Last night’s Cinema Society screening of Trishna at the IFC Center began with the usual glimpses of celebrity—Meg Ryan swooped past in her hat and sunglasses, and Billy Connolly slipped by with his wife.
But actress and heroine of the film Freida Pinto took her time sauntering down the red carpet, glowing in a white Rachel Roy creation, and shared that she is currently reading the Tom Hardy classic Tess of the d’Urbervilles, of which Trishna is a modern adaptation, for the second time. “The first time I read the book, I never thought that India would be such a great setting for it,” she said. “And the second time, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I am such an idiot.’ It is so perfect!”
Fashion designer and philanthropist Rachel Roy, on the other hand, grinned when The Observer asked her if she’d read the book.
“Of course I have!” she laughed. “Can’t you tell I’m a romantic? I’ve married twice!”
But the darker and more serious side of Trishna could not be ignored even in the middle of Greenwich Village. The film follows an ultimately tragic relationship between a woman ill-equipped to defend herself because of her social status and lack of education and a well-to-do young man who fails to understand that gap between them.
Ms. Pinto commented that making the film was a stressful experience because of the harsh environment where they filmed and the thought she put into her character. “I was quite surprised that I had the strength to do it,” she said. “When you go home you have to be, ‘Okay, I’m not Trishna, I’m Freida.’ You’ve got to tell yourself that a couple of times.”
She also noted the unusual exercise she got playing a hotel worker in the movie. “A lot of carrying the trays built my arm muscles. I literally had one large bicep,” she laughed.
She hastened to add that she was eager to make the film. “The things we are talking about this film apply to a lot of places,” including America, she said. “I read about one of the churches where this man had 80 wives…It applies to every place and any place that understands what sexual double standards mean.”
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