Shaun So is the husband to actress Anna Chlumsky and the two have been married for 14 years.
Shaun So is an entrepreneur and a veteran of the United States Army. He has spent time working for the Department of Defense as an intelligence analyst before moving into the private sector, but he may be better known as the husband of actress Anna Chlumsky. So, what more do we know about Shaun So?
SHAUN SO MET ANNA CHLUMSKY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Not much is known about Shaun So’s life before he met Anna Chlumsky. What we do know is that he was born in 1980 and is of American-Asian descent. His family is Chinese and his father, at the time of Shaun’s marriage to Anna, was a culinary instructor at the Kendall College of Culinary Arts in Chicago.
What we also know about Shaun So’s childhood is that he went to college at the University of Chicago. It was there, in 2000, that So met a young lady at a dance party on the quad. It was a fortuitous meeting that would change his life. That young lady was Anna Chlumsky.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, isn’t Anna Chlumsky an actress? Just how did she meet Shaun So at the University of Chicago? Yes, Anna is an actress, but her time at the University of Chicago came when she felt that acting life was simply not for her.
“I had been in show business throughout my childhood, until a burdensome adolescence filled with waning professional success led me to the conclusion that The Biz just wasn’t for me,” Chlumsky once wrote in Glamour. “I left to go on to discover a world of academia and possibilities in college, and to embark on the “safer” pursuit of a 9-to-5 existence.”
Anna’s show business childhood started with a quick role in the John Candy comedy Uncle Buck, which is where she just so happened to meet Macaulay Culkin. Two years later would find Chlumsky reuniting with Culkin on My Girl and three years after that on its sequel, My Girl 2.
That pursuit led her to Chicago and its university, where she first came in contact with Shaun So. But she was a year ahead of Shaun in school and had other avenues she wished to pursue. “We fell for each other quickly and knew we’d stay together after I graduated. I moved to New York City for an entry-level fact-checking position at Zagat while he finished up his last year at school. Then he moved to Washington, D.C., to work in the Department of Defense, and I took an editorial assistant gig, still in New York.”
SHAUN SO JOINED THE ARMY RESERVE
Shaun and Anna got used to (as much as possible) seeing each other every other week. They would make the trip back and forth from New York to Washington, D.C. until Shaun made a life-altering decision. “He had been frustrated with merely analyzing America’s newly entered wars from a Pentagon desk and decided to gain firsthand experience in the field,” said Anna. To gain that firsthand experience, Shaun joined the Army Reserves.
At the same time, Anna’s professional pursuits weren’t what she had hoped for. She thought, as she ventured through college and then onto the greener pastures of a “9-5 existence,” that she’d left her acting career behind and that was that. It wasn’t. It took Anna six years before she finally realized “that I desperately wanted to act again.”
One of the many reasons she left the acting profession in the first place was because of how intimidating she got when faced with auditions. She couldn’t handle the rejections. But that was then, when she was a young actress. Now she felt ready to tackle it again, so she asked Shaun his opinion on it. “I can barely sit here training for the Army and tell you not to take a risk with your life,” was Shaun So’s response.
SHAUN SO WAS DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN
Army life and pen pals are what became of Shaun So’s existence with Anna. Basic training then AIT (advanced individual training) was what Shaun had to deal with before he got the dreaded call. The couple was used to their routine until the call came through that sent Shaun to Afghanistan. For couples who have lived through this, they know exactly just how difficult a time it could be.
It only gets worse when you get a phone call saying you were ambushed, which is what happened to Shaun in Afghanistan. It doesn’t get any better when that phone call comes through saying your Humvee was hit by an IED, which is another thing that happened to Shaun. Thankfully, both of those calls he made to Anna were to assure her he was unhurt.
SHAUN SO MARRIED ANNA CHLUMSKY IN 2008
Shaun left the Army Reserves in 2006, much to Anna’s delight. Of course, she was proud of her man for serving his time, but it was time to begin life together. In 2007, Shaun happily asked Anna to be his wife to which Anna happily accepted. In 2008, the pair wed in Brooklyn, New York, but not before a few wrinkles had to be ironed out.
“Shaun’s family is Chinese, and my family is Catholic. So we’re going to do a fusion of the two cultural traditions,” Anna revealed before her nuptials. “There will be Lai See … [money given in red envelopes]. That’s what the children get during Chinese New Year. And you’ll have a big feast. Both of our fathers are chefs, so food is number one.”
THEY HAVE TWO CHILDREN
After five years of marriage and during Anna’s return to Hollywood, Shaun and Anna had their first child, a daughter they named Penelope. They chose this name for Penelope from Homer’s The Odyssey. This name was important to Anna as Penelope in The Odyssey wove tapestry while she waited for her husband to return from war. She turned down suitor after suitor waiting for his return even though they continued to tell her he would never return. Anna loved Penelope’s perseverance and faith.
Three years after Penelope was born, Shaun So and Anna Chlumsky welcomed their second child. It was another daughter that they named Clara Elizabeth. They are a happy foursome.
HE OWNS THE SO COMPANY
Shaun So has worn a few different professional hats. After his time in the Army Reserve, he worked as a counterterrorism expert and special agent for the Department of Defense and the United States Army for ten years. He eventually moved into the private sector.
Shaun So co-founded Cubby’s, an “urban personal logistics company.” So says that he came up with the idea for the company after realizing that Anna had to carry her bags to work with her because she was unable to track her luggage. So, his temporary stores would allow travelers to freely move around while leaving their bags at Cubby’s.
From there, Shaun So opened The So Company in 2012. He is the current CEO and managing partner. Per his LinkedIn bio, he says he increases “income, form strategy, and manage the personnel of a company that improves public services for customers.”