Calgary actor says Kim's Convenience showcases everyday champions, leaders

A Calgary-born actor says the CBC comedy, Kim's Convenience, seems to tap into the experience of everyday people as well as community leaders.

"Every community has those champions, those leaders," Andrew Phung told Daybreak Alberta this week.

"I discovered records from Recordland. The owner was abrasive, he was blunt, he would yell at you, but he would also show you where to go to find records, and how to treat records and what records to listen to."

Phung has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for his supporting role as Kimchee.

He says, since joining the cast, he gets recognized on the street.

"Every time I am out in a public place, you will get a handful of people coming up and they say, 'are you Kimchee from Kim's Convenience? Are you that guy?' What's been great is, they kind of share their experiences. 'I love that show. I know a store like that growing up' or 'I understand the experience that show is talking about,'" Phung said.

"It's one of the most positive takeaways of having a show."

He says the show is relatable, not unlike the 1970s Canadian sitcom, King of Kensington, because there is a realness to it.

"So many communities have that convenience store, have that corner store, where it was a hub of people," he explained.

"A hub of people coming through, getting bread, getting milk, getting smokes, getting lottery tickets, and so if you are able to relate that to the audience, that is great. That is the goal, to reflect the variety of people that come in. If you look at the people that come into that store, you are like, 'Oh, those are the people that go to a convenience store, those are not models they have put on television.'"

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With files from Daybreak Alberta