Acclaimed director Danny Boyle’s newest film “Slumdog Millionaire” has won the top prize at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival earning the People’s Choice Award which is voted on by festival audiences. Starring Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal, and Freida Pinto along with veteran Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan, the film is based on the best-selling novel ‘Q and A’ by Vikas Swarup and tells the story about an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” Newcomer Freida Pinto stars as Latika, the “desire” throughout the entire film. We interviewed Freida to find out more about this former model and up & coming actress.
ASIANCE: How were you cast for the part, a model turned actress?
Freida Pinto: They had the casting call for Latika in Slumdog and then one of the other girls told me Danny was coming down and he was going to audition me. I was really excited because I knew it was going to be a feature with a big audition process before it got finalized and so I got to know about it before getting on board.
ASIANCE: How was it working with Danny Boyle?
Freida Pinto: I think the best thing about Danny is he is great but also the fact that he is not from Bombay. It worked to his advantage because he was always eager to learn more. And he always went out of his way to learn more and work with the actors. He’s not just a great director but also a great teacher. He teaches you technicalities and what the performance is trying to articulate, so it was lovely to work with him.
ASIANCE: Since the first screening and all the great reviews do you feel your career is taking off? How have you changed personally?
Freida Pinto: I definitely feel I am a lot more confident now to go out there and go on auditions. So definitely a lot more confident.
ASIANCE: How do you spend your time in India, when you are in Bombay?
Freida Pinto: I love watching films. I go out with friends. I live in Bombay. I am a Bombay girl. Not just during the weekend but during the daytime, just exploring the city. I love going to the South Side of Bombay, which is the only part of Bombay that has such great architecture to it, which I studied.
Watch a video with Director Danny Boyle on Freida
ASIANCE: What are your next projects in the future?
Freida Pinto: I have no idea. I wish I knew but I have no idea!
ASIANCE: But you feel the film has helped shaped your career path and recognition of you as an actress?
Freida Pinto: I hope so, because it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and it’s a destiny. There are so many obstacles to get there and you don’t know what it will be like and now the film is doing very well, so. It’s very exciting.
ASIANCE: Have you experienced something like the intense love story in the film between you and Dev Patel? You were a great actress in it, how did you portray that romance?
Freida Pinto: I have to draw from particular experiences, definitely. I think for me it is a romantic fairy tale and definitely a fairy tale experience just filming it. So, yes I felt it when acting. The other parts of it, the love chase all through India, that is definitely a fairy tale! (Laughter). But I love it and believe in it.
ASIANCE: You believe it is a story that could really happen?
Freida Pinto: Absolutely. It’s a story that can definitely happen. And I think a lot of people loved it so much because they can see different parts of it in their life as well, be it the “slumdog’ aspect or the love story in there- it’s definitely believable.
ASIANCE: Well, your work was amazing in it and we cannot wait to see you in your next film -and good luck with the opening here in New York and The U.S.!
Freida Pinto: Thank you, thank you so much!
ASIANCE: Slumdog Millionaire is opening in New York, LA and San Francisco on November 12th.