Asian-American movie star Kal Penn refuses to act under his birth name KALPEN MODI - because he fears film roles would be limited to his ethnicity.
The Namesake star is convinced he wouldn't have had the opportunities he has enjoyed if he'd stubbornly stuck with his Indian name.
He says, "There were a couple of friends who said, 'If you use Kalpen Modi on your resume, you'll probably be more limited to roles.
"Whether it's less letters or a neutral sounding name, am I trying to sound less ethnic? Yeah. But I didn't want to come up with a completely separate name that has nothing to do with my own.
"So I just took my first name and split it in half."
And by doing so, Penn struck it lucky: "My parents' friends said that in ancient Hindu numerology the sequence of three letters and seven letters all together, with that combination, is considered very lucky."