Kal Penn: Zoya Akhtar is very sweet

Kal Penn says working with Zoya Akhtar is on his wishlist but knows his Hindi handicap might come in the way

Amitabh Bachchan brings out the fanboy in Indian-American star Kal Penn, who says he would love to be a part of independent movies coming out of the country.

Kal Penn and Zoya Akhtar
Kal Penn and Zoya Akhtar

Penn, 39, says, “Every actor has said that they want to work with Amitabh Bachchan, so that’s probably given.” Irrfan, his co-star from The Namesake (2006), is another actor that impresses him a lot. “One of the things that I like watching about Irrfan is that he has done these big budget movies, but the way he utilises silence in his films is so amazing. He does not need to say anything but you understand exactly what he is thinking,” adds Penn, currently in India to shoot for Guneet Monga’s The Ashram.

He says he would love to work with new age directors as his recent favourite movie from India was Bombay Talkies (2013) jointly directed by Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee. “I would love to work with any of those four directors. I keep e-mailing Zoya (Akhtar) asking ‘Can I work with you please?’ She is very sweet, we are friends but my Hindi is not good,” he chuckles.

Penn shot to fame with his popular comedy series Harold & Kumar and the actor has a crackling sense of humour, which he displays by describing the plot of an Indian TV show that he is currently watching in his bid to learn Hindi. “One keeps hearing that they learnt English by watching TV and movies. I ordered the desi cable package; I could not understand most of it because it is so fast but these are like mother-in-law shows and I am totally, I am not kidding you, I am totally addicted to Saath Nibhana Saathiya,” says Penn.

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