Other Hollywood ingénues are concerned with starting their own fashion lines, being dressed by the right designers, and dishing on makeup and hair tips; 27-year-old Freida Pinto is serious and contemplative by comparison. “I don’t feel super attached to clothes,” she says, then explains that she prefers spending 15 minutes doing her own makeup to having it done for her: “I cannot sit in a chair forever.”
Instead, Pinto is interested in social justice—and in particular, in the international women’s rights movement. “Growing up in Bombay, you read stories in the papers about girls being treated as the subordinate sex; going to school was a luxury,” Pinto remembers. “Everyone should have the basics of food, clothing, and education.”
This weekend sees the release of Girl Rising, a film directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Richard Robbins, which features nine writers and actresses—including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Selena Gomez—narrating the struggles of real girls around the world to obtain educations despite nearly insurmountable obstacles: child slavery, orphanhood, crushing poverty. Pinto is featured in the film and has been working hard to promote it: she introduced it when it played at Sundance, and she hosted a DJ night in Hollywood several weeks ago in its honor that was attended by the likes of Will Smith and Chloe Grace Moretz. “My goal is to get this to as many people as possible,” she says, acknowledging it can be an emotional thing to watch: “Especially the girls in Afghanistan—[they] moved me to tears.”
Pinto’s commitment to the cause runs deep. She remembers a little girl named Pinky she met when she was a teenager, who begged for money with her family at a traffic light each day. Pinto befriended the girl and attempted to intervene on her behalf, to allow her family to send her to school. “Pinky’s mom didn’t want her to go to school,” Pinto explains. “Her parents needed her to work.”
It’s with girls like Pinky in mind that Pinto works closely with 10x10, the advocacy organization that produced Girl Rising, as well as with Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign, another movement to further girls’ education. In 10 years, Pinto predicts, “Women will be a lot more outspoken. Women will start feeling worthy, and believe that they can do everything.”
GIRL RISING IS OUT IN LIMITED RELEASE TODAY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM, PLEASE VISIT ITS WEBSITE.
Photo by Katie Fischer
Text by Katie Fischer
Edited by Alexandria Symonds
This is a portrait I took for Interview Magazine of Frances Bodomo. The article was written by Emma Brown and Shruti Ganguly was one of the producers on Boneshaker.
Check out the article I wrote for Interview Mag on the talented Tatiana Kelly.
ABOVE: ZOE SALDANA AND BRADLEY COOPER IN THE WORDS, PRODUCED BY TATIANA KELLY.
Given her choice, Tatiana Kelly would most like to meet historical figure Martha Gellhorn–one of the first female war correspondent, and the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. It’s a fitting choice. What Kelly admires in Gellhorn is a reflection of her own best qualities: “a girl in a boy’s club, a maverick, prolific, and ferocious.”
Kelly is part of the next generation of female producers in Hollywood, following in the footsteps of those she venerates most: Lynda Obst (Contact, Sleepless in Seattle), Kathleen Kennedy (Schindler’s List, Back to the Future), and Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry). Well on her way, Kelly recently produced Sundance darling The Words, starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons.
Kelly was born in Washington D.C. to an Iranian mother who worked for the World Bank and Irish-American father who often worked with the International Monetary Fund and United Nations. Her erudite and international upbringing had her speaking French, Spanish, Italian, English and Farsi before she entered adulthood.
After completing an undergraduate degree at the prestigious McGill University and a master’s in Political Science at the London School of Economics, Kelly took a job as an account director at a small boutique ad agency in New York. Kelly’s father had always advised her that in order to find her path, she had to figure out what she didn’t want to do; and her time at the ad agency taught her she didn’t want to be on the creative sidelines and would prefer “to be in the middle, physically be creating, and tell more of an in-depth story.” Fortunately, Kelly’s good friend Goran Dukic had written the compelling screenplay Wristcutters, A Love Story—Kelly’s first job as a producer—which has since become a cult favorite.
“I’m not interested in creating disposable art,” Kelly says. And after she read The Words, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, she knew it was a keeper. “[It] really lingered long after I read it, and it had all the elements of classic films I loved—rain, trains, love, loss, tragedy, and hope.” Her taste wasn’t misplaced: Sundance films, if they sell at all, typically end up with a limited or platform release, butThe Words’ festival buzz inspired enough confidence in its distributor, CBS Films, that they opted for a wide release on more than 2,500 screens.
Next up for Kelly is a new film, House of Curl, which already has some huge names—Guy Pearce, Laura Linney, John Hawkes, Abigail Breslin, Toby Jones—attached. We’ve got our eye out.
Theophilus London performed last night for Soho House’s 30th birthday party - it was AMAZ-balls!
I photographed Jeremy Jordan who was nominated for a Tony for his role in Newsies. Check out the rest of the photos at www.vogue.com
I HEART Seth Meyers
Check out his photo I took of Naomi Watts for Vogue, 2012
Chris Rock, 2012 by Katie Fischer
Delores Chaplin, granddaughter of Charles Chaplin by Katie Fischer.
Jada Pinkett Smith killing it in Paco Rabanne, 2012 for Vogue by Katie Fischer
Lara Stone wearing Calvin Klein, 2012 for Vogue by Katie Fischer
Check out the photos I took of the Jonas Brothers for Vogue here
Wilmer Valderrama, 2012 by Katie Fischer