She might be an Indian by origin, but actor Freida Pinto isn’t looking for roles that suit the stereotypical image of an Indian woman. “I don’t ­present myself as an Indian girl who wears a sari and a bindi and is waiting to get married in America. I ­present myself as a strong global woman. Someone who grew up among all cultures and is willing to embrace all cultures, which, I feel, are good for my character,” says Freida, who made a mark with the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008). “I’ve never given out a message that suggests I am looking for a ­stereotypical Indian role,” she adds.
However, the 30-year-old says making a mark in Hollywood is not easy for an outsider. “There are ­preconceived notions like, ‘If she is a beautiful brown-skinned exotic girl, she will play only those kinds of roles’. This is something that I have to fight every day,” says Freida, who has been seen in films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) and Trishna (2012).
She feels grateful to have been accepted by the ­audience, but says the ­journey hasn’t been easy. “I’ve been fortunate that ­people have accepted me for the way I am. But it is tough … those who think I lead a very glam life don’t know my struggle behind trying to make it easier for Indians to be accepted in Hollywood,” says Freida.