Kal Penn on Working at The White House Designated Survivor

I MENTIONED EARLIER YOU WORKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE. WHICH IS I'M SURE YOU PROBABLY GET TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT. SUCH A NOVELTY FOR AN ACTOR TO HAVE HAD A REAL JOB. TO LIKE GO BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN A REAL LIKE SERIOUS JOB. I'M SO INTERESTED. >> IT WAS AMAZING, MAN. LOOK, I NEVER THOUGHT -- THAT WAS NEVER REALLY A GOAL PER SE. I WORKED ON THE PRESIDENT'S 2007 -- EX-PRESIDENT'S 2007 CAMPAIGN. IT JUST SORT OF FLOWED INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AT THE WHITE HOUSE. BUT INCREDIBLE. I AGREE WITH YOU. SIT AGENT A DESK FOR 18 HOURS A DAY AS OPPOSED TO BEING IN YOUR TRAILER WITH PEOPLE BRINGING YOU COFFEE IS VERY DIFFERENT. >> Jimmy: WERE YOU WORKING 18 HOURS A DAY? >> TACKLING HEALTH CARE AND THINGS LIKE THAT. >> Jimmy: WAS IT FUN? WAS IT REWARDING? DO YOU FEEL NOW LIKE YOU'RE WASTING YOUR LIFE? >> MY FIRST LOVE IS ALWAYS FILMMAKING AND COMEDY AND THINGS LIKE THAT. >> Jimmy: GOTCHA. >> BUT YEAH, INCREDIBLY REWARDING. >> Jimmy: ON "DESIGNATED SURVIVOR" YOU'RE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THAT MUST BE KIND OF WEIRD TO BE WORKING ON A SET THAT'S A RECREATION OF THE PLACE YOU ACTUALLY WORKED AT IN THE FIRST PLACE. >> YEAH, THAT'S A LITTLE STRANGE. THINGS ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE ON OUR SET. >> Jimmy: THEY ARE. >> EXCEPT THE OVAL OFFICE IS TO SCALE AND THEY'VE DONE A GREAT JOB REPLICATING IT. ALL THE OTHER ROOMS ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE, SOMETIMES YOU'LL GET LOST. >> Jimmy: DO YOU CORRECT THEM WHEN THINGS ARE NOT EXACTLY AS THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE? THE PEOPLE ON THE SET? >> SOMETIMES. IT'S ALSO, YOU KNOW -- I THINK PART OF NOT CORRECTING THEM IS LETTING THEM GO CRAZY WITH THE FICTION. WHICH IS PROBABLY WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE, INSTEAD OF JUST THE ACCURACY. >> Jimmy: I SEE. SOMETIMES THERE MUST BE THINGS THAT YOU GO, NO, THAT GUY WOULDN'T STAND THERE LIKE THAT. THIS GUY WOULDN'T DO THAT. DO YOU KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT BECAUSE IT'S ANNOYING TO OTHERS? >> THIS IS A POINT OF CONTENTION. I FEEL LIKE I'M ALWAYS THE ANNOYING ONE. >> Jimmy: UH-HUH, OKAY. >> BUT I SAY IT ANYWAY. >> Jimmy: YOU DO, YEAH. >> A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE WILL GO -- YOU CAN'T SAY IT IN LIKE A NASTY WAY, RIGHT? >> Jimmy: RIGHT, RIGHT. >> SAY IT WITH A SMILE. THE WRITERS WILL GO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, WE'RE NOT DOING THAT. WHICH IS FINE. BUT IT'S FUN. >> Jimmy: NOW YOU'RE PLAYING THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, WHICH PROBABLY WHEN YOU SIGNED ON DIDN'T SEEM LIKE SUCH AN INTERESTING -- IT'S AN INTERESTING JOB, BUT NOW IT'S THE