Freida Pinto: ‘I was wrong to dismiss yoga offer from a white choreographer’

Indian actress Freida Pinto initially rejected choreographer Erin Elliott’s suggestion to learn yoga because she was white.

Frieda shot to fame after being cast alongside Dev Patel in Danny Boyle’s 2008 smash Slumdog Millionaire, which won a staggering eight Oscars.

She’s been a regular Hollywood fixture ever since, and has three new projects in the pipeline, including Needle in a Timestack with Orlando Bloom, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo.


It was on the set of 2014 film Desert Dancer that Erin approached her about yoga, with a repentant Freida now admitting how wrong she had been to dismiss the offer.

“Erin asked me if I had ever done yoga and I said, ‘Oh no no no, don’t try to get me to do yoga. You freakin’ Angelenos are all quacks. I come from the country of yoga! I do not need a white person to teach me yoga.’ But I was so wrong,” she confessed to Vogue Australia.

“I discovered my body for the first time. I discovered where I hold my sorrow and happiness. It opened me up emotionally.”

Over the last 11 years, Freida has enjoyed a varied career, starring in everything from Terrence Malick’s King of Cups to blockbuster fare like Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The 34-year-old has also taken on numerous small screen roles, and says she refuses to be typecast when it comes to her work choices.

“I’ve done them (the ‘exotic princess’ roles),” she sighed. “Once is enough. After a while, I said, ‘I don’t want to do this s**t anymore, I’m not growing in my career.'”