Andrew Phung: Best Actor & Comedian in 2018
Best of Calgary is a celebration of the people, places and voices that make Calgary an amazing place to live and call home.
Written by: Kelsey Woods
Known Canada-wide for his portrayal of Kimchee on CBC’s hit television series Kim’s Convenience, Andrew Phung brings joy to the masses in this hilarious Canadian sitcom. However, Andrew came home with not one, but TWO, Best of Calgary awards last year for Best Actor as well as Best Comedian. He acts, he writes, he improvises, he jokes, he emcees - what can’t Andrew Phung do?! With years of experience in the industry, you can feel Andrew’s happiness in every performance whether he’s talking, laughing or acting his away around the stage.
Let’s meet the man of the year and hear what being a famous Canadian actor is all about.
Are you a born and raised Calgarian?
I’m a born and raised Calgarian from the NE bay bay! I’m talking Falconridge, Temple, Pineridge, Whitehorn, Monterey Park AND Coral Springs…twice!
What was your dream job growing up? How has this influenced who you are today?
As a kid, I wanted to be an actor. As a teen, I wanted to be a sports agent. As a 20-something-year-old, I wanted to be a lawyer. However, from the age of 16 onward I was an improv kid at the Loose Moose Theatre Company. By day I was trying to figure out who I was, by night I was failing and learning on stage. I loved acting but felt like I could never do it for a living. I took the risk and went at it full time at the age of 25.
What is your favourite thing about Calgary?
The pace and friendliness. Calgary has this pace where we work hard, but we also take time to relax and enjoy each moment. The people here are so kind and I love how I’m comfortable talking to strangers or asking for help when I’m in the city.
If you could describe Calgary in one word, what would it be?
I’ve used so many words over the years. It’s getting harder and harder to define the city by one word because it’s changing and evolving so much. The word I use today, can change tomorrow. But today, I’ll use the word “resourceful.” We do what we need to do with what we have.
What does being a Calgarian mean to you?
I’m a proud Calgarian. I’m proud of what this city stands for and what it’s taught me as a person and as a human being.
Do you have a favourite watering hole in Calgary?
I’m a dad now, so my watering holes are different. For me, it’s all about the time I get to spend with my kids. So my favourite place to go is Telus Spark. If my wife and I can sneak in a date, we’d choose somewhere like Cibo or Rajdoot.
What is your favourite Calgary event/activity or thing to do?
Hands down, my favourite event in Calgary is Market Collective or the Calgary Expo Holiday Market. But, secretly, if I have a couple of hours just to hang out, my favourite thing to do is hit up Less17 or the House of Hoops in Chinook Centre to just look at shoes.
Where is the best place to people watch in Calgary?
I forget what this was like. I have two young children so my entire days are little people watching, specifically my two little people. So anywhere is the best place because I live each moment watching for dangers or things that could hurt my kids.
If you were an emoji, what emoji would you be?
“Turkey, turkey, taco” (this is a reference to a Kim’s Convenience season 2 episode).
Tell us about your business, what motivates you to do what you do every day?
I’m an actor, emcee and improviser. Each day is different but usually involves chasing and hustling the next project, working on the current project and then playing Paw Patrol/Superheros/Ghostbusters/Firefighters with my four-year-old while dancing to Backstreet Boys videos with my two-year-old.
Anything special coming up we should know about?
Season 3 of Kim's Convenience is currently airing on CBC and streaming on CBC Gem (which is free to all Canadians!). Seasons 1 and 2 are also available on CBC Gem and Netflix.
Kelsey Woods is the Content & Editorial Manager for Best of Calgary.