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The Underdoggs: Kal Penn Parents Asmita Bhatt & Suresh Modi- Ethnicity & Origin

Kal Penn Parents are Asmita Bhatt, a fragrance evaluator for a perfume company, and Suresh Modi, an engineer. Kal is an American having Indian descent.

Kal Penn, an acclaimed American actor and author, was born on April 23, 1977, as Kalpen Suresh Modi in Montclair, New Jersey.

Kal Penn, An American Actor And Author
Kal Penn, An American Actor And Author (Source: Instagram)

His educational journey began at Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro Township, New Jersey. During this time, he played the baritone saxophone in the jazz band.

For his freshman year, Penn attended The Fine and Performing Arts Academy, a magnet program, at Howell High School, majoring in Theater.

Later, he transferred to Freehold Township High School for his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Both schools are part of the Freehold Regional High School District in New Jersey.

Throughout his high school years, Kal actively participated in theater productions and was a member of the Freehold Township National Honor Society Speech and Debate team (formerly known as Forensics).

After high school, Kal Penn enrolled at UCLA, where he pursued a double major in film and sociology. He successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000.

Kal Penn made his feature film debut in 1998 with Express: Aisle to Glory. Following this, he went on to have a diverse filmography, appearing in productions such as American Desi, Van Wilder, the concluding episode of The Lonely Island, Malibu’s Most Wanted, A Lot Like Love.

Additionally, Penn had roles in popular television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and made an uncredited appearance in Deck the Halls.

His work showcases his versatility and contribution to various genres in the entertainment industry.

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The Underdoggs: Kal Penn Parents Asmita Bhatt & Suresh Modi- Ethnicity & Origin

Kal Penn Parents: The Underdoggs star Kal Penn was born to his parents, his father Suresh Modi, who is an engineer, while his mother, Asmita Bhatt, who holds a master’s degree in chemistry and serves as a fragrance evaluator at a perfume company.

Kal Penn also has a younger brother named Pulin. Kal Penn’s parents, traditional Gujarati immigrants, initially desired for him to pursue a career as a lawyer or a doctor.

However, Kal opted to pursue acting instead. He attended Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro, New Jersey, where he played the saxophone in the school band.

During his school days, he chose drama classes over joining the soccer team and participated in the school production of ‘The Wiz‘ during the eighth grade.

Kal Penn reflects on his upbringing in Montclair, New Jersey, emphasizing the value of residing in an ethnically diverse environment.

In this setting, he spoke his parents’ native language, Gujarati, at home. Growing up in a bilingual environment, he gained invaluable insights into both American and immigrant cultures.

Kal Pen With His Grandparents
Kal Penn Parents: Kal Penn With His Grandparents (Source: People)

Despite his bilingualism, Penn expressed that he never felt defined as either more Indian or less American, a sentiment he acknowledges might differ for individuals raised in immigrant households. Penn’s parents had immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s.

Kal Penn’s awareness of being “different” was sparked in kindergarten when a playground bully used a racial slur against him.

This early and hurtful incident, recounted in his book, marked the beginning of a series of challenges he faced, particularly as he ventured into Hollywood.

Upon graduating from UCLA, where he often found himself as the only Indian student in the theater department, Penn pursued acting under the stage name Kal Penn.

Despite encountering racism in the industry, including instances where casting directors expressed disappointment over his ethnicity and experiences of discrimination during auditions, Penn persevered in his pursuit of his acting dream.

Reflecting on the challenges, Penn notes that the entertainment industry, particularly during the time he started, was one of the more racist environments he experienced.

He points out the lack of diversity in popular shows like Seinfeld and Friends, which made deliberate choices to exclude people of color, despite being set in a diverse city like New York.

Kal Penn: A Politician

Kal Penn Parents: Kal Penn actively supported Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, serving on the National Arts Policy Committee and appearing in promotional videos.

He accepted a role in the Obama administration as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in 2009, necessitating his departure from the TV series House.

Kal Penn And Barak Obama
Kal Penn And Barak Obama (Source: People)

He later resumed his acting career in 2010 but remained involved in politics, co-chairing Obama’s reelection campaign and speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Obama appointed him to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2013. Penn publicly endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016, campaigned for Hillary Clinton, and resigned from the Arts and Humanities Committee in 2017 due to disagreements with President Trump.

During the 2020 Democratic primaries, he expressed interest in Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, ultimately supporting Joe Biden as the nominee.

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Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha, a dedicated undergraduate student, adept editor and passionate writer with a talent for producing compelling articles. Beyond her academic commitments, she skillfully maneuvers through the landscape of celebrity gossip and TV shows, offering a distinctive viewpoint on the realms of cinema and pop culture.

Expertise: Netflix Observer Indie Film Expert


  • Recognized for her expertise in providing cultural commentary within the realm of entertainment
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  • Experience

    Deepa Shrestha, an experienced writer at Superfestfilm, seamlessly blends cultural insights into her work. Her articles offer a fresh take on the entertainment industry, inviting readers to explore the vibrant tapestry of cultures through the lens of captivating storytelling.



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