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Kal Penn to Star as Indian American Doctor Accused of Involvement in Tragic Death of Actress Anna Nicole Smith

Kal Penn to Star as Indian American Doctor Accused of Involvement in Tragic Death of Actress Anna Nicole Smith

  • Based on Dr. Sandeep Kapoor’s 2017 book “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor,” the film will also be produced by the actor of ‘Harold and Kumar’ fame.

Kal Penn will star in “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor,” a film that chronicles the final days of the actress and model Anna Nicole Smith. Her “accidental overdose death in 2007 at the age of 39 sparked a tabloid feeding frenzy,” Variety reported. 

The Indian American actor will play portray Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, the Los Angeles-based physician who treated Smith and prescribed her medicines like Vicodin and methadone. He was accused of eight offenses in 2009, including obtaining fake prescriptions, improperly prescribing a prohibited substance, and conspiring to furnish controlled substances. The court subsequently ruled that there was insufficient evidence of his guilt, and he was exonerated of all accusations.

The film is based on Kapoor’s 2017 memoir of the same name. This is the second film about Smith to move forward in recent months, after the biopic “Hurricanna” wrapped production in late December, with Sylvia Hoeks and Holly Hunter in the lead roles, the Variety report said. 

Written and directed by Thane Economou, the film follows “Smith’s pain-medication doctor whose life was turned upside down when he was implicated in her wrongful death trials,” Variety said. Smith married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, who she met while performing at a strip club. Marshall, who held a 16% stake in Koch Industries, died 14 months later in 1995, “and the fight over his billions sparked litigation that went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Variety said. 

Penn is executive producing the film as well,  alongside Dan Spilo. Shooting begins in the spring in Toronto. Variety also noted that “a search for the actress who will play Smith is underway, and the rest of the cast is coming together.”

Penn, who is coming off two successful stints as a guest host of “The Daily Show,” was nominated for a CAFE Emmy for his work on “The Santa Clauses,” He  collaborated with Snoop Dog on “The Underdoggs” and recently appeared in the horror hit film “Smile.” 

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He became a household name after starring in“Harold and Kumar” films and as a sports medicine doctor on the hit TV show “House.” The New Jersey native has worked as an associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he was President Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts communities in America. In that role, he worked on a range of issues, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, arts and culture programs, the DREAM Act, and rapid response to the BP Oil Spill and earthquake in Haiti.

He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology and Film Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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