Tag Archive for 'Actress'

A conversation with Archie Panjabi

Archana “Archie” Panjabi is a British actress (East is East, Bend It Like Beckham) starring as Kalinda Sharma on the current CBS television series The Good Wife. Interviewed by Shivani Vora in India Ink, the New York Times:

Q:Talk about your upbringing. What were your parents like?

A. My mom was a teacher, and my dad had his own business, and both were very accommodating of other cultures. I used to go to Sunday school to learn about Christianity, and we celebrated Christmas with a traditional meal, a tree and presents. We even sometimes went to Midnight Mass.

But we were also very Indian in that both of them cooked traditional Indian food every day – they even made fresh rotis! And Indian holidays, especially Diwali, were a big deal for us. We used to do the puja (prayer), and we had a lot of family around so we would celebrate with them by swapping gifts and eating.

Q: You lived in Mumbai for two years – do you still have connections to the city? Do you ever visit?

A.I moved there when I was 8, and even though I was only there for a short time, being there really helped me get in touch with my Indian culture. I have family and friends there and try to visit every three or four years. It’s such an amazing city, and every couple of years, I need my fix. More:

Freida Pinto on the cover of NYT Style Magazine

The latest cover of T: The New York Times Style Magazine's Women's Fashion issue

Horacio Silva in The New York Times Style Magazine:

Freida Pinto is not one to shy away from a grand gesture. “As my friends and family are quick to remind me, I have always been a big drama queen,” Pinto, 26, recalls over breakfast in a Midtown hotel suite. “As a child, I would stand in front of the mirror and pretend I was this or that person from television. All I needed to do was realize it and recognize what I wanted to do.”

For Pinto, the epiphany came at 11, when India’s Sushmita Sen won the 1994 Miss Universe competition. “The country was really proud of her, and I was like, One day, I want to do the same,” Pinto says in her clipped, slightly accented English, which betrays her middle-class upbringing in the suburbs of Mumbai. “It wasn’t just the glamour of it all because I think at 11, I could hardly understand what glamour was. I really wanted to be like her — appreciated and a source of inspiration. I think that’s what made me go into acting.”

Fortunately, Pinto’s genetic gifts meant that having a career inspired by a beauty queen was a possibility. (Before her crossover success as Latika, the female lead in the 2008 hit “Slumdog Millionaire,” Pinto was a model and the host of a television travel show.) And although she is an eloquent interview subject, her responses occasionally sound like the platitudes you might hear from a contestant being grilled in a beauty pageant.

But Pinto is ever the good sport. After it is pointed out to her that she has a habit of answering in evening-wear-competition oratory, she checks herself a couple of times and allows, “There I go again, sounding like a Miss Universe contestant.” It’s a candor that is also evident when she is asked about her appearance in Woody Allen’s latest London-based ensemble film, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” to be released next month. In a case of art imitating life, Pinto’s character, Dia, a gorgeously exotic musicologist — is there any other kind? — leaves her fiancé for another man. (In January 2009, Pinto called off her engagement to Rohan Antao and started dating her “Slumdog Millionaire” co-star Dev Patel.) More: