Freida Pinto was on the cover of Esquire in April 2012, and our shoot with the Slumdog Millionaire star revealled a whole new side to her. Pinto discussed her nude scenes in Trishna, a reworking of Tess Of The d’Urbervilles, although sadly she used a double for some of it. But she’s no prude. “If you’re just doing a nude scene in order for everyone to, like, wank off or something, then that’s not my thing at all.”
That’s not to say she’s a prude. What British audiences perhaps don’t yet know about Freida is that she’s also a funny, no-nonsense, fast-talking Anglophile who loves London almost as much as her home town.
“Even though it’s so dreadful in the winter, I still think it’s beautiful,” she says. “So much culture and history. Like Bombay!”
In addition to her role as Lakita, the Indian girl with the faraway eyes in Slumdog Millionaire, Freida played primate-expert Caroline Aranha in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. And as the biggest Indian movie star in the West, she feels that she’s needed to adopt an almost ambassadorial role for her home country.
“It’s almost a duty,” she says. “People are very curious about India and I always try to represent my country in a non-stereotypical light.”
There was no guarantee that Pinto’s recent film Trishna would even get a release in India, where censorship is strict.
“Even if it didn’t, the people who want to see it will find a way to get an uncensored copy.” When Freida speaks, a nation of a billion is ready to tune in.