Kal Penn and the art of surviving the Hollywood stereotype

Kal Penn has lived through the Hollywood stereotype stage and understands what it means to not see yourself truly represented on TV.

The Hollywood source of Indian origin said there was a time when people of color had no luxury of having a company that ensured proper casting and representation, and was glad that things were changing. He hopes that his animated show Mira, Royal Detective, will weave into Indian culture and tradition, adding speed to shifting West’s attitude.

Asked how the show would change things in the West with respect to diversity or ethnicity, Kal told IANS: I don't know if this signifies any noticeable change in the west or in the industry, though I hope it will lead to.

But I want to give credit to the creators and Disney for wanting to do it right. When making an animated show, many cynics would think that a show could be set anywhere and culturally inaccurate with performers of In that background, I understand that. But I understand that I have never seen yourself represented on TV and that is mine, we have never seen that. , added the actor, who has gained fame through his character of Kumar Patel in the Harold&Kumar movie series.

Kal continued: We didn't have that luxury and a company like Disney made sure the casting and representation was accurate ... Right from the language to the visual, a lot of effort and budget that other companies didn't give. So, I think it's a big leap forward and I hope it signals a lot to come. Secondly, it provides a better show that children can watch and learn better things from.

Going back to the beginning of his own career, Kal said: My first audition was probably 20 years or so back. Some of my first auditions were for characters that were more stereotypical. Many are still around. At some auditions. I was asked to speak at the Apu point, where it was never voiced by a South Asian artist. at its length not an hour. It really feels good and I'm proud that my nieces and nephew will watch it.

Born to Indian immigrant parents in the US, his real name is Kalpesh Suresh Modi , but is known by his stage name Kal Penn. He has featured in projects such as The Namesake, Son of the Mask, Superman Returns, 24, House, How I Met Your Mother , New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Designated Survivor and Sunnyside.

In 2009, he took a two-year sabbatical from acting to work for U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Today, she lends her voice for the character of a mongoose Mikku - a friend of Mira. Set in the fictional land of Jalpur, Mira, Royal Detective follows the life of Mira, a common character assigned to the role of queen detective.

The series features an all-star cast of prominent South Asian actors including Jameela Jamil, Freida Pinto, Hannah Simone , Utkarsh Ambudkar, Aasif Mandvi and Aparna Nancherla among others. It also introduced 16-year-old newcomer Leela Ladnier as Mira's voice. The show airs on India on Disney Channel India.

Talking about the show, Kal said: When I first heard about the show, read the script, I was selfishly excited about it. I wanted to do something for the kids, because my earlier works (comedy or drama) were not that kind of kid. And now, I have nieces and nephews so it's pretty exciting to me. obviously the whole South Indian cast and it took place in a fictional land of India, that was really fun. South American American performers as the cast are a rarity in any kind of art (action or cartoon).

So I think it's a perfect combination. My character Mikku is so adorable and he wears these glasses and like me, it would be most fun and at the same time a significant project to be a part of, he added.