KAL PENN quote in People Magazine
He had no idea he was ‘different’ until a playground bully called him the N-word in kindergarten.
“I didn’t even know what that word meant. But I knew that he thought I’m supposed to feel different and that was somehow bad. But I didn’t feel that way in real life.”
What he did feel was a call to the stage, finding his middle school drama club a place of refuge from bullying that targeted “kids like me or Praveen or Ed… because we were supposedly the weird, ugly, fat, skinny, dark fill-in-the-blank-different kids.”
Kal Penn (rejecting a friend’s suggestion of Kal Pacino) and soldiered through racist encounter after racist encounter. -People