Actor and former White House staff member Kal Penn — full name Kalpen Suresh Modi — is ready to tell the world his love story.
The House alum has been fairly private about his love life in the past, but in his new book You Can’t Be Serious the 44-year-old dishes the deets on his relationship with his fiancé, Josh, from their first date to plans for their upcoming wedding.
“I’ve always been very public with everybody I’ve personally interacted with. Whether it’s somebody that I meet at a bar, if Josh and I are out or we’re talking to friends,” Penn told PEOPLE, explaining his decision to write a book about his largely unknown relationship with his fiancé.
“But Josh, my partner, my parents, and my brother, four people who I’m closest to in the family, are fairly quiet,” the Harold and Kumar actor admitted. “They don’t love attention and shy away from the limelight.”
Penn explained the trickiest part of writing the book figuring out how tell his story which revolves around “my work life, both in Hollywood and DC, it includes my love life with Josh and how we met, it includes my parents” while still respecting privacy and maintaining authenticity of himself and everyone else mentioned in the book.
The Clarice star also opened up about his journey to discovering his sexuality, which he added happened “relatively late in life compared to many other people. There’s no timeline on this stuff,” he went on. “People figure their s— out at different times in their lives, so I’m glad I did when I did.”
“I know this sounds jokey, but it’s true: 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,” he teased, referring to telling friends and family about his sexuality. “They’re just like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ I felt very supported by everyone.”
Whether he is talking about his unexpected love for NASCAR, his parents, or his relationship with his fiancé, most of all, Penn wanted the book to feel like he’s “having a beer” with the reader as he tells a story that is deeply special to him.
“I want to take you into my stories and I want you to experience them with the same joy that I’ve experienced them,” he told the outlet. “That was the way that my friends have met my parents and Josh.”