MOST INTERESTING JOB IN THE WORLD. >> IT IS, YEAH. I WATCH A LOT OF SEAN SPICER'S PRESS BRIEFINGS TO LEARN SPECIFICALLY WHAT NOT TO DO. [ LAUGHTER ] AS A PRESS SECRETARY. BUT BEFORE THAT JOB, SEAN SPICER WAS VERY KIND IN LETTING ME SHADOW HIM A LITTLE BIT. I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO WORKED UP TO THE LAST DAY OF THE ADMINISTRATION. GOT A LOT OF FEEDBACK ON EXACTLY WHAT THAT JOB SHOULD BE LIKE. IT'S BEEN FUN. >> Jimmy: YOU'RE PLAYING IT MORE REALISTICALLY THAN THE GUY WHO'S ACTUALLY DOING IT. >> I GUESS. [ LAUGHTER ] WHEN WE FIRST STARTED, THE WRITERS HAD ASKED ME WHAT'S A PRESS SECRETARY'S JOB LIKE? MY BIGGEST NOTE FOR THEM WAS, NO MATTER WHAT, THE PRESS SECRETARY DOES NOT LIE TO PEOPLE. DOESN'T LIE TO JOURNALISTS, DOESN'T LIE. THEN YOU LOSE CREDIBILITY AND YOUR BOSS, THE PRESIDENT, LOSES CREDIBILITY. THEN LITERALLY SEAN SPICER'S FIRST PRESS BRIEFING, HE LIES ABOUT -- I HAD TO CALL THE WRITERS, I PROMISE YOU, STILL, PLEASE. >> Jimmy: THAT'S NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO, NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO. >> Jimmy: DO YOU EVER FEEL SORRY FOR HIM? I KNOW YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY DOING HIS JOB BUT THERE'S CONNECTION THERE. I SEE HIM, I SOMETIMES FEEL -- I LIKE TO IMAGINE HIM LOOKING AT TRUMP'S TWITTER IN THE MORNING GOING, OH MY GOD, WHAT AM I GOING TO SAY ABOUT THIS? >> NO, I DON'T FEEL BAD, WHY DO YOU FEEL SORRY -- THAT'S A JOB HE CHOSE AND THAT HE IS DOING A FANTASTIC JOB. >> Jimmy: MAYBE I HAVE MORE EMPATHY, I'M JUST A BETTER HUMAN BEING. >> YOU MIGHT BE. >> Jimmy: WE MAY LOOK ALIKE ON THE OUTSIDE BUT ON THE INSIDE -- >> YOU'RE JUST A BETTER PERSON. >> Jimmy: I'VE GOT A HEART OF GOLD. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] ARE YOU HAVING FUN? IS THIS A FUN SHOW TO DO IN GENERAL? >> I LOVE IT. WE FILM IN TORONTO. IT'S A GREAT CAST. >> Jimmy: DIDN'T YOU DO "HAROLD AND KUMAR" IN TORONTO? >> YOU HAVE A GREAT MEMORY. >> Jimmy: EVERYTHING IS IN TORONTO MONTHS IS WHAT IT IS. YOU DID THAT MOVIE UP IN TORONTO. THEN YOU CAME, YOU LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE TO DO THE CHRISTMAS "HAROLD AND KUMAR," CORRECT? >> YEAH. >> Jimmy: HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT TO OBAMA? HEY, I GOT THESE -- IT'S A WHOLE -- I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE SEEN -- HAD HE SEEN THE MOVIES? >> I THINK SO. HE'S VERY POP CULTURE SAVVY. BUT I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT THE BEST -- WHAT DO YOU SAY? I HAVE ANOTHER STONER MOVIE TO MAKE, SIR. I'M NOT GOING TO GET HEALTH CARE REFORM PASSED FOR 20 MILLION PEOPLE, I'M GOING TO FILM A MOVIE WITH A FRIEND IN TORONTO. IT WAS NICE TO GO BACK. >> Jimmy: I WOULD THINK SO. WELCOME BACK TO "FAKE REALITY." THE SHOW IS CALLED "DESIGNATED SURVIVOR."

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