Kal Penn — who put the brakes on his acting career two years ago when he traded in his regular gig on House for a job in the Obama administration — is returning to TV with a major recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, sources confirm to TVLine exclusively.
A show rep declined to comment, but a Mother source says Penn will play a possible love interest for Cobie Smulders’ lovelorn Robin named Kevin.
Penn’s arrival of course reunites him with Neil Patrick Harris, who played, well, “Neil Patrick Harris” to his Kumar in the Harold & Kumar films.
Penn is slated to vacate his White House post — where he served as associate director in the office of public liaison — later this month. (Obama may not be losing Penn for long though. Sources have him hitting the campaign trail with the prez in 2012.)
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HIMYM exec producer Craig Thomas strongly hinted to TVLine in May that Robin would jump back into the dating scene, especially now that her maybe-soul mate Barney had moved on with Nora: “Robin didn’t do a hell of a lot of dating at all [last season]; she was more [immersed in] switching careers,” he said. “Now, Robin, who’s single and is looking forward a little bit, can’t help but wonder if what happened between her and Barney could have been something more had they been more ready.”
Barney growing up a bit via Nora “has not gone unnoticed by Robin, who did not have a serious love interest this past year. She’s definitely going to have to wrestle with that at the start of Season 7.”
How I Met Your Mother kicks off its seventh season on Sept. 19.
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