Freida Pinto

  • Actor

Oct 18, 1984  in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Also Known as: Freida Selena Pinto, Fro

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An Indian actress who gained instant fame with her very first movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Freida Pinto is not only popular among Indian audiences, but has also made a mark among international audiences with her work in American and British films. After winning awards for her debut movie performance, one of the biggest commercial successes of her career came with the 2011 science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Other movies that she is best remembered for are director Michael Winterbottom's Trishna (2011) and the British biographical drama Desert Dancer (2015).

Born in Mumbai to a Mangalorean Catholic family, Freida studied at the Carmel of St. Joseph School in Malad. She continued her education at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, where she majored in English literature, with minors in Psychology and Economics. Frederick Pinto, her father, was a senior branch manager for the Bank of Baroda, and her mother Sylvia Pinto, was the principal of St. John's Universal School in Goregaon, Mumbai. She has one elder sister Sharon, who works for NDTV. Freida had a keen interest in acting since a very young age, and aspired to become an actress when she was just five years old. When she was a kid, she often dressed up as television actors and imitated them. Watching the film Monster (2003) during college, convinced her to take up acting professionally. She started modeling in 2005 and joined Elite Model Management India, which she was associated with for two and a half years.

Freida was engaged to Rohan Antao, her publicist at that time, before she entered the film industry. She broke up with him in January 2009 and started dating her Slumdog Millionaire co-star Dev Patel, whom she dated for six years, but the couple amicably split in December 2014.


Freida bagged her role to fame Latika in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) after six months of extensive auditions, which was what it took the actress to convince director Danny Boyle to select her for the film. She played the love interest of the main character Jamal, portrayed by Dev Patel. She emerged as a big hit with her first film itself getting her several nominations for Best Supporting Actress at BAFTA Awards, Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Kiss (shared with Dev Patel) at MTV Movie Awards, Choice Movie Fresh Face Female, Choice Movie Actress: Drama and Choice Movie Liplock (Shared with Dev Patel) at Teen Choice Awards. Freida's second release was the English-language Spanish-American film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, under the direction of Woody Allen. She followed this up with the lead role of a Palestinian girl Miral in the 2010 biographical political film titled Miral, but the movie received negative reviews.

The actress' next appearance came in the huge critical and commercial hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), a science fiction film directed by Rupert Wyatt. She plays the role of a primatologist Caroline Aranha in the movie, opposite James Franco as the male lead. The British-Swedish-Indian drama film Trishna, which revolves around the romance between a poor woman, played by Freida, and the son (Riz Ahmed) of a hotel owner, received only mixed reviews. The Qatari film Day of the Falcon, under the direction of Jean-Jacques Annaud, was her next. In the same year, she was seen in the huge commercially successful film Immortals opposite Henry Cavill. She then went on to play the lead role opposite Reece Ritchie in the critically acclaimed drama film Desert Dancer (2015), based on the true story of a dancer Afshin Ghaffarian in Iran, who pursued his passion for dancing in spite of a dancing ban.

The Colombian English-language action film Blunt Force Trauma in 2015 revolved around Freida's search for her brother's killer, but only received average reviews. The actress' 2017 release includes the Indian film Love Sonia, under the direction of Tabrez Noorani, with Mrunal Thakur as the lead character whereas Freida plays a significant role with others like Demi Moore, Manoj Bajpayee, and Richa Chadda. Her other projects include a voiceover in the animated movie Yamasong: March of the Hollows for the character of Geta, and director Andy Serkis' adventure fantasy film Jungle Book in the role of Messua.

At the initial stage of her career, Freida was selected as the host of the international travel show Full Circle in 2006 that aired on Zee International Asia Pacific. This travel show got her to travel to numerous countries like Fiji, Singapore, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Malaysia. Her next appearance was as a guest star in the popular romantic comedy television series The Mindy Project in 2015, followed by the BBC documentary television series India: Nature's Wonderland in the same year. She plays the lead role in the six-part British drama miniseries Guerrilla opposite stars like Idris Elba, and Babou Ceesay, with the show receiving positive critical acclaim and favorable audience response.