Penn Pal
CBS Watch! Magazine|January/February 2021
Whether he’s playing a pot smoker or a politician, Clarice’s Kal Penn has never met a role he couldn’t rock.
BRANTLEY BARDIN

WHAT OTHER ACTOR CAN CLAIM TO HAVE PLAYED the rangy likes of Kumar Patel, the ultimate stoner horndog of the raunchy Harold & Kumar franchise, the brainy but doomed Dr. Lawrence Kutner of House, as well as White House press secretary Seth Wright of Designated Survivor? Oh, and who also actually worked in D.C. for two years as the Obama administration’s associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement? Only the brilliant Kal Penn can. Now the New Jersey–born, UCLA-degreed son of Gujarati Indian immigrant parents is stepping into Clarice, the new Silence of the Lambs–inspired series. As Shaan Tripathi, a former Smithsonian curator turned FBI agent, Penn and a motley crew of cohorts at the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program [ViCAP] will team up with Clarice Starling as she reports back to work just a year after having won notoriety for the gruesome Hannibal the Cannibal case in 1993. “I love this project,” says Penn. “Each of the episodes I’ve read ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, and I’m always like, ‘I can’t wait to find out what happens next!’ So if it’s like that for me, that’s a good sign it’ll be like that for the audience, too.”

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