Happy birthday, Freida Pinto

Happy birthday, Freida Pinto


Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Getty Images

There's more to this Indian actress than her breakout role in Slumdog Millionaire. As she turns 33 today, we celebrate her tenacity in Hollywood, her pursuit of diverse roles and her commitment to girls' education

1. She took her time to explore diverse roles in Hollywood
After the sleeper hit that was Slumdog Millionaire, the Mumbai-born actress received various offers that were stereotypical: The Indian girl who wants to find a husband, or the Indian girl who's stuck in an arranged marriage. "It would have been easy to take a big-budget film," said Pinto on how Hollywood still pigeonholes Asian actresses into specific roles. "But I was afraid of letting my whole culture down."

2. Trainspotting is one of her favourite films
The director, Danny Boyle, also directed Slumdog Millionaire. Through an open casting call which her modeling agency offered at that time, Pinto was 23 when she starred in the film after auditioning for six months. After the film became big, Pinto shared that she didn't know where to go from there after starting off at the highest of highs. "There was a lot of pressure of what am I going to do next," she said.


3. Her relationship with former boyfriend Dev Patel was impactful
"You can be with someone and it can be really good for your growth,' she reflected. 'That's what Dev was for me. The seven years I was with him were so impactful. But I ended up being single when I started thinking about these other things. Life hits you and you think, 'What about me? What do I really want?'"

4. You can see her on television starring opposite Idris Elba
In her television debut, Pinto stars as one half of a young couple in the Showtime mini-series, Guerrila. Set in 1971 London, she's battling pressures on immigration lows in the show about racism and radical politics. Her character, Jas, is described as being fierce and a feminist.

5. She's a huge supporter of education for girls
Her last big event was as The Girl Project, a new initiative created by Glamour to empower women with the tools to receive a quality education. Pinto has also narrated a part in the film, Girl Rising, which told the stories of girls in developing countries who were struggling to pursue their dreams in light of messy politics and unfortunate economic situations.

Check out last week's #WomanCrushWednesday.