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When news broke of actor Kal Penn 31, deciding to give up the glitz, glamour, $$$ in  Hollywood to join the White House Office of Public Liaison in the Obama Administration in Washington,  I thought: Who could do a better job than the well known and  likable Penn? Quite frankly, no one. The award winning American born Indian actor will soon be given the job title of Associate Director and serve as a strong link to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In other words, it’s a great job folks!

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Kal Penn being interviewed on the red carpet in NY with Indian actor Irrfan Khan

Penn, whose was born Kalpen Suresh Modi 31 years ago in Montclair, NJ  to immigrant parents from India,  is one of the most visible and talented Asian Indian actors today in Hollywood. Some of his   popular movies like “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle,”“The Namesake,”Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” have created massive cult like followings around the globe. The television and film actor  for the past few seasons  has been portraying  the popular role of Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the mega hit  Emmy Award winning television series “House”on Fox directed by Bryan Singer.  Penn’s role ended recently when his character committed suicide on the show. Not a very graceful farewell exit but nonetheless,  it allows the  award winning actor to take the  job at The White House.

Kal Penn talking at "The Namesake" party in NY

Kal Penn at "The Namesake" party in NY

But let’s be clear here. Penn is not leaving acting.  It is just being put “on hold for now” as he has been quoted saying to the press.  The actor said that during the Obama campaigning he was very passionate about public service and acting so he is now embarking on another journey and will do very well in.

Over the years, I have met Penn several times at movie premiers, parties and red carpets events and let me just say one thing about the well liked actor. He is PERFECT for the job and let me tell you why.  In my opinion, Penn is not  an actor trying to gain additional popularity nor is he seeking fame and fortune-he already has that. The young and smart celebrity is ideal for the position because he is passionate about serving the public and the White House saw it and that is why they asked him to join their team.   Choosing to give up a very lucrative acting career (that Penn has worked so hard to achieve along with landing a role on popular television series that many actors only dream of getting) shows the true passion that this  young democrat has about helping to serve the public.

The Indian actor  has always been very nice and gracious to me and other reporters as well.  During the premiere of his hit movie “The Namesake” in NY, the actor made time for all the reporters and was very professional and very receptive to the audience during an Q&A session after the screening.  Even when Penn is an invited as a guest to a movie premiere or party, he is flocked  by the media and is often in high demand by the press to get an interview at premieres and parties.

Penn talking to a guest with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background.

Penn talking to a guest at the NY Public Library with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri of "The Namesake" in the background during a surprise visit to the party.

“I have always loved acting but life is full of other opportunities” he once told me at a red carpet party in NY when I asked the actor about his choice as an entertainer when most South Asians traditionally  choose medicine or other sciences as a career.

“I am so grateful that the South Asian community has been encouraging and supportive of my work. That’s very cool” he told The Ravi Report on the red carpet recently.

The Indian actor campaigned for Obama during 2008 mostly on college campuses around the country invoking the voice of the younger generation.  He also expressed during that time to the Obama team how much he had enjoyed the opportunity and that serving the public  is something that he has always been passionae about  besides acting. They saw, they listened and they agreed.

Some of the feedback that I have been receiving from the South Asian community  has been nothing but positive.

“Finally, The White House has some solid South Asian representation” said one stunning Indian girl with porcelain like skin at a Manhattan Starbucks studying for what else, the medical school entrance exam. She further said that South Asians contribute to the economy in so many ways, it’s about time that there is strong representation in Washington.

Up close & personal!

Washington, here I come!

“I feel that Kal will in fact do a great job and open doors to communication not just with South Asians but with many other immigrants and communities” said one very cute and very petite Korean girl.  She also said the Obama Administration is filled with diversity and this appointment will only strengthen the President’s close connection to the international communities around the country.

 I  personally believe that since Penn is well liked by many people both inside and outside of Hollywood and has demonstrated his devotion to public service, he will indeed bring a great deal of honor to both Hollywood and the South Asian communities around the globe with his new and exciting role in The White House.

Way to go “Kumar”!

The journey continues…



Live As If You Were To Die Tomorrow, Learn As If You Would Live Forever- Mohandas Gandhi

 A profound  statement made by one of the world’s most revered and respected leaders Mohandas Gandhi. To many of us, he was simply known as Gandhi.

Greetings from The Ravi Report!

So much to talk about and cover folks!

As a global news journalist and producer, I thought it was time to have an extension of my thoughts & comments about people that I have interviewed, places that I have visited and reported from and film or charity events that I have attended and covered.  Mixed that in with exclusive interviews with celebrities,

Actor Tom Cruise poses for The Ravi Report at his movie premier "Valkyrie" in NY.

Actor Tom Cruise poses exclusively for The Ravi Report at his movie premiere.

Bollywood personalities and profiles on people making headlines around the word and you have (drum roll please) “The Ravi Report”. 

As a seasoned media professional & news journalist for the past decade, I have interviewed & reported on some of the most interesting and news worthy topics, met incredible and engaging  personalities from all walks of life, travelled to foreign cities for stories and covered enough red carpet premieres and events to write a book!

Whether it’s a leading A list Hollywood celebrity like the charismatic and charming John Travolta and his beautiful and very gracious wife Kelly Preston at a NY film premiere

Actor John Travolta and Kelly Preston at "Death Sentence" premiere NY

Actor John Travolta and Kelly Preston at "Death Sentence" premiere NY

telling me about their latest private airplane ride (he’s a pilot) or where they plan on going to for the holidays or  having tea with the world’s most recorded singer (12,000 songs and counting)  Asha Bhosle who spoke about her latest projects with foreign singers, her popular restaurants around the world and her love for NY and Broadway, the famous personalities that I have met and interviewed, have been charming, personable and interesting to talk to.

The world's most recorded singer, Asha Bhosle taking a break before a NY concert.

The world's most recorded singer, Asha Bhosle taking a break before a NY concert.

 I have learned and explored  the world of entertainment and international news by becoming interested in what people are all about and what they have to say.  Plain and simple.

A big part of “The Ravi Report” will also feature and cover special events in NYC attended by prominent  personalities from all areas of interests who either support their favorite charity or colleague in a film or like to lend their name for a good cause.  For example. the annual Charity:Water gala is one of the biggest and most talked about event in NY and is attended by New York’s  beautiful, glamorous, generous and the most  kind hearted folks you will ever meet. From the red carpet arrivals to the after parties of premieres, charity events, benefits or art show openings, The Ravi Report will bring you the latest  interviews , commentary and photos from as many events as possible.  In addtion, special benefits, social mixers and celebrity events will all be featured in the report with a different side to what is tradtionally reported or seen in mainstream media. Behind the scenes, special exclusive interviews and the lastest styles in fashions, will all be featured in the blog. But one of the most interesting things about The Report Report is that I hope to bring a mixture of news not only happening in the enteratinment world but also in the business or media world that will be making headlines around the world.

Water gala in NY.

Supermodel Jessica Stam and megastar Adrian Grenier smile for The Ravi Report at the Charity:Water gala in NY.

As a entertainment & features reporter attending and covering numerous events in Manhattan for years,  I’ve learned that celebrities, filmmakers, global personalities and supermodels often have a lot to say about their favorite cause or about themselves that they sometimes don’t want to talk about in a “staged interview”. I also find they are more laid back and often show a more personable and humorous side to their personality when being interviewed at a premiere, charity event or film festival.

Michelle Monahan & designer Tom Brown pose for The Ravi Report

I hope you find my blog interesting, exciting, informative and of course newsworthy!

The journey begins…


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