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10 Must-Know Facts About 'Start-Up' Actress Stephanie Lee

PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Start-Up/Netflix, Instagram/stephanielee199

Start-Up fans, how are you doing? Because we're so obsessed with this show, we're constantly feeding you new info about it! You already know a *lot* about Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Seon Ho, and Kang Han Na—now allow us to introduce to you Stephanie Lee, the Korean actress behind the ~snarky~ Jung Sa Ha of Samsan Tech:

1. She's a 27-year-old Virgo.

Stephanie Lee, whose Korean name is Lee Jeong Ah was born on September 14, 1993 in the US. Growing up, she spent years in South Korea before she moved back to the States.

2. She started modeling at the age of 16.

The stunner has already endorsed a number of international brands, including Fila, Adidas, Tom Ford, Guess, and Chanel. Stephanie Lee promoted these brands in CFs (commercial films) alongside top-billed celebs like Gong Yoo and Lee Min Ho.

3. Tyra Banks once asked her to be her model.

Correction: THE Tyra Banks, who also spends time as a fashion photographer, asked Stephanie Lee to be her model. This is what prompted agents from Elite Model Management to scout her ASAP!


4. And that's when she made her modeling debut with the top modeling chain agency!

Does Elite Model Management sound familiar? That's because it's the same agency that Tyra Banks signed with when she was just in high school! Stephanie initially didn't have any plans of walking the runway but she immediately signed contracts with them the moment she visited the agency's New York branch.

In an interview with The Korea Times, Stephanie Lee recalled her modeling roots: "Debuting with Elite Model Management was the grand prize of America's Next Top Model. It was the only agency that I knew. And I just went there and asked ‘I want to be a model, how do I do it?' And they said, ‘OK, I will show you how. You can sign here,' and I said OK."

5. Her claim to fame is her Neutrogena commercial.

The CF went viral that she was even known as the "Neutrogena Girl"! You can see in this clip why her popularity skyrocketed because of this endorsement—she's oozing with so much charisma, her facial expressions are on point, and how she pronounces Neutrogena is just totes adorbs!

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6. Stephanie Lee's impressive height is all thanks

Standing at 177 cm or 5'8 ft., the Korean model shared how American food literally made her grow: "I think the food I ate in the States made me tall. I wasn't super tall when I was in Korea. I ate so little and I was rather skinny. But when I went back to States, the food was amazing, like hamburgers, pizza, and everything. My genes obviously played a huge role, too." Hmmm, I think I'm having pizza for dinner tonight.

7. In 2014, Stephanie Lee kickstarted her acting career.

From there, she's joined the cast of a handful of dramas including Sunam Girls High School Detectives, Yong PalThe Last Empress, Partners For Justice, and When I Was The Most Beautifulto name a few.

According to an InStyle magazine interview, the 27-year-old had difficulty transitioning into an actress after becoming a model. "When I first started acting, the hardest thing was the disconnect between myself and my character. In Yong Pal, I keep trying to hypnotize myself by saying ‘I’m Cynthia’ before filming so that I can truly live as Cynthia."


8. Her Start-Up character may be moody but Stephanie Lee in real life is the complete opposite.

She said that she laughs and smiles a lot to relieve stress and tries to be optimistic most of the time. She can also "be a little bit wacky" and these IG posts are proof! She's the cutest!

9. Her ideal type is Gong Yoo.

Just like BLACKPINK's Lisa (okay, every one of us actually), Stephanie revealed that when she met the Goblin actor in person, she was amazed by his aura, looks, and personality! Look at her getting kilig in this clip:

10. Earlier this year, Stephanie Lee is confirmed to be dating South Korean rapper Loco.

When rumors started spreading, their agencies had to confirm the news only to announce that they already broke upAigoo.

Bonus: Just in case you don't know yet, Stephanie Lee is good friends with her fellow model and Start-Up cast member, Nam Joo Hyuk!

The two used to be under YG' Entertainment's modeling agency.

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Now enjoy 2PM's music video where Stephanie appeared in:

Follow Hanna on Instagram.

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