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Kal Penn Shares Scripts From Some of the Stereotypical Roles He Auditioned for at the Beginning of His Career

The "Designated Survivor" star says was nearly always asked to speak with an accent early in his career.

Kal Penn

Kal Penn

Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

In the ABC drama series “Designated Survivor,” Kal Penn plays White House Press Secretary named Seth Wright, with no accent. But this wasn’t always the case for the New Jersey–born actor of Indian descent, who recalls auditioning for some stereotypical roles at the beginning of his career.

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On Tuesday, the actor shared screenshots of scripts he found of shows he auditioned for during his “first years trying to be an actor.” According to Penn, he was nearly always asked to speak with an accent and one script even requested a “Ghandi lookalike.” The actor further revealed that when he auditioned for a small part in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” he got “into it” with the production because they insisted his character, Prajeeb, had to have an accent.

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But Penn also acknowledged shows such as “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “24” and “House,” which did not ask him to speak with an accent. He described the writers of these shows as “really smart, creative people, who didn’t have to use external things to mask subpar writing.”

Check out all of Penn’s tweets below.

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