RD / Leon / Retna Digital
RD / Leon / Retna Digital

Entertainment Tonight -- Viewers of last night's episode of the FOX doctor drama "House" know that actor Kal Penn departed the show in a shocking twist. Now find out why he is taking a break from acting to work for President Barack Obama.

Penn, whose character Dr. Lawrence Kutner committed suicide in the episode, tells Entertainment Weekly that he decided himself to leave the show so he could spend time working on his other career passion.

"I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House. I got to know the president and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there, so I'm going to be the associate director in the White House Office of Public Liaison," Penn tells the magazine.

He said his new position will focus on doing outreach activities to help connect the general public and the White House. "I've been thinking about [moving into politics] for a while. I love what I do as an actor. I couldn't love it more. But probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service."