If one Indian face has become a regular fixture on international red carpets, it has to be that of Freida Pinto. The girl from Malad, who found fame with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008), went on to become India’s biggest celebrity export to the west in recent times. Next year, she will be seen with Hollywood stars Christian ‘Batman’ Bale and Natalie Portman in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. But even before that, Freida will share the stage with the likes of Gerard Butler, Olivia Wilde and Katie Holmes as one of the hosts at the Global Citizen Festival on September 28 in Central Park, New York.
Freida says, “I’m proud to help host the Global Citizen Fest. I’ve always called myself a global citizen... You can’t strive for harmony by being unaware of what’s happening with your neighbours and in your world.”
This year, the festival will focus on ‘health, education, women’s equality and global partnerships’, through which it aims to end extreme poverty around the world. The Mumbai girl reckons that the world has become a smaller place. “…technology has made us come closer and (become) more connected, but at the same time, there are ills and problems that also need to be addressed,” she says.
The festival will also see performances by music heavyweights such as Stevie Wonder, Kings Of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer. Other celebrities scheduled to appear include Russell Simmons, Nobel Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus and economist Jeffrey David Sachs.
“One country’s problems affect another directly or indirectly… We are all human beings first, and in that sense, we are all the same,” Freida adds. As for Freida’s Hollywood career, besides Malick’s film, she will also be seen in Richard Raymond’s Desert Dancer, based on the life of Afshin Ghaffarian, an Iranian who sought to become a dancer in spite of a nationwide ban on dancing.