Indian American actor and producer, Kal Penn on inspiration

14 08 2008

8000 SunsetNirali Magazine – One of the greatest obstacles Asians must face is the doctor-engineer-computer scientist paradigm. I think we’ve all heard it and Kal Penn, the famous actor from Harold and Kumar, was no different. He lightly notes,

“at first my parents were cautious but not unsupportive, and as I started working over the years, they realized it was something I love to do.”

On the topic of inspiration, Penn writes

“I realized that I wanted to be an actor from the time I was young. There is a great feeling you get in storytelling for an audience. I also used to write (and still do write) characters. But it was when I saw Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala that I was truly inspired. It was the first time I had seen South Asian American characters depicted accurately onscreen, and it was indescribably empowering for me. It was like saying, ‘We can do this!’”

Penn has since had starring roles in movies such as National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, The Namesake (one of my favorite movies), Epic Movie, and Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. He is currently playing the role of Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the TV series House.

Check back from more on Kal Penn in the coming days!