Freida’s the next bond girl?

By Hindustan Times

Freida Pinto’s global allure continues to charm the West. Even as anticipation about the actor bagging Dhoom 3 grows, she has already become the punters’ hot favourite to become the next Bond babe.

Over the past few weeks, Pinto has emerged as the most desired female star among several bookmakers to star alongside Daniel Craig in the forthcoming 007 extravaganza.

To start with, popular bookmakers, Boylesports, has listed her with the odds of 10/11, as the star in the next Bond film. In fact, her odds are better than Hollywood stars like Zoe Saldana (15/8) and Emma Watson (10/1).

Interestingly, Rachel Weisz – who is believed to be having an affair with Craig – goes with the odds of 2/1. The buzz is that she might be cast as a villain in the blockbuster franchise.

Ireland-based Paddy Power too puts Pinto in the favourite bracket with odds of 8/11; followed by Saldana (13/8) and Megan Fox (5/1). Others include Keira Knightley (10/1), Natalie Portman (12/1) and Mila Kunis (14/1). Bond is expected to return to the silver screen in November 2012, as filming is set to start this year. As per Sky Bet, Pinto is 3/1 favourite, while Olga Kurylenko is at 4/1 to make a second appearance as Camille. Weisz is at 8/1.

Pinto couldn’t be reached for a comment as she is shooting for Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold along with Antonio Banderas, Riz Ahmed and Mark Strong in Qatar. Her publicists, though, maintain that she “hasn’t been approached to play the Bond babe yet”.

Clearly, that hasn’t stopped Ladbrokes from considering Pinto as the hot favourite option for the much-coveted part. Interestingly, Shilpa Shetty follows Pinto in the list with odds of 5/1, followed by Megan Fox (10/1) and Keira Knightley (14/1).

According to Nicola McGeady of Boylesports, several girls are “hoping for a call from the producers”. She says: “Being cast as a Bond girl has launched the Hollywood career of many young actresses and fans cannot wait to find out who will be next. Who wouldn’t want to film a bedroom scene with Daniel Craig?”

Last year, a few UK tabloids confirmed that Freida landed a multi-million pound deal to be the next Bond girl. As per reports, she was set to sign the money-spinning deal thought to be worth £3 million for the Sam Mendes film. It was suggested that the new Bond film would be shot in Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood studios and on location in Kabul.

Odds for top five beauties for new 007 flick as per punters

Freida Pinto: 10/11
Zoe Saldana: 15/8
Rachel Weisz: 2/1
Olga Kurlenko: 9/2
Monica Bellucci: 5/1
—Boylesports

Freida Pinto: 8/11
Zoe Saldana: 13/8
Megan Fox: 5/1
Keira Knightley: 10/1
Jessica Alba: 12/1
—Paddy Power

Freida Pinto: 3/1
Monica Bellucci: 4/1
Olga Kurylenko: 4/1
Rachel Weisz: 8/1
Emma Watson: 10/1
—Sky Bet

Freida Pinto: Evens
Shilpa Shetty: 5/1
Olivia Wilde: 6/1
Zoe Saldana: 6/1
Megan Fox: 10/1
—Ladbrokes

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