Screen Actors Guild Awards, star on the Mangalorean Horizon, Freida Pinto

18 01 2009

16slid124-year-old Freida Pinto, the female star of the new movie, “Slumdog Millionaire” traces her roots to Mangalore. The movie, by British director Danny Boyle, has won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. 

Freida Pinto traversed the modeling circuit in Mumbai [represented by Elite Model Management India] for two years before gaining her big break when director Danny Boyle picked her out in the audition process to play the female lead, Latika for Slumdog Millionaire.

Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of how Jamal, a contestant on reality show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ uses this medium to contact his childhood love, Latika.  Dev Patel plays the male lead.  {my favorite movie for the year.}

Surprisingly, Freida, who studied at Mumbai’s St. Xaviers College, only began taking acting classes  after completing her debut film – when she attended a three-month workshop by Barry John, the veteran theatre guru.

Before this year, from 2006- to 2007, she anchored “Full Circle,” a travel show which was telecast on Zee International Asia Pacific. She went on assignments to Afghanistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Fiji among other countries.

Freida is trained in some forms of Indian classical dance as well as Salsa.

Who are your favourite stars?

I liked Charlize Theron in Monster. I also like Irrfan Khan, Rajat Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, Marlyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman, Shabana Azmi, Kevin Beacon, Johnny Depp, Smita Patil.

On why she thinks “Slumdog” was a success: 

I think it is a success is because it is based on a universal topic. It is about an underdog who has a dream and he goes gunning for his dream, won’t stop at anything until he gets what he wants. So it’s a universal theme. You struggle in life, you literally fall flat on your face many times and then finally you pick yourself up and get what you want, after a lot of struggle. It is a very inspirational story and most people can relate to it which is why everybody is going crazy, because the film has perfect comic-timing, a love story and a class struggle, deceit, redemption. It’s also got a very interesting ending to it. 


On her quick rise to fame from Bollywood to Hollywood, Freida Pinto exclaims, “It just came to me. I just wanted to act, and so when Bollywood came to my door, who am I to shut the door and say “No”? So when Bollywood came to me, I just accepted the role!” 

Freida is a great example of someone who helps shed light on a place in the world most Americans may not know about. (She is from Mangalore.) Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka and is bounded by the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges.

Her words of encouragement? “Go for your dream, believe in yourself and it will happen.”


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