a petulant rich girl who has to learn to live as a commoner when her family loses its fortune. Her comedic talents are delightful, but she also does playful, flirty, angry and physical acting incredibly well. She won the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards and got a nomination for Best New Actress in Television at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2010, Min Jung played Hee Young in Lunch Box, a one episode Sunday Drama Theater on MBC. Her 2011 performance as Lee Jung Yeon in Midas got her a nomination for Excellence at the SBS Drama Awards. She portrayed Kil Da Ran in Big (2012) and received nominations for Excellence at the KBS Drama Awards and Outstanding Korean Actress at the Seoul International Drama Awards. Though the writing for Big was a huge disappointment, the acting was superb.
Min Jung gave a performance both touching and hilarious in her role as Na Ae Ra in Cunning Single Lady aka Sly and Single Again (2014). In a press conference she remarked that actors have more depth when portraying what they've experienced, so now that she's married, there are things that she can better tackle. She had more affection for this drama as she feels that stories of marriage carry deeper emotion with twice the happiness or sadness.
Lee Min Jung's collection of leading men is impressive. Is she the lucky one, or are they? Either way, there's a lot of chemistry here.
Getting back to her real life leading man, Jung Min dated Lee Byung Hun briefly in 2006 after they were introduced by acquaintances. He was an established top star and she was just starting out. Their public story is that they broke up due to conflicting schedules. Although if anything, their schedules were even more hectic when they met again at an award ceremony five years later and started dating again. Min Jung had come into her own with lead roles and endorsements pouring in.
Lee Byung Hun actually has a bad reputation for being a player and having a lot of fetishes. He was involved in a few serious scandals where other people's lives were drastically negatively impacted. Netizens were disappointed in Jung Min when the couple got back together, but the positive press and extravagantly sponsored wedding seems to have quieted the disapproval.
On Healing Camp, Byung Hun had all positive things to say about Jung Min. Though she's beautiful, the most important aspect in a relationship is how they communicate and understand each other. He had worried because of their 12 year age difference, but she understands him and is willing to go through everything with him.
Speaking of endorsements, from sweet commercials to a soju song battle and glamorous print ads, Min Jung has quite a resume that includes Pizza Hut, LG Communications, Bacchus, Omphalos, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, Make Up For Ever, SK Telecom, Sony Ericsson Xperia, Happy Point Card, SCINIC Cosmetics, Dawoo Matiz Creative, Raemian, Bestibelli, Mind Bride, 1-Day Acuvue Define, Chamisul Soju, Shinhan Life Insurance, Kolon Sport, Dove Damage Therapy Shampoo, Philadelpia Cream Cheese, Skin Food, Stonehenge Jewelry, Hankook Tire, LG Tromm, Outback Steakhouse, Care Gargle Solution and Vincis Bench.
Min Jung's commercials also pair her up with dashing leading men including Jang Geun Suk and Jo In Sung.
Lee Min Jung shared some childhood photos of herself online. She looks much the same and has been praised for being a natural beauty.
Min Jung's high school and university era photos had netizens scrutinizing her jawline and speculating about procedures she might have had. Min Jung has stated that she has not had any plastic surgery, and fans generally attribute the change in her appearance to weight loss.
Min Jung reportedly cut her hair short for her role in Boys Over Flowers. Whatever style she sports, she is stunning.
Lee Min Jung and Lee Byung Hun wed on 2013 August 10 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. It was reported to be the most lavish and expensive wedding of 2013, costing an estimated $150,000 (though one source recorded it as over $200,000) with 900 guests in attendance including many top stars.
Shin Young Kyun officiated the wedding, while Lee Bum Soo and Shin Dong Yup took shifts as MC. Musical performances included a wedding song by Park Jung Hyun, a duet by Kim Bum Soo and Park Sun Joo, and the ending song by Dynamic Duo. It's also reported that Byung Hun gave Min Jung a saxophone serenade.
Min Jung wore three dresses, one for the press conference and one for each part of her wedding. The newlyweds spent 10 private days in the Maldives for their honeymoon and started their lives together in Lee Byung Hun's Gwangju City home where his mother had been living alone.
The following is from Soompi forums with credit to lvalue
Family: Parents, older brother, husband Lee Byung Hun
Special Talents: Playing the piano
Hobbies: Watching movies, reading books, playing StarCraft, swimming
Ideal Man: Manly and smart, so he can guide me in the right direction.
Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Music: Everything by Jason Mraz, Geek in the Pink in particular.
Food: Kimchi jjigae and egg roll
Book: The Romantic Movement, Essays In Love, Status Anxiety, etc by Alain de Botton
Movie Stars: Ethan Hawke, Christian Bale, Meryl Streep
2010 Korea Jewelry Awards - Ruby Award
2010 Korea Lifestyle Awards - Best Dressed Woman of the Year
2011 Baeksang Arts Awards - InStyle Fashionista Award
Lee Min Jung debuted relatively late, well into her 20's, in a youth obsessed culture. That didn't stop her from landing youthful roles, recording songs and making a name for herself. As she goes forward, she will probably be leaning more toward roles involving marriage, divorce and motherhood, but will always bring a youthful exuberance to her performances. I want to fast foward 35 years and watch her on-screen as the cool rascal grandmother, still doing physical comedy and endearing herself to audiences of all ages.