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Actress Gains Popularity in Asia

2005/12/21 | 178 views | Permalink | Source

By Han Eun-jung
Staff Reporter

What do President of China Hu Jintao and Hong Kong movie stars Chow Yun Fat and Andy Lau have in common?

They have all admitted in the past year to being fans of the South Korean drama "Jewel in the Palace" - "Dae Jang Geum" which finished its run in China on Oct. 16 as the number one watched show.

Earlier in May it went down in Hong Kong TV history as the most-watched television show, with the last episode recording viewer ratings surpassing the 40 percent mark.

And standing in the middle of the period piece, which tells the story of clever court maid who later becomes the royal physician, and the whole craze that has spread all across Asia, is its heroine Jang-gum played by Lee Young-ae.

The popularity of the drama and the actress had her traveling all over North and Southeast Asia promoting the show. But even before all the excitement surrounding it had seemed to settle down, the 34-year-old actress was ready to excite fans with something entirely new.

In late July Lee made a stunning comeback onto to the silver screen as Kum-ja, a woman thirsty for revenge after serving a sentence for a murder she was falsely accused of committing.

For "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" she teamed up with "Old Boy" director Park Chan-wook. The piece also happened to be the Cannes Film Festival grand prize winner's much anticipated third and final installment of his revenge-themed series

The movie took her to Venice this year and although the film didn't garner any awards in competitive categories, Lee still attracted a lot of attention from critics and the media.

Back home she won the best actress award at the 26th Blue Dragon Awards, which was held in Seoul last month.

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