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Kal Penn to leave White House, return to Hollywood


You can call him Kal: Kalpen Modi, the White House staffer a.k.a. Kal Penn. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

UPDATED 5 p.m. with White House comment/non-comment:

After just less than a year, Kalpen Modi is reportedly ready to be Kal Penn again.

The actor best known as Kumar from the "Harold and Kumar" movies stunned Hollywood last year when he announced he'd leave his role on the hit series "House" -- they had to kill his character off -- to take a job with the Obama administration.

But after nine months after Penn joined the White House's Office of Public Engagement as an associate director -- and dropped his Hollywood name for his birth name -- Entertainment Weekly reported Friday that the 32-year-old actor will resume his film career.

Hollywood trade publications report the movie will start filming mid-summer, so Penn's departure isn't necessarily imminent. Asked about the reports, a White House spokesman said "Mr. Modi is honored to serve in this Administration and has no announcements to make about his tenure here at this point."

The news shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. While his tenure seems to have sped by, Penn had said at the outset that he'd likely give a year or two to the job. And well, apparently, they just can't make the "Harold and Kumar" Christmas movie without him. (It's due out in 2011, and just might be filmed in 3-D, says EW.)

But during his time here, Penn seemed to make good on his plan to be treated like any other young executive-branch staffer, largely keeping a low profile and blending in, only occasionally being recognized by fellow pedestrians on his short commute from the Logan/Dupont area to the White House complex. He did manage to score an invitation to the November state dinner for the prime minister of India -- but also managed to avoid getting photographed with crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

Read more about Kal Penn as Kalpen Modi, executive branch staffer at WhoRunsGov.com

By The Reliable Source  |  April 2, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington , Politics  
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Comments

did he open his mouth too much and got sacked...
or did he just get bored...
and who says hollywood wants him back...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

So sad. These are the kind of metal defectives who will be leading this country in the future. No hope for the future of the USA...

Posted by: roninproject | April 2, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Going to work every day in an office, even if it is the White House, is not glamorous for someone like that.

Posted by: chunche | April 2, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps in an homage to Jesus Christ he will resurrect Dr Lawrence Kutner on House and be the second person to return from the dead......or so goes the mythology.

Posted by: gce1356 | April 2, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Poor Kal...he had to go all the way to DC to find out all that glitters is not gold...

Posted by: Immanurse | April 2, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't be so sure! If Kal Penn is leaving, he hasn't told the White House: www.thewrap.com/article/mr-penn-goes-back-hollywood-15924

Posted by: ldhorowitz | April 2, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I NEVER SAW HIM ON TV OR IN ANY MOVIES. ITS A RATHER DULL STORY IN MY OPIN?? WHATS THE BIG DEAL??

Posted by: OWENLTOTH1 | April 2, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I NEVER SAW HIM ON TV OR IN ANY MOVIES. ITS A RATHER DULL STORY IN MY OPIN?? WHATS THE BIG DEAL??

Posted by: OWENLTOTH1
----------
But never underestimate the desire of the Obamaphobes to spin any story as a negative against this administration.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | April 2, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Too late, Kal Penn is already washed up as a movie actor. Every one of those Harold and Kumar sequels after the first was lame and unfunny. Even for the direct to video business, those films were dogs.

Posted by: screwjob11 | April 2, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Too late, Kal Penn is already washed up as a movie actor. Every one of those Harold and Kumar sequels after the first was lame and unfunny. Even for the direct to video business, those films were dogs.

Posted by: screwjob11 | April 2, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that even the first one was lame and unfunny. But none of them were direct to video, so this guy is going to be making some serious cash again soon.

--

Too late, Kal Penn is already washed up as a movie actor. Every one of those Harold and Kumar sequels after the first was lame and unfunny. Even for the direct to video business, those films were dogs.

Posted by: screwjob11 | April 2, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | April 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I didn't quite get the "Asian artist representative" thing or whatever he was supposed to be. I'm Franco-American...where is the Franco-American representation in Washington (and I'm a native Washingtonian)...and I have friends who are Italian- and Greek- and Irish-Americans...where is their representation? Too much emphasis on the word before the dash.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | April 3, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

did he open his mouth too much and got sacked...
or did he just get bored...
and who says hollywood wants him back...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse
--------------
Dwight, you must be one of the most miserable human beings on the planet. Do you ever have anything nice to say about anyone. I see your postings on WaPo boards all of the time and frankly they always have an edge.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | April 3, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the quality of the weed is as good in DC verus LA!

Posted by: theaz | April 3, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

How about all the other actors, pretending to be patriots, in the White House and Congress? This is the most self serving bunch of politicians ever.

Posted by: eldergent | April 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

He probably thought it would be cool than realized what a lying, hypocritical partisan windbag our president really is.

Posted by: Cryos | April 4, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Kal Penn to leave White House, return to Hollywood:
Thank God! There at least we know what comes out of Hollywood is fiction. But we can only hope that what is coming out Washington DC is. Unfortunately I am afraid that we will wake up soon (not soon enough) and find that it is not and is not a Hollywood production either.

Posted by: Curly4 | April 4, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

For those who say Kal Penn is washed up, you need to see "The Namesake". A serious and excellent performance in a beautiful film - a far cry from Harold and Kumar.

Posted by: leocook | April 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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