In a life filled with the best of everything, Freida Pinto misses one thing: she can’t jump on and off the Mumbai locals any more. “I still would, but my mom’s scared,” says the actress of Slumdog Millionaire, whose stratospheric rise runs parallel to the film’s story of a simple attendant becoming an instant millionaire.
In Delhi for a party hosted by Louis Vuitton and Vogue at the Oberoi on Friday night, Freida looks every bit the movie star in a mini cocktail dress. Her most striking feature is her self-assurance. HT City points out that she is something of an exotic creature in the eyes of the West. She counters that such a view would give her “an edge” rather than hamper her.
Director Woody Allen is on most actresses’ wishlist for his quirky, intelligent cinema, and Freida has got him so early on in her career. But Allen is not a blockbuster moviemaker. So what matters more — being a bankable star or an actress in demand for cerebral roles? “The word star itself is something I am against. I am more pro the word actor,” she replies.
Doing a blockbuster would be nice if it “can be performance-oriented, too”. If Steven Spielberg comes calling — he is one of her favourite directors, besides Martin Scorsese — marrying scale and performance would be possible. “I feel it’s going to happen,” Freida says, “if I keep working hard.”
And if Bollywood has not come to her yet, she is happy to wait because “everything has its time”. Her top picks here are Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who left her starstruck; Madhur Bhandarkar; Vishal Bhardwaj; and Aamir Khan, whose sense of personal space impressed her.
The toast of fashion magazines, Freida found her Oscar dress several days before the event and “hid it from the world”. The choice was not universally praised, but for her, it was the dress. As in fashion, so with cinema — instinct guides her.
As she sails out of the LV store, Freida is perfectly balanced on her steep heels. Looks like a metaphor for her career.