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Freida Pinto

Freida PintoFreida Selena Pinto, born the 18th of October, 1984 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India is an Indian actress and model. Born to a Mangalorean Catholic family, she had always wanted to become an actress ever since she was a young girl. Prior to making acting her career, she worked as a model and television presenter, and performed on stage in plays while attending college. She continued to model for four years and enrolled in an acting course at the Barry John's Acting Studio in Mumbai where she was trained by Barry John, a theatre director.

Pinto rose to prominence playing the role of Latika in the 2008 British Indian drama film Slumdog Millionaire, the film that marked her first screen appearance. She won the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. She was also nominated at various award ceremonies such as the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) and MTV Movie Awards. Since then she has starred in a number of British-Indian and Indian-American productions, notably You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Immortals and Trishna where she played the titular character.

Freida PintoIn 2009 Pinto became romantically involved with Dev Patel, her co-star in Slumdog Millionaire, with whom she is currently living. Her off-screen pursuits include being a part of the Agassi Foundation, a philanthropic organisation started by Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf which is dedicated to providing education for deprived children. In 2013, she appeared in a video clip for Gucci's Chime for Change campaign to raise funds and awareness of women's issues in terms of education, health, and justice. In April 2013, Freida collaborated with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for the Call to Action - Girl Rising campaign. The documentary film Girl Rising made by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins, showcases the power of education in transforming the lives of girls around the globe.

Her surname reflects her Portuguese origins, being the result of her ancestors' conversion to Catholicism by missionaries. Her mother, Sylvia, is the principal of St. John's High School, and her father, Frederick, is a senior branch manager at the Bank of Baroda. She has an elder sister named Sharon, who is the associate producer of NDTV, a news channel. When she was only ten years of age, Sushmita Sen won the 1994 Miss Universe, which inspired Freida to become an actress and also turned out to be one of the defining points in her life. She studied at the Carmel of St. Joseph School in Malad, Mumbai where she participated in sports and sang in the school choir. She completed a degree in arts with a major in English Literature, and minors in Psychology and Economics, from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai.

Freida PintoPinto became an accomplished dancer in Salsa and Classical Indian dance and acted in plays and amateur theatre while attending college. She was signed by Elite Model Management and modeled for two-and-half years, during which she was featured in several television and print advertisements endorsing products such as Wrigley's Chewing Gum, Škoda, Vodafone India, Airtel, Visa, E-Bay and DeBeers. She continued to model for four years and appeared on the runway in fashion shows and on magazine covers, including Femina and FNL.

Before her full-time entry into films, Pinto anchored Full Circle, an international travel show which was aired on Zee International Asia Pacific in English from 2006 to 2008. During this time, she had the opportunity to visit countries like Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand and explore their different cultures. By that time Pinto had auditioned for numerous films, all of which turned out to be unsuccessful. Later in an interview while being questioned about her rejections she added,

"I'm glad things happened the way they happened. I needed to be rejected, and I needed to learn that it's part of the game. I may have 100 rejections, but I'm sure there's going to be one particular thing that is almost destined for me to have".

Freida PintoShe received a call for Slumdog Millionaire; she was short-listed and finally selected to star in the film. Directed by Danny Boyle the film starred Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan as well as Pinto. She played the role of Latika, the girl with whom Jamal, the film's lead character would fall in love. The film premiered at the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival where it won the Cadillac People's Choice Award. Slumdog Millionaire turned out to be a sleeper hit, receiving universal acclaim for its plot and soundtrack. It emerged as the most successful film at the 81st Academy Awards winning eight of the 10 nominations, including major categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film also gained nominations at various award ceremonies including the Golden Globe Awards, where it won four awards. Pinto herself was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2009 BAFTA Awards, and in addition, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture alongside other cast members from the film.

Freida next starred in the Woody Allen film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, alongside Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Anupam Kher and Naomi Watts. The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it received negative reviews. Freida played a minor role of the character named Dia. She next appeared in the 2011 science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a reboot of the Planet of the Apes series. She played Caroline, a primatologist, and was cast opposite James Franco. Pinto played the central character in her next production called Miral, a biographical film based on a powerful novel by Palestinian Rula Jebreal. Even though the film opened to negative reviews, one review from the East Bay Express noted:

"Pinto handles the central role with a certain dignity, but the real drama is in Miral's rejection of violence in favor of Hind Husseini’s (Abbass) example of education and negotiation."

Freida PintoFollowing that film, she starred in the 2011 fantasy-action-drama film called Immortals, in which she played the oracle priestess Phaedra. That same year she played Princess Lailah in the 1930s period drama film Black Gold where she was cast alongside Antonio Banderas and Mark Strong. Also in 2011, she starred in Michael Winterbottom's British drama film Trishna alongside Riz Ahmed where she played the titular character in the film. An acclimatization of Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the film first premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Described by The Guardian as a "seductive, allegorical study of male-female relationships", the film featured Freida as the daughter of a peasant who falls in love with a London-based hotelier, played by Ahmed. Unlike her previous films, Trishna got positive responses from critics and the film was nominated for the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival and Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Her forthcoming release called Desert Dancer is a biographical drama film that revolves around the life of a dancer. Pinto underwent very strenuous dance training consisting of eight hours of rehearsals each day lasting for 14 weeks for the role. As of 2013, she is scheduled to act with Christian Bale in Knight of Cups, and the romantic thriller NH10.

Freida PintoFreida has been included in numerous "Most Beautiful Women in the World" lists. In 2009, she was featured in the People Magazine "Most Beautiful People List", and "List of World's Best Dressed Women". The same year, the Daily Telegraph reported that she was the highest-paid Indian actress, although she had never appeared in any Bollywood films. She was also included in Vogue's 2009 list of the "Top Ten Most Stylish Women". On the 13th of May 2009, Freida became a new spokesmodel for L'Oréal. A controversy arose when she appeared for a TV commercial promoting L'Oreal, as many thought it to be racial discrimination from countries that are possessive about fair skin; the commercial showcased Pinto lighter than her true skin tone.

In 2010, she was featured in the "Top 99 Most Desirable Women" poll conducted by Askmen.com. Two years later, People Magazine named her one of the "Most Beautiful at Every Age". The following year she was voted the "Hottest Indian Chick" in a controversial poll conducted by GQ Magazine.

Freida has been criticised for having "shunned" the Indian film industry. However, she claimed that she is unable to find roles that suit her in Bollywood. She also stated that she enjoys watching Bollywood films and is keen to act in one in the future.

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List of films acted by Freida Pinto
Year Film Role Notes
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Latika Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Palm Springs International Film Festival – Breakthrough Performance Award
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Black Reel Awards of 2008 – Best Ensemble
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
2010 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Dia
2010 Miral Miral
2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes Caroline Aranha
2011 Immortals Phaedra
2012 Day of the Falcon Princess Leyla Film also referred to as Black Gold
2012 Trishna Trishna
2013 Knight of Cups Post-Production
2013 Desert Dancer Mentor Post-Production
2014 NH10 Detective Announced

Freida Pinto with Conan


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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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