KIM’S CONVENIENCE STAR PAUL SUN-HYUNG LEE TALKS APPA’S SLOW TRANSFORMATION

The CBC comedy returns for Season 3, amid acclaim in Canada and the U.S.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, left as Appa, and Simu Liu, who portrays his estranged son Jung on the hit CBC comedy Kim’s Convenience.  (PHOTO: CBC)

Actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee isn’t a masochist, but he does like to see his character on Kim’s Convenience in pain. The owner of the titular television mom-and-pop store is opinionated, stubborn and leans traditional in his values — not unlike a certain armchair-loving patriarch in All in the Family.

But when Appa’s challenged, a small miracle happens.

“I always love it when my character suffers because it’s funny and there’s growth. When you first meet him, he’s kind of stuck in his ways. He says horribly racist and insensitive things, but it’s never done out of a sense of malice. In his world, this is how he sees it. He’s just ignorant,” says Lee.

“But I love when he sees the effect of what he says and believes — there’s that measure of heart in him and he learns and changes. He’s always trying to self-improve. He’s not always successful, he’s no angel and he’s not hyper-idealized. He’s just doing what all of us are trying to do: Make our best way and not hurt anybody along the way.”

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