Safe Room Stars Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe on Embarrassing Their Teens with Their PDA

·3 min read
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe

Mark Sullivan/BET/Getty Nicole Ari Parker with her husband Boris Kodjoe.

Ask Boris Kodjoe if he and his wife Nicole Ari Parker delight in embarrassing their teenagers by posting Instagram videos of their romantic moments and he sighs.

"Everything embarrasses them," the 48-year-old actor tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. "Just walking out the door embarrasses them, because we have the wrong shoes on, the wrong outfit or whatever. We can't worry about that. We've got to live our life."

A clip of Kodjoe and Parker, 51, snuggling in an airport departure lounge in December is a perfect example. The And Just Like That… actress shared the footage on Instagram explaining that she and her husband had been in two "different cities for too long."

Their daughter Sophie, 16, swiftly responded in the comments section. "I filmed this," she wrote, deadpanning. "Why am I tagged mother? I already lived the trauma."

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The whole exchange reflects where Kodjoe and Parker are right now in their marriage and their careers. In addition to raising Sophie and her brother Nicolas, 15, they're juggling separate successful TV careers. (Kodjoe plays Robert Sullivan in ABC's Station 19, while Parker is one of the new faces on HBO Max's Sex and the City spinoff, And Just Like That…)

But on Jan. 15, fans will see them share a screen together in Lifetime's new thriller, Safe Room. Parker stars in the film as Lila Jackson, a widow trying to protect her autistic 14-year-old son Ian (Nik Sanchez) after he witnesses a break-in. The project is Kodjoe's directorial debut.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker
Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker

Courtesy of Lifetime Nicole Ari Parker with Nik Sanchez who plays her teenage son in the Lifetime thriller Safe Room.

"I knew this was something he really wanted to do and to see him finally doing it was really exciting for me," says Parker, who met and fell in love with her husband two decades ago when they worked on the Showtime series Soul Food.

"It was so good and so normal to us because that's how we met, working," Kodjoe says about the Safe Room experience. "So, we have this sort of fluidity together on a set and our own secret language that works."

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker
Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker

Courtesy of Lifetime Boris Kodjoe and wife Nicole Ari Parker on the set of their new Lifetime thriller Safe Room.

That doesn't mean that the Baltimore-based film shoot was easy. "Everything that could happen to a first-time director happened," Parker says, before listing them one by one. The challenges Kodjoe faced went beyond the "short shooting schedule" and "very low budget" and included an influx of cicadas, an electrical storm, flooding and even an active shooter.

Despite their career success and hectic schedules, Kodjoe and Parker still find time for romance. "We don't see each other that much," says Parker, who shared a clip of them slow dancing and kissing at the And Just Like That… premiere after-party on Instagram in December. "We're always working so, it's like…" "We save all the spark for when we see each other and then we let it out," Kodjoe interjects.

Parker adds, "Everything is fast-tracked, every marital spat and every parental issue because we're all so busy we're very focused on solutions, and healing and not holding on to things for too long… It's like, let's just get to the good place."

Safe Room premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CT.

For more from the Safe Room stars, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

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