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I am a little concerned about your ability to make the switch from a stoner-esque slapstick comedy to a drama which deals with a multitude of issues - relationship, family, self awareness. I would strongly recommend meeting with Jhumpa Lahiri herself and sitting with her to get the identity of this character she came up with. I could not put down the book as a)I share my name with the central character and b) there were certain parts where I found my life imitating her fictional work. If you need any info. from a Bengali American, feel free to contact me.



I like the blog. The book was great, glad they picked you to do Gogol! Good luck with the movie!

Pratim D. Gupta

Dear Kal,

Pratim here from The Telegraph newspaper in Calcutta - the largest selling English daily in this part of the world. It's great to know that you are playing Gogol and are coming to Calcutta for the Namesake shoot. Wanted to interview you before you land here. Can I mail you the questions? Which id? Or I can also call. If you can reply at

Looking forward to your reply
Thanks and regards

Mrs. Patel

Just wondering if Sahira Nair is also playing "young" Sonia at age 13. I've been checking IMDb to see who booked the role that my 12 yo daughter auditioned for, and so far I don't see a girl that young, in the cast credits. I loved the it in 2 days, and am looking forward to seeing the film.


I'm so in love with you KAl PENN!!!!!!!!!!!!


Some of us fans of yours were also emailing Mira Nair's production company to get her to consider you, independent of all this, LOL. I'd like to think it had a small, small role as well.

You won't believe it, but on the Yahoo group started by some of your fans, people were talking about how you would be perfect for "The Namesake" (which I still haven't read --ok, yes I am lazy! -- but others in the group had read) before there was even any news of a film adaptation of it.


just saw Harold and kumar a few days back...think u r the coolest...was doing a google search on u and landed on this site...glad to know u are doing namesake but what a pity that u were in India sometime back and i missed you.When are gonna be here next?how can i get hold of ur email i.d or something?

Neha Gera

Hi! Kal. I'm Neha from New Delhi,India. Ithink that you are the cutest actor in Hollywood. I really really like you. I have seen your movies also specially Where is the Party yaar? and in that movie you were looking so cute and so handsome also. Kal could you give me your email id coz I want to send you cute mails like you. Bye!

Stacey Atkins

Hi Kal! I just wanted to thank you for creating this blog. "The Namesake" is my absolute favorite book. Last summer when I was sick with mono and bedridden, I must have read it cover to cover 5 or 6 times - it's so beautifully written. Lahiri is unbelievably talented. As silly as it is to admit this about a fictional character, I'm madly in love with Gogol! I'm very happy to hear that you're playing him and that you really, really wanted the part. I'm sure you've done a wonderful job. I can't wait to see the film! Thanks again!

Stacey :)


Dude I just want to thank you guys for making this movie, the book was incredible and I think Mira Nair was the perfect choice to helm the adaptation. I also can't wait to see Superman which has apparently been getting rave reviews, so it looks like it's gonna be a good year for you, I hope that despite the success that's obviously coming your way (or maybe because of it) you still get to do projects like "The Namesake" and H&K


You do justice playing Gogol's (Nikhil) character. When I read the novel, I tried imagining how Gogol would look like. You fit in perfectly. Very glad they chose you. Can't think of another American Indian actor who'd play this character well. Also, given your filmography, it makes sense to have someone versatile playing Gogol.


Hi Kal,
I saw the Namesake last night at the Toronto International Film Festival and it was incredible! I absolutely loved it and I think you did an amazing job. I haven't read the book as of yet, but I plan too. This film was hands down one of the best this year. Excellent work.


I saw the movie yesterday. You rock!!
I can't imagine anyone else playing Gogol but you. I wonder what Mira was thinking when she considered Abhishek bachchan :)
You portrayed your growth from a teenager to a rebellious youngster to finally a mature young man so beautifully. This was a once in a lifetime role for you and you made the best use of the opportunity. Everyone in the movie rocked - but Tabu, Irrfan and you really stood out!

Sapna H

Hi. I have to agree with Pooja over the Abhishek thing. Seriously what was she thinking? Has she seen Abhishek attempt to act? It's like he just can't be bothered. Besides I don't think he would have done justice to the character let alone the film.
I felt that it was important for an American Indian to portray Gogol's character. Kal, your acting was great and I was constantly in tears throughout especially when Gogol cried into his Dad's pillow.
Also how could Rani play Tabu's role? I think it would have become a bit too Bollywood had Mira chosen them. Tabu and Irfaan were great and have the perfect chemistry as noticed in their previous films.
One last thing Kalpen, I still love that scene of you in American Desi (where I first saw you) trying to make rotis but wearing chemistry goggles! To this day that scene cracks me up, you defo were the star of that film and even The Namesake. Must read the book now!


not ah-sheema but aw- sheema. now i'm waiting to see if the name is mispronounced in the film.


Thanks for the great blog. Just watched the film. Profound. Tangible. Universal. It hits home on so many levels.

Rajarshi Basu

Loved the film.But I think some basic flaws still prevail since its a period piece.

1.1974 IndusInd Bank and The Telegraph Newspaper was not born.
2. The happenings in Ashok Gangulys family was never mentioned


Sounds like you've got a great friend in Cho, Kalpen. Just saw the film, was pretty amazing; be proud of your performance.


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Hi Kal,

From India... Saw your film... superb work yaar! I really hope you work in such good films again and I hope you also get the opportunities.

All the best...



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