How They Met: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee of Kim’s Convenience chats marriage and more with his wife Anna


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L-R: Paul, Miles, Anna and Noah rooting for the home team

Canada’s favourite Korean family is back for season two of Kim’s Convenience, starting on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on CBC. In anticipation, we chatted with Mr. Kim himself, otherwise known as actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, and his real-life wife, Anna, about how they met and fell in love.  

How they met
Anna: We met through a mutual friend/couple. Paul was out at a bar with a friend who was being a downer. I was out with friends from college. Paul called the mutual friends to see what they were doing for the evening. Meanwhile, I almost didn’t join them at the bar but ended up going anyways. 

We met, made each other laugh, exchanged numbers, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

The first date
Anna: Our first official date took us all over the city of Toronto. We went out for dinner at a restaurant called the Hot Tomato, then to a bar called the Living Well and finally to a martini and cigar lounge called Havana Blues. 

There was lots of walking, talking and laughing. We were getting to know each other. I remember a waiter knocked over a planter at the restaurant. We also stopped off at a record store, and Paul bought the new Tom Waits CD (Mule Variations). 

The courtship
Anna: Paul introduced me to widescreen movies, video games (Golden Eye) and sci-fi. There were lots of fun times watching movies and playing games on my tiny TV, in my Kensington Market basement apartment.  

The proposal 
Paul: The proposal was on Dec. 31, 1999, mere hours before Y2K was about to hit! Perhaps not as romantic as I had planned as Anna was sick as a dog. 

The wedding 
Paul: We were married in Toronto on Aug. 25, 2001, and had our honeymoon in Orlando, Florida.

The kids 
Paul: We have two boys, Noah, age 13, and Miles, age seven. 

Balancing work and marriage 
Anna: We support each other unconditionally. We have been lucky to find careers that we love and managed to find time and space to pursue those careers. I’m a sign language interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing, and Paul was an awesome stay-at-home dad to our two boys. 

Now that he is busier, I am able to be at home more often and fit my schedule to the family’s needs.  

Hobbies
Paul: Anna puts up with a lot of my childhood obsessions. I’ve gotten into replica prop building lately, trying to relive some of my childhood by building a proton pack from Ghostbusters and lots of Star Wars costumes. 

I’m also an avid collector of movies. We both love the Toronto Blue Jays and enjoy watching the games together — as well as the Leafs. Anna enjoys watching the Leafs games more now since the team is improved and I’ve stopped yelling at the TV!

The home 
Paul: We have lived in East York for the past 13 years. 

Secrets of success
Paul: Mutual respect, unconditional love and support, honesty and clear communication are our secrets of success. 

The dream retirement 
Paul: Lots of laughs and lots of adventures. 

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