Five Favorite Films with Freida Pinto

The star of Immortals also chats about working with Tarsem Singh and the challenges of acting in her first big-budget production.

In just a few short years -- following her luminous debut in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire -- Freida Pinto has gone from a virtual unknown to one of movies' most feted young actresses. Her handful of feature credits already boasts performances for such acclaimed directors as Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel, while she starred in the summer's surprise hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and will soon headline iconoclastic filmmaker Michael Winterbottom's literary riff, Trishna. This week, Pinto lends her talents to Immortals, Tarsem Singh's visually stylish, violent and sometimes quite surreal imagining of ancient Greek mythology in which the actress portrays the oracle (and future lover of Henry Cavill's Theseus) Phaedra. We sat down with Pinto recently where she discussed her admiration for the director and the experience of working on her first big-budget film, and how it affects her performance. She also took a moment to recall her five favorite films.


The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980; 88% Tomatometer)

I can give you them as they come to mind; right now, when you say "five favorite films," the first one that came to my mind -- and I'm trying to think of different genres as well -- the first one that came to my mind is The Shining. I do not know why, but that's been one of my all-time favorite films. I've seen it about four times. I think that's a lot for someone who's completely petrified by darkness and lonely places.




The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994; 90% Tomatometer)

Shawshank Redepmtion... I don't know, it's very uplifting and there's something about it that motivates you, you know, and gives you that sense of "Let's go and do it." I've seen it like a million times. It's kind of like a book that you can go back to and read again and again. I find it easier to go back to films than books, though.




Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood; 1939; 95% Tomatometer)

In terms of romantic films, all-time romantic films, I really like Gone With the Wind. And I realize I sound so clichéd saying that, but there's something so absolutely romantic about it. When I watched the film, I wanted to be in a situation like that -- to feel that love that's just basically, it's crazy; it's that kind of a crazy love.




Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011; 92% Tomatometer)

Recently I really enjoyed watching Drive, even though people seemed to be very mixed about it. I thought it was a well-done film. A really well-done film.




Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, 2007; 96% Tomatometer)

Help me out here! Can I give you an all-time favorite animated film? An all-time animated favorite is Ratatouille. I do not know why, but that film about that rat really got me. I loved Lion King as a kid, but as a thinking animated film [Ratatouille] really has something that I like about it. I thought it was amazing. And Peter O'Toole's voiceover as Anton Ego is just brilliant.



Next, Pinto discusses working with director Tarsem Singh on Immortals, the challenges of acting in big-budget films and how performances differ across projects.

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