Art literally imitates life as Kal Penn stars in comedy series about coming out later in life

Actor Kal Penn to star in comedy series about coming out in your 40s

Actor Kal Penn will star in a comedy series about coming out in your 40s, just weeks after he came out as gay himself. 

Penn, 44, who has appeared in Harold & Kumar and How I Met Your Mother, will reportedly star in the pilot about a newly-out doctor attempting to co-parent with his ex-wife, while navigating new love. 

Deadline reports that the pilot, named Belated, will also chronicle the main character’s friendship with a trans teenager.

Penn appeared to confirm the news on Instagram, with a post saying: “This script is incredible! Couldn’t be more excited and thankful to be joining”. 


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The show is written, directed, and executive produced by Peter Tolan, who also came out publicly as gay later in life, acknowledging his sexuality in a 2014 interview. 

Penn revealed in October that he is engaged to his partner of 11 years.

The actor opened up about his relationship with his fiancé Josh in his new memoir You Can’t Be Serious

Speaking to People about the book, Penn revealed that he met Josh during his two-year hiatus from the television and film industries, which he spent working for Barack Obama in the White House.

He said he met Josh in Washington DC after he discovered his sexuality “relatively late in life compared to many other people”.

Kal Penn recently announced he is engaged to his partner of 11 years (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Explaining to People, Penn said he’s never made any effort to hide his sexuality, but had previously chosen not to speak publicly as his partner and family tend to “shy away from the limelight”.

He expanded on this as he answered fans’ questions for a Reddit AMA on 1 November.

“I figured out my sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people – I know there’s no timeline on this kinda stuff, so I’m very happy that I did when I did,” Penn said.

“Josh and I have been together for 11 years and (like my parents) he doesn’t love attention, so it was a tricky dance that I know many couples to, out of respect to their partners’ privacy, on how much of their lives to share and when.”