Freida Pinto (born October 18, 1984) is an Indian actress and professional model, best known for her performance as Latika in her debut film Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2009. Pinto won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Freida Pinto was born in Mumbai to Sylvia Pinto, a principal of St. John's Universal High School (Goregaon), and Frederick Pinto, a senior branch manager at the Bank of Baroda. Freida Pinto's father is from Neerude and mother from Derebail, both towns in Mangalore. Her family is of Mangalorean Catholic origin, and in an interview, Pinto stated that she is "completely pure Indian", but that her family is Catholic and some of her ancestors were probably of Portuguese background, which explains the origin of her surname Pinto.
Her older sister Sharon Pinto is an associate producer on the NDTV news channel.
Pinto studied at Carmel of St. Joseph School in Malad and completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English Literature from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. She currently resides in the Orlem locality of Malad, a suburb of Mumbai.
She is also trained in different forms of Indian classical dance as well as Salsa.
She was once engaged to her former publicist Rohan Antao, but she called off the engagement in early 2009. She is currently dating Slumdog Millionaire co-star, Dev Patel, who is six years younger than her. She is also featured in People Magazine's "Most Beautiful People List", and "List of World's Best Dressed Women".
Before starring in Slumdog Millionaire, Pinto anchored the international travel show, Full Circle on Zee International Asia Pacific in English between 2006-08. Pinto was also featured in several television and print advertisements for products such as Wrigley's Chewing Gum, Škoda, Vodafone India, Airtel, and DeBeers. Pinto modeled for four years and appeared in runway shows and magazine covers. She learned acting from The Barry John's Acting Studio in Andheri and was trained by her mentor Barry John. After six months of auditions, she received a call to audition for Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto auditioned for Danny Boyle and was short-listed and finally selected to star in Slumdog Millionaire.
Pinto made her feature film debut in 2008. Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who appears on a game show and exceeds people's expectations, arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials. In the film, Pinto played the role of Latika, the girl with whom Jamal (Dev Patel) is in love with. At the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, the movie won the Cadillac People's Choice Award. At the 2009 Golden Globe Awards, the movie won four awards. Pinto herself was nominated for "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" at the 2009 BAFTA Awards and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture alongside other cast members from Slumdog Millionaire.
She has completed work on Miral, a Franco-Israeli film directed by Julian Schnabel. Pinto has been cast in Woody Allen's next film set in London, which co-stars Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Anupam Kher and Naomi Watts.
On 13 May 2009 it was announced that Pinto was to become the new 'face' of L'Oréal despite rumours that she was due to sign a "six figure deal" with rival cosmetics firm Estee Lauder.