Posts Tagged ‘House

09
Apr
09

KAL PENN: FROM HOLLYWOOD TO WASHINGTON

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…

Ravi

www.raviyande.com




Flickr Photos