An interview with Kal Penn

I recently interviewed Kal Penn for Sepia Mutiny. An excerpt:

Tell us about the new film. This obviously isn’t your typical Christmas movie.

In a lot of ways it is a traditional Christmas movie. What was cool is that a lot of things you see are traditional. Santa Claus is in the film- Harold accidentally shoots him in the face. There’s family, friendship, and love [in the movie]. What’s different is that it’s in 3D, and it is vulgar.

This is your first film since leaving your job as an advisor to the White House. I just read this great quote of yours from an interview you did with the LA Times: “When you’re working there, you always think, ‘What is the best time to tell the president that you played a stoner who escaped from Guantanamo Bay?’ Did Harold and Kumar or any of your other roles ever come up in conversation while you were at the White House?

The nice thing about working in the White House is that almost everyone has put a private sector career on hold. There isn’t a lot of conversation about what people put on hold, it’s more about working together to push the president’s agenda.

Click here to read the full interview.



Kal Penn robbed at gunpoint in DC

I guess our nation’s capital is the wrong city to get the late night munchies:

TMZ has learned Kal Penn — aka Kumar from that “White Castle” movie — was robbed at gunpoint early this morning while walking in a neighborhood in Washington D.C.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Penn claims a man carrying a gun approached him around 1:20 AM and took his wallet and other personal property. (The full post is here.)

The news broke earlier this month that Penn is leaving his post at the White House to resume his acting career.

Update: Penn’s agent confirms the mugging to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Penn says good-bye to Washington

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Kal Penn, America’s first Hollywood actor-turned-low-level-White-House-staffer, is reportedly leaving politics to resume his acting career.

Penn kept a very low profile during his year nine months as a staffer for the White House Office of Public Liaison. He used his given name, Kalpen Modi, while in DC and only appeared in the in the Washington Post’s Reliable Source gossip column once as far I can tell. (Interestingly, Modi posted the president’s Indian and Pakistani independence day greetings on the official White House blog.)

So what’s next for Penn? He’s currently getting ready to make a third Harold and Kumar film with John Cho. The Christmas-themed movie is scheduled to be released later this year.

Update: From the WaPo’s Reliable Source blog:

Asked about the reports, a White House spokesman said “Mr. Modi is honored to serve in this Administration and has no announcements to make about his tenure here at this point.”

(Hat Tip: @jaketapper‘s Political Punch blog.)