ou might not recognize his name, but Kal Penn is doing all he can to change that.The 23-year-old actor has been a supporting player in movies like Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Malibu’s Most Wanted and as the hilarious Taj opposite Ryan Reynolds in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Now he’s got his first starring role in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle .
  The film follows uptight investment banker Harold (American Pie’s John Cho) and bad boy med school applicant Kumar (Penn) who set out on a late night quest to satisfy their cravings for White Castle burgers and end up on an epic road trip of
deep thoughts and even deeper inhaling while running into people like Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) and Ryan Reynolds (Blade: Trinity).
  “It’s similar to Dude, Where’s My Car? in the genre, if you want to even call it a genre. It’s cool because it’s got the teen comedy element but it’s also got a lot of intelligence,” Penn told about.com.
  Born Kalpen Modi, Penn was born and raised in New Jersey.After high school, he was accepted in to the prestigious School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California in L.A. Penn went on to work on episodes of Spin City, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, NYPD Blue and Angel while building his movie career.
  Next up for Penn is the part of Jamie Kennedy’s best friend, Jorge, in this fall’s Son of the Mask. “I play this guy who is like a special effects techie who is really freaked out at what’s going on with Jamie’s character. He ends up coming to save him to bring him back to work for this big meeting that he needs to [attend to] keep his job. I’m holding down the job thing while he’s doing this whole ‘mask’ stuff.”
  After that, Penn is set to be in A Lot Like Love with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet plus the lead role in the NBC pilot Never Mind Nirvana directed by David Schwimmer (Friends ).
  • So what’s with White Castle burgers? The American chain’s tiny patties, known as “slyders”, are famous for their devoted fans who buy them by the bagful. Both Penn and Cho were recently inducted into White Castle’s Cravers Hall of Fame — an interesting honour for Penn, a vegetarian, who ate only veggie burgers during filming.
  • The movie was filmed in the Toronto area so a White Castle outlet had to be created for the shoot.