My guest today is actor and former White House staff member, Kal Penn. Kal has played leading roles in some of the world’s most-watched television shows, including How I Met Your Mother, 24, House, and more. He currently stars in the CBS series Clarice, a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, and the Disney Junior animated series Mira, Royal Detective. He has starred in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars, including the Harold and Kumar franchise. Kal has worked at the very highest levels of politics, as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. We discuss both his acting and political careers, as captured in his book “You Can’t Be Serious”, during this podcast episode.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- Why did you reject the advice of your family and guidance counselors to become a doctor and instead pursue a career in acting?
- What stories did you hear about your grandparents that influenced you to get into politics?
- What did you learn in your acting career that made you a more effective politician?
- How did you overcome the struggles of trying to make it in Hollywood like racism and the feeling of not fitting in?
- What’s your best piece of career advice?
Follow Kal’s journey: