skip navigation
Kal Penn

Kal Penn

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Epic Movie DVD An epic amount of laughs awaits in this comedy from "Scary Movie" (2000) writers... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay:... On their flight to Amsterdam, Harold and Kumar are mistaken for terrorists and... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Homeland Security DVD In a fictional story surrounding the real events of 9/11, clues are dropped and... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

National Geographic: Can The Gulf Survive?... Within days of the explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil platform on April 21,... more info $19.97was $19.97 Buy Now

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle... Two potheads just want sliders in the a riotous stoner-ific comedy "Harold &... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle / Harold... Cruise with your favorite road warriors over and over again in this... more info $7.99was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Kalpen Suresh Modi Died:
Born: April 23, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Montclair, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he had a tough time breaking into Hollywood due to his ethnicity and non-Anglican given name, actor Kal Penn - originally Kalpen Suresh Modi - managed for the most part to avoid playing stereotypical characters and to become a fast-rising Hollywood star. After spending several years climbing the ladder with episodes of series television, Penn bit the bullet and played an Indian named Taj Mahal, complete with thick accent, in the lowbrow comedy "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002). But he soon had his breakout role playing a stoned Ivy Leaguer in search of tiny delicious hamburgers in the cult hit ""Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004), which spawned another popular sequel four years later. In between, Penn was seen in blockbusters like "Superman Returns" (2006) while demonstrating his range in the art house drama, "The Namesake" (2007). After playing a conflicted terrorist on the hit action series "24" (Fox, 2001- ) and a sports medicine specialist on "House" (Fox, 2004- ), Penn left acting altogether to work in President Barack Obama's administration, proving that his dedication to public service truly outweighed his dreams for Hollywood stardom.

Though he had a tough time breaking into Hollywood due to his ethnicity and non-Anglican given name, actor Kal Penn - originally Kalpen Suresh Modi - managed for the most part to avoid playing stereotypical characters and to become a fast-rising Hollywood star. After spending several years climbing the ladder with episodes of series television, Penn bit the bullet and played an Indian named Taj Mahal, complete with thick accent, in the lowbrow comedy "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002). But he soon had his breakout role playing a stoned Ivy Leaguer in search of tiny delicious hamburgers in the cult hit ""Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004), which spawned another popular sequel four years later. In between, Penn was seen in blockbusters like "Superman Returns" (2006) while demonstrating his range in the art house drama, "The Namesake" (2007). After playing a conflicted terrorist on the hit action series "24" (Fox, 2001- ) and a sports medicine specialist on "House" (Fox, 2004- ), Penn left acting altogether to work in President Barack Obama's administration, proving that his dedication to public service truly outweighed his dreams for Hollywood stardom.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Outliving Emily (2014)
4.
5.
6.
 Epic Movie (2007)
8.
 Namesake, The (2006)
9.
 Superman Returns (2006)
10.
 Man About Town (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1998:
Had a supporting role in HBO Films¿ Emmy-Award winning comedy "Express: Aisle to Glory"
1999:
Made feature debut in the culture-clash drama "Freshmen"
2001:
Had a supporting role in the Indian-American-themed romantic comedy "American Desi"
2002:
Breakthrough role as Taj opposite Ryan Reynolds in the comedy "National Lampoon¿s Van Wilder"
2003:
Had a starring role in the independent film "Where¿s the Party Yaar?"
2003:
Cast in the hit comedy "Malibu¿s Most Wanted" with Jamie Kennedy
2004:
Starred in the 9/11 NBC drama "Homeland Security"
2004:
Cast opposite John Cho, as two roomates whose overwhelming case of the munchies leads them on a wild search in "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle"
2005:
Cast opposite Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet in the romantic comedy "A Lot Like Love"
2006:
Cast as Lex Luthor's lackey in "Superman Returns"
2006:
Appeared on four episodes of Fox's "24" as a teenage terrorist
2006:
Reprised the role of Taj for "National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj"
2007:
Co-starred in the spoof/parody film "Epic Movie"
2007:
Played an American-born son of Indian immigrants in director Mira Nair's "The Namesake"
2007:
Joined the cast of the Fox medical drama "House" as one of Dr. House's new fellowship applicants
2008:
Reprised role of Kumar for the sequel "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay"
2009:
Took a leave from acting and accepted a position as the associate director in the White House's Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs
2011:
Returned to acting with a recurring guest appearance on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)
2011:
Reprised role of Kumar for third film "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
Stanford University: Palo Alto , California -
The Fine and Performing Arts Specialized Learning Center: Farmingdale , New Jersey -

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute