Freida Pinto says Netflix's 'Mowgli' connects with #MeToo, is about 'acceptance and affiliation'

Freida Pinto and poster of 'Mowgli'. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 04, 2018, 02.03 PM (IST)

Actress Freida Pinto is now gearing up for the release of her next film 'Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle' in which she plays the role of Mowgli's adoptive human mother, Messua. Being the only Indian member of the film's primary cast, Frieda had other duties too -- that of teaching Hindi to fellow actors.

She was asked to play her role in both English and Hindi versions, while they were at the South African leg of their shoot. She said, ''So for me to go to South Africa and actually work with fellow actors all speaking in Hindi, and all the other things I associate with India came to life with this movie." 

She added, “Instead of saying ‘chalo chalo’ they’d keep saying ‘charo charo’."

Born in Mumbai and having worked in multiple Hollywood films, Frieda calls Serki's interpretation of 'Mowgli' story as a film about "acceptance and affiliation" that is particularly important in modern India. "Everyone wants to feel they are accepted as belonging to a society, that their identity means something; they want to be identified as someone, as opposed to remaining on the road and ignored," she said.

"I feel there is a theme running in the world where women come out and tell their story for the first time, they all claim ownership of their own story."

Freida also brought in the # MeToo movement, which arrived in India one year after it first gained momentum in the US. The Harvey Weinstein scandal made hundreds of women from the film industry, business and sports to tell their stories of sexual harassment and misconduct that they had encountered over the years.

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She said, "You do not have to do anything to please anyone, you just need to be yourself and if people can only accept you and be open, there may be a whole healing that can take place, especially in our country."

Freida along with the stars Rohan Chand (Mowgli), Christian Bale (Mowgli mentor, Bagheera), Naomie Harris (his adopted wolf, Nisha), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Shrewd Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett The Hypnotic Kaa) and Serkis (Baloo) feature in 'Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,' on December 7. It will stream on Netflix everywhere in the world.

The movie will get a theatrical release only in the United Kingdom and the United States.