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Freida Pinto mesmerised by Meryl

Published 16/04/2015

Freida Pinto
Freida Pinto

Freida Pinto remembers how "messy" things were with the paparazzi after the release of Slumdog Millionaire.

The Slumdog Millionaire actress attended the premiere of documentary India's Daughter in New York last month, taking to the stage to give a moving speech about the feature based on the gang rape of a woman in Delhi in 2012.

Meryl was also in attendance, and she also spoke. But Freida never expected the iconic star to approach her afterwards.

“I went over to my friends and asked, ‘Did I get the 'you go, girl!’ finger from Meryl?’ Because after that moment [following Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech] at the Oscars, that’s what you want, isn’t it?” Freida recalled to The Edit.

“I wanted to tell Meryl how inspired I was by her, but the words weren’t coming out properly. Then she turned and said, ‘Oh, Freida!’ I couldn’t believe she knew who I was. She has this larger-than-life persona, but when you’re talking to her, it’s woman to woman. She’s a grand actress and a grand human being, but in every other sense she’s not grand at all.”

Being born and raised in India and a strong supporter of women's rights herself, Freida felt strongly about the project. She's an ambassador of Plan International's Because I am a Girl campaign, which sets out to protect young girls who are victims of violence and sex trafficking.

Freida began her move into the spotlight as a model before transitioning to being the presenter of an English-language travel show on Indian TV, then landing the role of Latika in Slumdog. Since the Academy Award-winning flick, her life has changed for good.

“It was also partly due to the fact that Dev [Patel, her Slumdog co-star] and I were dating, so suddenly there we were being chased down London’s Regent Street by the paparazzi. People were being knocked down in front of cars and it was really messy,” she explained. “For a long time I felt that I couldn’t be myself. I pushed a lot of friends away from me at that time and it took me about two years to understand it all. Now that I do, I feel like there’s a method to this madness.”

© Cover Media

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