Actor Kal Penn is trading in his role on TV medical drama House for a public service position with the White House
BY ILESH TOPIWALA | MAY 26, 2010
A White House spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the young actor is set to join the Obama administration as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison. The story was first reported Entertainment Weekly magazine.
The Indo-American actor, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, will serve as a liaison connecting the Obama administration with arts and entertainment groups, as well as with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
Though he rose to fame in the Harold and Kumar stoner comedies and the Van Wilder films, Penn graduated to more serious fare, including the drama The Namesake and TV shows such as 24 and House.
He also won praise for teaching a class in the Asian American Studies department of the University of Pennsylvania in 2008.
Penn, who turns 32 later this month, was among the celebrities who supported U.S. President Barack Obama during the election, including drumming up support for Obama at college campuses, appearing at other campaign stops, and enlisting the support of fellow celebrities.
Penn's start date has not yet been set. However, the actor's character on House committed suicide on the episode that aired Monday night.