Kal Penn is probably best known for his role as Kumar Patel in the Harold and Kumar franchise, but the actor has proven that his abilities aren’t limited to comedy. In the past, Kal starred in television dramas like House and Designated Survivor and was even a guest star on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
But Kal says that his latest role as Shaan Tripathi on Clarice is unlike any project he’s worked on before. Now that the season is well underway, fans still don’t know much about Kal’s character and are wondering whether the actor is still starring on the show. So, did Kal Penn leave Clarice?
Did Kal Penn leave ‘Clarice’?
In Clarice, Kal Penn plays Shaan Tripathi, a federal agent with a background in library science. Although we haven’t been told much about Shaan just yet, Kal Penn did confirm that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
In an interview with CBS correspondent Matt Weiss, Kal said that we will learn more about the book smart widower in upcoming episodes. He shared, “Early on, we don’t really know a lot about him. I think you’ll find out stuff about him halfway through the season around episode six, then again in episodes 11, 12, and 13.”
Kal compared the series to his experience on House, which, despite his controversial exit, he found very interesting.
He continued, “The interesting thing about that is a show like this, it almost reminds me of when I was on House. You don’t know everything about a character right off the bat because it’s such a big group. Each week you learn a little bit more about somebody, a little bit more after that.”
Kal also opened up about how his character adds value to the FBI. He shared, “He probably worked at the Smithsonian before he joined the FBI, which means that his angle in trying to solve these cases is from things like, discovering.”
He added, “Somebody was wearing a vintage jacket; he knows the material that it was made out of. It reminds him of a clue that might help solve the case. It’s kind of offbeat stuff like that.”
According to Kal, who says that he’s a Silence of The Lambs superfan, his relationship and bond with the show’s lead character, Clarice Starling (played by Rebecca Breeds), will evolve over time.”The origin story of that relationship is Clarice comes from behavioral sciences, which is not a field that’s well understood in 1993, in our world.”
Kal continued, “Because Shaan Tripathi, my character, comes from the museum world, he’s one of the only people on the team who approaches his FBI work in a non-traditional way. The two of them — you kind of get the sense that there may be bonding off of the fact that they both come from different worlds. Because of that, Shaan trusts Clarice a little earlier than the rest of the team.”
Watch Kal Penn as Shaan Tripathi on Clarice Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.