Kalpen Suresh Modi, known professionally as Kal Penn, is an American actor and former White House staff member in the Obama administration. Penn was born in Montclair, New Jersey, to Gujarati Indian immigrant parents. He graduated from UCLA in 2000, and double majored in film and sociology. Penn has taught at the University of Pennsylvania as a visiting lecturer.
About Kal Penn in brief
Kalpen Suresh Modi, known professionally as Kal Penn, is an American actor and former White House staff member in the Obama administration. He is known for his role portraying Lawrence Kutner on the television program House, as well as the character Kumar Patel in the Harold & Kumar film series. Penn has taught at the University of Pennsylvania in the Cinema Studies Program as a visiting lecturer. From 2016 to 2019, he played Seth Wright in the political drama Designated Survivor, and served as host of the game show Superhuman. In 2019, Penn portrayed Garrett Modi in the NBC sitcom series Sunnyside. Penn was born in Montclair, New Jersey, to Gujarati Indian immigrant parents. He graduated from UCLA in 2000, and double majored in film and sociology. Penn’s feature film debut came in 1998 in Express: Aisle to Glory. He has since appeared in American Desi, Van Wilder, the final episode of The Lonely Island, Malibu’s Most Wanted, A Lot Like Love, Dude, Where’s the Party?, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Superman Returns, Epic Movie, The Namesake, the Harold and Kumar series, and an uncredited appearance in Deck the Halls.
In January 2007, Penn appeared in the first four episodes of the sixth season of 24 as Ahmed Amar, a teenage terrorist. Penn says he nearly turned down the role due to personal ethics: I have a huge political problem with the role. It was essentially accepting a form of racial profiling. But it was the first time I had a chance to blow stuff up and take a family hostage. As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I’m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people’s thought processes? He has stated that he prefers his birth name and uses \”Kal Penn\” only for professional purposes. He regularly visited Gujarat as a child during vacations, and he can speak some Gujarati. Penn attended The Fine and Performing Arts Academy as a Theater major at Howell High School.
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