She has been termed ‘lovely, yet lifeless’ by international critics for her performance in Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna. But, while Freida Pinto defends her role of a girl from rural Rajasthan in the British filmmaker’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, as “an intense journey”, she also reveals how the filmmaker gave her little chance to question the way she portrayed the role.
“It was a tough role to play because it’s so different from what I am in real life,” she says and adds, “I just can’t kind of lay back and just get bombarded with things that I don’t believe in. So I guess that was really hard for me, especially because we didn’t really have a solid script. So every time, I would try to say something or speak out against something, Michael would just say, ‘No, you don’t say anything in this situation. Just observe’.”
However, while admitting that as an actor who is fairly outspoken, it was very tough to take, she still calls it a “welcome challenge.” “I would love to be something like that again,” says the actor, revelling in the attention she got on the redcarpet (right) at the film’s premiere at New York’s Lincoln Plaza last week.
To prepare for her role, Freida spent some time in Rajasthan’s Osian village in a family setting and interviewed a number of girls who worked at hotels and one who worked as ground staff in an airline.
“It was very interesting that all the stories were different from the other, but the bottom line came down to ‘whatever dad thinks is probably right and we’ll just follow that or whatever our future husband thinks is right is going to be our life from then on. And that for me was the startling reality that I had to just come to terms with to understand my character better,” she says.
Meanwhile, the film that released in the US on July 13 continues to be panned by the critics. “Freida and her director haven’t been able to give Trishna a pulse,” wrote Manohla Dargis of The New York Times. “Pinto has held the screen with her beauty but not left much of a lasting impression,” writes Sheri Linden of the LA Times.
With inputs from HTC