Freida Pinto

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Biography

A former model and television presenter, Freida Pinto made an impressive debut as the childhood sweetheart of a young Indian game show contestant in "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008). Though her previous work had made her a household name in South Asian countries, the runaway success of "Millionaire" gave her unprecedented exposure to a global audience, which was near-universally charmed by her emotionally charged performance. The shower of …
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Job Title

Actor

Born

October 18, 1984

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About

A former model and television presenter, Freida Pinto made an impressive debut as the childhood sweetheart of a young Indian game show contestant in "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008). Though her previous work had made her a household name in South Asian countries, the runaway success of "Millionaire" gave her unprecedented exposure to a global audience, which was near-universally charmed by her emotionally charged performance. The shower of accolades earned by the film during the 2008 award season seemed to indicate that Pinto would not have long to access the upper echelons of Hollywood and beyond.

Born Oct. 18, 1984 in Mumbai, India, she was one of two daughters born to bank manager Frederick Pinto and his wife Sylvia, a school principal; sister Sharon later became an associate producer for the NDTV news channel. After graduating from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai, Pinto's dream of becoming an actress began with work as a popular model on the Indian circuit; among her considerable campaigns in print and on television between 2005 and 2008 were spots and layouts for eBay, De Beers, MTV and India Today. In 2006, she added television presenter to her rapidly expanding resume by hosting the travel series "Full Circle" for the Zee Channel International Asia Pacific network. The program took Pinto to vacation spots throughout the Asian subcontinent, as well as to politically significant areas like Afghanistan to showcase the devastation wreaked upon its history and culture by international conflict.

In 2007, Pinto took the next step to making her acting goal a reality by auditioning for features. After six months of rigorous tryouts, she earned her acting debut when director Danny Boyle selected her from hundreds of hopefuls to play the heroine of "Slumdog Millionaire." She then underwent an intensive three-month course in acting with theater coach Barry John before commencing work on "Millionaire." The training appeared to have paid off; Pinto's performance as the orphan girl Latika, who endures poverty and exploitation before her rescue by the film's hero (Dev Patel), was filled with an impressive degree of grit for a first-time performer. Critics around the globe appeared to agree - in particular the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, who bestowed a 2009 nomination for Best Supporting Actress on her.