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Interview : Freida Pinto

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‘My journey into films is very different from others.’



Post SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Freida Pinto has gone international…literally. Her performance in Woody Allen’s film YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER was much appreciated at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), recently held in Goa. The actor in conversation with our correspondent.

How was it being part of a Woody Allen film?
It was an honor to be part of a film directed by Woody Allen. I played a troubled character, a girl not knowing what she wants to do with her life…something which we all go through at some point of time in our life.

Your road to success was quite unusual. You started in 2008 and within two years you are doing only international films…
Definitely. I think, in a way, my journey into films is very different from others. To many it may sound like a fairytale thing, but there was a lot of struggle and hard work that went into shaping it up the way it looks today. In fact, I had to struggle a lot before I got SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and a lot more after the film was a success.

Because of expectations?
People thought things will now be easy for me after the success of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. But I had to really work hard in order to let people know that I deserve the first accolade that came my way.

Is it true that you have decided to stay away from Bollywood?
Not at all. All these are media speculations. I was misquoted. I would very much like to work not only in Bollywood, but also any Indian cinema, but only if the script is good; for me, script is the most important.

When you decided to become an actor, did you ever imagine that you will be doing international films?
Being born and brought up in India, I had a lot of exposure to Hindi cinema; and I highly appreciate all of them. But I never focused on being a Bollywood star or Hollywood actress. I always aspired to do films that come from any part of the world as long as they have a humane story that I could contribute to.

Do you miss staying away from India?
I always miss India. I always call home and say, ‘You know what? Today I thought about…let’s say…Worli Sea Face, and now I miss it like anything.’ Memories always come back and when they do, you want to go back and experience that again. But unfortunately, when you are miles and miles away from India, it is difficult to do so. So, all I can rely on, is memories. Also, I miss my mom’s cooking.

Being a Mumbaikar, what does the city signifies for you?
It signifies my childhood. I was born and brought up in Malad area of Mumbai. When we came back from school, in the evenings we used to play lagori (seven tiles) and langri (hopscotch). I am not a big fan of street food. But if somebody makes a vada pav, I wouln’t say ‘no’.

What are your future projects?
I am currently working on three projects-IMMORTALS by an Indian director Tarsem Singh, RISE OF APES (on animal testing) to be directed by Rupert Wyatt, and BLACK GOLD to be shot in Tunisia by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud.

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