Freida Pinto Talks Race, Relationships, and Why She’s Tired of Playing the Pretty Girl

My first encounter with Freida Pinto isn’t quite what I expected. After Red’s shoot, during which she hugs everyone, nibbles on almonds and twirls in Erdem and Valentino, Pinto, her publicist and I hop in a taxi to her central London hotel, where our interview is scheduled to take place. I’m hopeful for a pre-interview natter. Instead, Pinto announces she’s going to nap. I wonder if this is a canny tactic to avoid talking to a journalist more than is absolutely necessary. Within seconds, despite the rush-hour traffic and a brake-happy cab driver, she’s asleep. The driver, her publicist and I sit in hushed silence, for fear of waking her, for the next 25 minutes.

Both Pinto and the situation perk up, however, when we arrive. “I needed that,” smiles the actress, 32. “I was up until 3am working.” She seems so grateful for the shut-eye, I instantly forgive her for not indulging me with small talk. Publicist gone, we ensconce ourselves in the squishy Chesterfield sofas of the hotel’s drawing room. Pinto orders the baked apples with cinnamon that the kitchen prepare especially for her (“I don’t eat sugar, but I love a treat in the evening”) and sips still water. She’s casual – indigo Mother jeans, a Madewell Breton top, and a grey Lavish Alice coatigan) but properly, effulgently beautiful, all cut-glass cheekbones and Colgate-ad teeth. For the next hour she talks animatedly.

After playing sweet, shy Latika in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, the 2009 film which propelled Pinto to stardom, I was expecting to meet a wallflower, but Pinto is anything but. Where some A-Listers might shy away from talking politics, we dive straight in. Her latest project is Guerrilla, a six-part thriller set in 1970s London about the real-life Black Power Desk, a secretive counter-intelligence unit of the police that was dedicated to crushing black activism. Pinto plays Jas, a political protester turned radical militant. She wastes no time in comparing the plot to today’s politics. “There’s Brexit, Black Lives Matter, Syria… The show feels very ‘of the moment’,” she says.

As is evident on her Instagram page, Pinto went on the Women’s March in LA in January, rallying with a friend atop her shoulders. “What’s happening right now isn’t just political, it’s inhumane,” she explains. “It’s divisive. I have friends in the Muslim nations aff ected by the travel ban. This is not the US I came to. I was accepted after arriving from India and being in one film.”

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Freida Pinto isn’t Afraid to Speak Her Mind – Even if it Gets Her into Trouble

Freida PintoFreida Pinto is featured inside the pages of People magazine’s annual “World’s Most Beautiful” issue, as she talks about speaking your mind and acting in Guerrilla. Here’s a few excerpts from her interview:

Freida Pinto isn’t one to keep her opinions to herself. “I’m not afraid to speak my mind, and that can get me into trouble,” admits the actress — she stars as ’70s radical Jas in the Showtime miniseries Guerrilla — in the current issue of PEOPLE. “For me [social and political activism] is the only thing that matters.”

The role of Jas is one that Pinto jumped at the opportunity to play. “As a female actor it is a lot harder to come across roles that explore every aspect of the character, not just her beauty,” says the women’s rights advocate. “But Jas and I are similar in our passion.”

Pinto considers herself “really blessed” to have a career in Hollywood but is also “superaware of the fickleness of it all and how fleeting” stardom can be. And despite any ups and downs she’s had through her career, the 32-year-old says she wouldn’t go back and do anything differently.

“I’m just glad that I did everything I had to do in my 20s and got everything out of my system between 18 and 25,” she says. “Now I know what I don’t want. I wouldn’t change anything. If you don’t make mistakes, you never learn.”

For more with Freida Pinto, get the World’s Most Beautiful-issue of People magazine – on newsstands now!

Source: People

Freida Pinto on the Life-Changing Magic of Saying “No”

Can someone in Hollywood please find a funny role for Freida Pinto? Her sister, Sharon, is begging you.

When the 32-year-old actress told her sibling she’d signed on to make Showtime’s ’70s underground activist drama Guerrilla, Sharon had some concerns: “Do you get raped? Do you get killed? What happens?”

Understandable. Since Pinto hip-swiveled and thumka’d off the screen of 2009’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and into fashion magazine pages everywhere, she’s appeared in a host of serious-issue films. Movies like Miral, directed by Julian Schnabel, about a Palestinian girl caught in the Arab-Israeli conflict; Desert Dancer, about a young Iranian who risks his life to work for his art; and the upcoming Love Sonia, a drug-trafficking drama in which Pinto stars as the owner of a brothel.

Now, in Guerrilla, written and produced by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and co-starring Idris Elba, Pinto plays a nurse radicalized by an underground cell in London in the early 1970s. Pinto describes the six-episode series as “my dream television gig”—i.e., “six heavy, intense, juicy, entertaining episodes of something that will get people talking.

But Pinto is also ready for an upbeat turn, and she promises she’s not as dark as some of her roles suggest. “I’m very bright on life in general,” she says, sipping a turmeric latte with almond milk, no sweetener, at Bardonna, a coffee-house in Larchmont, near her Los Angeles home. “But in performances, I like getting out of myself.” Plus Guerrilla, she says, has at least a few moments of lightness and levity. (Sharon apparently responded to this by saying Pinto had “a very f—ed-up sense of ‘light.’ ”)

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Freida Pinto in British Vogue’s May Issue

Freida Pinto is featured in the May issue of the British edition of Vogue magazine to promote her new mini-series Guerrilla. She’s included in the “television portfolio” among other actresses such as Michelle Dockery, Kate Bosworth, Jenna Coleman and more. See a stunning picture of Freida in this post, and read a quote from her interview below. Magazine scans will be added as soon as we can get our hands on a copy. Check back later for that!

“I have to admit, I think the Brits had it right way before the Americans when it came to TV,” Freida Pinto said about filming Guerrilla – her first ever television role – in London. “I grew up in India watching British television and it was always intelligent and always entertaining. It felt like coming home.”

Freida Pinto Takes a Stance in “Guerrilla”

Freida Pinto thinks everyone would benefit from a little bit of improv.

“I think, even for people who aren’t actors, it is great to take an improv class. It is great to unleash something within you in an environment that is healthy instead of lashing out or heating up,” explains Pinto, colorful in a Temperley outfit on an otherwise gray New York day. “I kind of feel like I grow every day, learning so much about people — people that I don’t meet, but I play them — and so I learn to empathize more. I think this is the most important thing [for actors] because sometimes we play some unsavory characters.”

The Indian actress has picked up her first television role, starring alongside Idris Elba and Babou Ceesay in the limited Showtime series “Guerrilla.” The six episode political drama, which premieres on April 16, was produced and written by Oscar winner John Ridley, who also directed three episodes. The show is set in London in the politically and racially turbulent early Seventies amid the rise of the Black Power movement.

“I actually heard about the show last year in March, before the auditions and the casting process had even started. My team had already read the pilot episode and they were like, ‘There is a show that John Ridley is directing and has written as well, and there’s nothing to change about this character. It’s almost like it’s written for you,’” Pinto recalls. “But, obviously, it wasn’t written for me, and I had to go out and fight for it.”

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