Names & Faces: Kal Penn, Jesse James, George Stephanopolous and Susan Sarandon
Kal Penn leaving D.C.
Kalpen Modi is trading the White House for White Castle.
The actor-turned-associate director of public engagement at the White House, better known by his stage name Kal Penn, is headed back to Hollywood, his reps tell Entertainment Weekly. The White House opted not to comment, telling us Modi "has no announcements to make about his tenure here at this point."
Up next for the erstwhile wonk? Another "Harold and Kumar" movie! This one, due out in 2011, will be Christmas-themed; the studio is weighing whether to film it in 3-D. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Shortly after starting his White House job in July, Modi was vague about his plans, saying he had no "specific timetable" for sticking around Washington. The 32-year-old cut a low profile in town, only occasionally being recognized by fellow pedestrians on his short commute from the Logan/Dupont area. But he caught some good stuff while he was here: the health-care debate, last year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner and the November state dinner for the prime minister of India -- at which he managed to avoid being photographed with party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi.
Jesse James a 'broken man'
Dying to hear how Jesse James is feeling right now? Okay, then: He's "a broken man" who hopes that rehab and some privacy will help save his marriage to Sandra Bullock, his attorney tells the Associated Press.
James checked into rehab after weeks of reports that he cheated on Bullock throughout their marriage. His lawyer, Joe Yanny, declined to say what James is being treated for, but said people shouldn't assume it's sex addiction. Yanny also wouldn't say whether the couple plans to divorce.
"The allegations back and forth about what happened -- those are private matters to be resolved between a husband and a wife," the lawyer said. "It's not appropriate for a public airing."
Stephanopolous's house sells
George Stephanopolous and Ali Wentworth have sold their Georgetown home for $5.45 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The couple recently moved the family to New York, where Stephanopolous has a new gig co-hosting "Good Morning America." The four-story, five-bedroom brick manse, which includes three fireplaces, a flagstone patio and a private elevator, was listed for $6.35 million in January. It was $5.2 million when they snatched it up in 2006.
For the record: "I'm bisexual," says actress Anna Paquin, 27, in an online video for the Give a Damn Campaign (it promotes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality). The former child star and Oscar winner, now engaged to "True Blood" co-star Stephen Moyer, 40, had not previously commented on her sexuality.
Quoted: "I did a movie a long time ago where I had to fly in a glider. . . . It's exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. That's where I am now." -- Susan Sarandon, 63, to Entertainment Weekly on her newly single state (she split with longtime love Tim Robbins in December). No comment on rumors that she's romantically involved with Jonathan Bricklin, 31, her business partner in a New York Ping-Pong club.
-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports