'I like the fact that I have no fixed address right now' - Freida Pinto


Mumbai, April 18 –

So, are you the next Bond girl?

I have already issued an official statement that I have not been approached for the next Bond film opposite Daniel Craig as yet. The rumours are of course flattering but for the moment my projects for 2010 - 2011 include Julian Schnabel's Miral, Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger and Tarsem Singh's Dawn Of War.

Okay, just as a matter of curiosity, who is your favourite Bond and which is the Bond movie you like best?

I thank the sun, moon and stars for giving the world Pierce Brosnan. I loved him in The Thomas Crown Affair but for some reason, I can't think of a Bond film featuring him right now.

Did you watch the Oscars this year?

Yes, I did watch the Oscars, as I do every year. I was rooting for Gabourey Sidibe who I thought was fabulous in her first film Precious. And Sandra Bullock who besides a phenomenal performance in The Blind Side looked so very beautiful. Sandra finally got her due!

What memories of the red carpet did it bring back? I was reminded of the chaos, the battle with time to finish all the important interviews and the non-stop running around in high heels which made your feet ache after a while. 2009 will always be a great year for me.

Why weren't you there at this year's Academy Awards show, as a presenter or at least as part of the audience?

That's a question for the producers and organisers. (Laughs) They probably had an overdose of us last year. I can't question their decision.

When you look back on the year that was, what have been the highs and the lows since Slumdog Millionaire's release? Has Freida Pinto changed much?

Of course I have changed... And have also remained the same! (Laughs) Confused? Well, let me explain... My level of awareness has changed and so has the sense of self-reliance. My ambition to succeed has amplified and my responsibility to both my family and myself has increased. But at heart I'm still the same Freida who her near and dear ones know best. And I like it that way!

How close do you feel to Latika, your first screen avatar, and does 'Jai Ho...' still set your feet tapping?

(Laughs) Forget just mine, 'Jai Ho...' still has the world's feet tapping. That is AR Rahman's brilliance. Latika as a person is quite different from me. The one thing we have in common is our belief in destiny. We both believe that at the end of the day, we will get what we truly deserve and more often than not, it is what we desire. I loved the layers her character had, so subtle and understated.

When you see the film today, would you have played the role any differently?

There are scenes I would definitely play differently now that I have worked a little more. But then again, I don't want to change the past because that is why I am where I'm today. Moreover, I think the naivete of not being trained or being even a little experienced is what eventually paid off just fine.

One of the Slumdog Millionaire kids,Rubina Ali, has already come out with her autobiography, Slumgirl Dreaming, that is a bestseller. Any plans of writing a tell-all book too?

Never thought of it. It is a bit too premature to do something like that.

Do you think the lives of these kids have really changed post the movie or is it a case of My Fair Lady where they feel alienated from their surroundings and yet are unable to fit into the world they aspire to?

I would have said that this is a question the kids should be asked when they are a little older. But the media has troubled them enough, so I would say, "Leave them alone and let them be kids." Slumdog Millionaire was the experience of a lifetime for all of us. We tried really hard to keep it innocent for the kids till matters got out of hand. It was a bit confusing at times even for me so it must have been mighty confusing for them. All they need is a strong social support system that they seem to have thanks to some of the good-willed people who worked on the film. More than anything else, I'm happy that the kids have been enrolled into schools. With education, they will definitely be far more equipped to understand a part of this crazy world if not the whole.

Danny Boyle has been in town quite a few times, have you connected?

I met Danny recently at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles where he was being honoured. We didn't get a chance to meet in Mumbai as we were in different towns at the time.

If he were to offer you his next film, will it be a "yes" or a "no"?

I've never thought of it but if he did, I'd be honoured to work with Danny again.

Do you visit St John's High School where your mother is a teacher? What's the one thing you tell any girl who aspires to be Freida Pinto?

I did visit once. I have never felt a day older than 18 so I didn't think I was meeting kids eight-10 years younger than me. The interaction was great and if anyone aspired to be Freida Pinto, I asked her not to do so and instead be just herself. You can't lose your individuality and identity. It is difficult these days with adolescents trying to imitate whom they see on celluloid. It's good to be inspired but not at the cost of becoming an imitation of someone who already exists.

You've been spending a lot of time in Mumbai but have resolutely steered clear of Bollywood that is just waiting to snap you up. Why?

I have been in and out of Mumbai. I was here for Christmas, then, returned for two weeks before I left for Canada. I'm open to films in India. But I know that my looks, interests and appeal may not be extremely mainstream so I'm not sure if I'd be able to do justice to a big commercial project. My idea of cinema is more alternative and global. And that kind of cinema is definitely on the rise in India as well.

Do you still feel at home in Mumbai after being the toast of Hollywood? Ever see yourself relocating to Beverly Hills some day?

I like the fact that I have no fixed address right now. I'm a bit of a wanderer. I will go where work takes me. And when there's no work, I will be lounging around in our crazy and beautiful Maximum City, Mumbai!

You're working with some of the best looking guys, from Dev Patel to Antonio Banderas. For whom does your heart beat a little faster and how does it feel to be every woman's envy?

My heart beats for all of them when I play their love interest on screen. (Laughs) And for the record, I don't have any scenes with the charismatic Antonio Banderas. At least not yet!

At 25, you are on top of the world. Where do you see yourself at 30?

Hopefully still on top of the world and still very grounded.