It is rare to call an Asian woman a Barbie doll, but the name has stuck to actress Han Chae-young
ever since her debut in 2000. With a tall, stunning figure, huge eyes, long eye lashes and red pouting lips, Han indeed looks like a living version of The Classic
Han's striking appearances had put her on the spotlight the moment she set her foot into the world of entertainment. But unlike other actresses, the 25-year-old says she was not burdened by the spotlight at all. "I knew that I had to match people's expectations with good acting skills, but I was glad by the fact that I had grabbed people's attention".
Han, with an English name of Rachel, made her debut through a teenage horror movie "One Shot and You Die" (2000) and her face became well-known to the public after appearing that same year on the famous TV drama "Autumn Fable".
In the drama, Han played a nasty character bent on making the life of the main actress, Song Hye-kyo
, a living hell.
As Han said, she was criticized for her awkward acting at first. But on the TV drama "The Father and the Son" in 2001, she proved that she was a fine actress by playing the role of Gang-ja, a hick country girl who dreams to become a famous singer. In the drama, Han disconnected herself from her fancy image and transformed into the country girl convincingly.
Han says that she cannot find the similarity between herself and the worldwide loved doll, but the nickname does not bother her. "It is good to have a nickname that people can immediately relate me to. The name doesn't bore me yet either".
The doll-like actress is very open in revealing her thoughts and opinions. Her bold and frank manner sometimes leads her to unexpected misunderstandings, but the actress says that her boldness is actually one of her charms.
"Timid and posh people who keep their thoughts to themselves give me goose bumps. I know that being too open can hurt me, but I was born this way. It's too late to change that now".
Han spent her childhood in America and came back to her native country without her family. She sometimes gets lonely with her two pet dogs as her only companions, but she rarely goes to visit her family these days. "I used to fly over to America every now and then to see my family. But the 14-hour-flight is too tiresome for me now", says Han, suggesting that she might be turning old.
Han also spent Chuseok - the Korean thanksgiving holiday - by herself. The actress thinks that it would be nice to have a boyfriend who will keep her company, but her standard is probably too high for her to find a boyfriend anytime soon, she says. "I am very picky in choosing men. I want someone who is handsome, clever and very understanding".
Among celebrities, popular actors Jang Dong-gun
and Cho Seung-woo are the only people who come close to her standards, Han says.
Han recently appeared on TV drama "Beijing My Love", which was joint-produced by Korea and China. Many had looked forward to the drama but the viewing rate had been much lower than expected. Han says that she was not really disappointed with the result.
"Not all the dramas or movies I appear on have to be successes, I believe that everyone has their good days and bad days", she says.
Han is now looking for a role that is close to her actual personality, which she describes as fun-loving, bright and chirpy. "I think it would be more fun and easier to act as someone who is similar to me. In the past I always had to act as someone different".
Many might wonder how Han keeps her striking figure in shape; she does not workout regularly. She says that her figure was a gift from her parents.
"But I do like sports very much. I just started taking yoga lessons two days ago. I didn't think it was all that difficult while I was learning it, but my body was aching all over the next morning".
Actress Han seems to be like Barbie waiting for Ken to pick her up for a fun night out. She doesn't seem to have a worry in the world. Han says that it is her motto to live a life free of worry and despair.
"I don't trouble myself worrying over things that I cannot solve", she said with a glint in her eyes. "The fact that I have been taking quite a few months off from work does not bother me at all. I am sure that I will find a nice role that intrigues me. I'll be showing it to my fans shortly".
By Shin Hae-in