Let Freida Ring
Meet Model-Turned-Actress Freida Pinto, Star of "Slumdog Millionaire"
By Sara Costello
Photographed by Derin Thorpe
The question asked throughout the film Slumdog Millionaire, which took a top prize at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, is one of fate: Is it written? For the film's actress, Freida Pinto, the question is more: "How can it not be?" The leap from unknown model in her native India (with a side gig as a clown at children's parties) to her first acting job under the direction of Danny Boyle has, at least for now, affirmed her fate as an actress. "I don't say things like ‘this is my destiny,' but you have that deep feeling that it was meant to be," says Pinto, 24. One such affirming moment came when she was stepping into her first scene, full of doubt. "Then I just told myself to go out there with all guns blazing," she recalls.
The actress credits Boyle's magic touch as a director for helping to build her confidence. "He has a panache for the extraordinary and does a brilliant job of putting you in the moment. So much so that at the end of the day you don't know if you're still floating, still filming or what's reality," Pinto says. All poise and manners, the young actress looks out the window on a rainy midtown Manhattan afternoon: "I've only been here one day and I already love it. It's Bombay but more organized. I would move to Manhattan in a minute!"
Darren Kinoshita * Hair and Makeup by Rob Harmon for Anderson Hopkins * Freida wears a shirt by Vicente Villarin and denim skirt by Guess by Marciano.