Freida Selena Pinto is an Indian actress who has appeared mainly in American and British films. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Pinto gained an interest in acting at an early age and took part in amateur theater while she was a student at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, where she majored in English literature and minored in psychology and economics. Take a look below for 28 more awesome and fascinating facts about Freida Pinto.
1. Pinto was born on October 18, 1984, in Bombay, into a family of Mangalorean Catholics, a community from Mangalore in Karnataka.
2. Her mother Sylvia Pinto was the principal of St. John’s Universal School in Goregaon, Mumbai, and her father Frederick Pinto was a senior branch manager for the Bank of Baroda.
3. Her elder sister, Sharon, works for NDTV.
4. Pinto had a middle class upbringing in the suburb of Malad.
5. She first wanted to be an actress when she was five years old, often dressing up and imitating television actors during her childhood.
6. She later recalled being inspired by Sushmita Sen’s victory in the 1994 Miss Universe competition, explaining that “the country was really proud of her, and I was like, one day, I want to do the same”.
7. Pinto attended the Carmel of St. Joseph School in Malad, and then studied at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
8. Her major was in English literature, with minors in psychology and economics.
9. At college, she participated in amateur theater, but declined acting and modeling assignments until her graduation in 2005.
10. Despite her interest in acting from an early age, Pinto was undecided on which career path to take until watching Monster (2003) while at college. She stated: “I guess it was when I watched Monster … I pretty much knew. I had to find a way. I had to do something like that, something completely transformational.”
11. In 2005, Pinto began a modeling career and joined Elite Model Management India, with whom she worked for two and a half years.
12. She was featured in several television and print advertisements for products such as Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, Škoda, Vodafone India, Airtel, Visa, eBay and De Beers.
13. Around the same time, Pinto began going to auditions for films and television shows. She was chosen to host Full Circle, an international travel show that aired on Zee International Asia Pacific between 2006 and 2008.
14. The show took her to countries all over the world, including Afghanistan, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
15. Her auditions for both Bollywood and Hollywood productions, including for the role of Bond girl Camille Montes in Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace (2008), were largely unsuccessful.
16. In 2007, Pinto’s modelling agency selected her and six other models to audition for the female lead in Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire after a request by its casting director.
17. After undergoing six months of extensive auditions, Pinto won the role of Latika, the love interest of the main character Jamal, played by Dev Patel.
18. Before beginning her film career, Pinto was engaged to Rohan Antao, who had been her publicist at one point.
19. She ended the relationship in January 2009 and began dating her Slumdog Millionaire co-star Dev Patel.
20. After a six-year relationship, the couple separated amicably in December 2014.
21. After the success of Slumdog Millionaire, Pinto had “no fixed address”, but instead split her time between Mumbai, London, and Los Angeles.
22. Alongside her acting career, Pinto has been actively involved with several humanitarian causes and is vocal about the uplifting of women and underprivileged children. She has cited Angelina Jolie and Malala Yousafzai as “massive” inspirations in this regard.
23. In 2010, Pinto joined Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in support of their philanthropic organisation, the Agassi Foundation. She raised $75,000 for their annual fund raiser—”The 15th Grand Slam for Children”—which was aimed at providing education for underprivileged children.
24. Two years later, she was appointed as the global ambassador of Plan International’s Because I am a Girl, a campaign that promotes gender equality with the aim of lifting millions of girls out of poverty.
25. In 2013, Pinto appeared in a video clip for Gucci’s “Chime for Change” campaign to raise funds and awareness of women’s issues in terms of education, health, and justice.
26. The following year, she participated at the “Girls’ rights summit” in London, where she called for more progress toward the end of female genital mutilation and child marriage.
27. In March 2015, she spoke out against the Indian government’s ban on India’s Daughter, Leslee Udwin’s documentary on the 2012 Delhi gang rape. During its premiere at the United States, she said the film needs to reach the public as it is not a “shame-India documentary”.
28. In February 2016, Pinto announced that she would be a part of a nonprofit organisation called “We Do It Together”, which provides finance for feature films, documentaries, and television shows that focus on women’s empowerment.