From Kumar, to “House,” to the White House, Kal Penn has led an interesting career. The Carroll News got to catch up with him and talk about his return to the popular “Harold and Kumar” series.
The Carroll News: Christmas is a time of expressing love and joy, how do you think a Harold and Kumar twist affects the holiday message?
Kal Penn: The “Harold and Kumar” movies always, despite the crazy situations, have heart. They are always positive, and, given the most off-the-wall, politically incorrect jokes, they have a lot of heart. John [Cho] and I loved “A Christmas Story” and all those movies as kids, and in our movie, we are tipping our hats off to those films. Obviously this isn’t a movie you take your 9 year-old brother to see, but we also wanted to make a Christmas movie in the sense that it is a feel good Christmas theme with obviously politically incorrect jokes plugged into it.
CN: Do you, John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris plan on having some kind of a reunion on the seventh season of “How I Met Your Mother” since you are now joining the show and John has made an appearance in the past?
KP: It’s always up to the writers, but I think it would be awesome and super fun. Neil is a great guy and it’s so cool to come work on his show when he has been in our movies. John is gearing up for the next “Star Trek” possibly and it looks like that is in motion, but he won’t say much about it.
CN: How was the transition back to acting after your time spent in the White House? Were you nervous to get back on the big screen?
KP: I enjoyed my two years in the White House. It was interesting because we covered the stuff that affected young people like financial aid and “don’t ask, don’t tell” and youth entrepreneurship. My experience wasn’t as cynical as what you see on TV, like people struggling to pay tuition and so on. It was very different than making a movie and it was fun to come back. It was an adjustment because obviously you use two different parts of your brain when you are filming a “Harold and Kumar” movie, as opposed to working with public service.
CN: How did you feel when you found out that the movie is 3D? Do you think that doing a film in that format has become redundant?
KP: As for the second question, yes, 3D is redundant. That’s exactly why it is in 3D, they are making fun of it. There are a lot of jokes in the movie that make fun of the fact that it is 3D. When you see a comedy in 3D like “Harold and Kumar,” you feel like they are your friends and you are on their couch watching a Christmas movie with them and it really feels better. With the 3D we are able to put things, such as smoke, coming into the audience and it is different than your typical action hero 3D film.