Ahead of the release of his memoir, You Can't Be Serious, the Harold & Kumar star revealed his engagement to Josh, his partner of 11 years, in a new interview with People.
"I've always been very public with everybody I've personally interacted with. Whether it's somebody that I meet at a bar, if Josh and I are out or we're talking to friends," Penn told the publication on Sunday, saying that he was "excited to share our relationship" with the public for the first time.
He added that the book would entail stories about his work life, parents and his "love life with Josh and how we met," who he started dating in Washington DC back while working under the Obama administration. However, Penn remembered being surprised when Josh showed up at his apartment for their first date with an 18-pack of Coors Light and switched the TV to NASCAR, saying, "I thought, 'This obviously is not going to work out. I have one day off from The White House and this dude is unironically watching cars go around and make left turns?'"
Even so, it wasn't long until they started "watching NASCAR every Sunday," with Penn wondering what was happening all the while. He then went on to explain that this was just one of the many heartwarmingly funny anecdotes he wanted to share with readers so it feels like "we're having a beer together."
"That was the way that my friends have met my parents and Josh, as they've gotten to know them over the last 10 years," Penn said.
According to the actor though, he discovered his sexuality relatively later in life, though he always had the full support of his family and friends.
"I know this sounds jokey, but it's true: When you've already told your Indian parents and the South Asian community that you intend to be an actor for a living, really any conversations that come after that are super easy," Penn said. "They're just like, 'Yeah, okay.' ... That's a wonderful thing."
And though Penn feels "very fortunate" to have their acceptance, he also said that Josh and his family are "fairly quiet" and tend to "shy away from the limelight" because they "don't love attention." As such, while Penn wants a big Indian wedding, Josh would like a "quick 20-minute thing with our families," meaning they'll have to meet somewhere "halfway in the middle" — though we're sure it'll be a beautiful ceremony, regardless.