Kal Penn is set to publish a new memoir, You Can’t Be Serious, on November 2, but the book covers one aspect of his life that he can’t help but spoil a few days early: He’s been in a relationship with a man named Josh for 11 years, and the two of them are now engaged. Penn, who is probably still best known for the Harold And Kumar movies, first talked about this on CBS Sunday Morning today, but he also sat down with People to share a few more details.
Penn says he and his partner met during the sabbatical he took from acting to work with Barack Obama’s White House, and on their first date he showed up with “an 18-pack of Coors Light” and an insatiable desire to watch NASCAR. “Next thing you know,” he says, “it’s been a couple months and we’re watching NASCAR every Sunday.”
Penn says he discovered his sexuality “relatively late in life compared to many other people,” but all of his friends and family have been very supportive. He admits that it “sounds jokey,” but he says that, “when you’ve already told your Indian parents and the South Asian community that you intend to be an actor for a living, really any conversations that come after that are super easy.”
That being said, he says that his fiancé, his parents, and his brother are all very private, so he didn’t want to force anyone into a spotlight with his book while also being “authentic” from his point of view. He says “the whole point” was to make readers feel like “we’re having a beer together,” and so he wanted the book to evoke “the same joy” that he felt when living through the various stories he tells in it. Again, it’ll be available on November 2.