Freida Pinto was born on 18 October 1984 in Mumbai to a wealthy Mangalorean Catholic family, is an Indian actress and professional model best known for her portrayal of Latika in the 2009 Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Her mother, Sylvia, is a principal of St John’s Universal High School (Goregaon), and her father, Frederick, is a senior branch manager at the Bank of Baroda. Her older sister Sharon is an associate producer for the NDTV news channel. Pinto dreamed of becoming an actress since she was five years old. At the age of ten, she was influenced by Indian actress and model Sushmita Sen winning Miss Universe 1994, which turned out to be a defining point in her life. Pinto studied at Carmel of St. Joseph School in Malad, Mumbai and completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a major in English Literature, and minors in Psychology and Economics, from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She also acted in plays and amateur theater while attending St. Xavier’s. She later joined Elite Model Management and modeled for two and a half years.
Before starring in Slumdog Millionaire, Pinto anchored the international travel show, Full Circle, on Zee International Asia Pacific in English between 2006-08. Pinto was also featured in several television and print advertisements for products such as Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, Škoda, Vodafone India, Airtel, and DeBeers. Pinto modeled for four years and appeared in runway shows and magazine covers. She learned acting from The Barry John’s Acting Studio in Andheri and was trained by theatre director Barry John. After six months of auditions, she received a call to audition for Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto auditioned for Danny Boyle and was short-listed and finally selected to star in Slumdog Millionaire.
Pinto co-starred in Woody Allen’s comedy-drama film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, with Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Anupam Kher and Naomi Watts, which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Pinto is due to appear in the 2011 science fiction film Rise of the Apes, the prequel to the Planet of the Apes (2001), opposite James Franco. She will portray the role of Caroline, a primatologist, who studies primates in the film. She will also appear in the 2011 fantasy-action-drama film, Immortals, in which she will play the role of the oracle priestess Phaedra.
Pinto has joined hands with Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf to support their philanthropic organisation “Agassi Foundation”. She is the only Indian actress to have been roped in by the tennis couple to participate in their annual fund raiser titled, “The 15th Grand Slam for Children”, that aims at raising funds for education of underprivileged children.
Pinto is featured in People magazine’s “Most Beautiful People List”, and “List of World’s Best Dressed Women”. She was also featured in the “Top 99 Most Desirable Women” poll conducted by Askmen.com in 2010. According to The Daily Telegraph, she is currently the highest paid actress in Bollywood. She has also been listed in the top ten list of the fashion magazine Vogue’s 2009 annual list of the most stylish women. On 13 May 2009, Pinto became a new spokesmodel for L’Oréal.
Pinto was engaged to her former publicist and boyfriend of five years, Rohan Antao. In January 2009, Pinto called off her engagement to Rohan and started dating her Slumdog Millionaire co-star Dev Patel.
Pinto is trained in different forms of Indian classical dance as well as Salsa. She currently resides in the Orlem locality of the Malad suburb of Mumbai.