Freida Pinto stars opposite James Franco in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” from the Oscar®-winning visual effects team that brought to life the worlds of Avatar and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The movie, a contemporary view of the planet of the apes mythology finds Caroline, a primatologist who crosses paths with scientist Will Rodman (Franco) when his simian subject, Caesar, a CGI ape played by Andy Serkis further required her expertise.
“Caroline loves the fact that Will cares for a chimpanzee so much that he almost treats him like his own son,” says Pinto. “She’s dedicated her life to apes, so she absolutely loves them and cares for them with all her heart.”
Due to exposure in the womb to Will’s miracle drug cure, young Caesar displays intelligence and behaviors unusual for an ape of any age. Inspired by his observation of Caesar’s unexpected gifts, Will surreptitiously obtains enough samples of his serum from the company who shut down his project, and against his better judgment privately continues his research at home, using his father and Caesar as test subjects. Over time, with the help of the drug, the chimp exhibits incredible cognitive skills and intellect. At the same time, Charles’ symptoms of Alzheimer’s miraculously go into remission. Will’s bending the rules of laboratory trials seems to have worked beyond his hopes.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” explores arguably one of today’s most important issues,” states producer Peter Chernin. “We have these incredible scientific and medical tools at our disposal, and we’re asking the question, how far do you take them before you’re really messing with nature? What are the limitations?”
Will Rodman pushes those limitations to the breaking point and beyond, to catastrophic results. But before those dire consequences unfold, we get to know Caesar as a youngster and adolescent who, like a human child, is curious about the world around him. However, as Caesar matures, his highly-developed intelligence is countered by the aggressive and dangerous protective instincts typical of adult male apes. Caesar soon becomes too much for Will and Caroline to handle. Will is reluctant to part with Caesar, who has become like a son; Caroline understands Will’s inner turmoil, but she knows that it is impossible for Caesar to remain with him. “Caroline insists that every animal needs open space and that you can’t expect a large animal – even a very special one like Caesar – to flourish inside a house,” Pinto explains. “Of course, she loves Will and Caesar, and understands why it’s so difficult for him to part with Caesar.”
Pinto first modeled in Mumbai circuits before gaining her big break when director Danny Boyle cast her as the female lead, Latika in “Slumdog Millionaire.” In a promo interview, Boyle likened spotting her to his discovery of Kelly Macdonald for Trainspotting. After Slumdog Millionaire’s success, Pinto starred in the title role in Julian Schnabel’s film Miral, followed by Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. Upcoming is the fantasy epic Immortals, directed by Tarsem Singh.
Between the years 2006-2007, Pinto anchored Full Circle, a travel show telecast on Zee International Asia Pacific. She went on assignments to Afghanistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Fiji among other countries.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opens August 4 (Thursday) in theaters from 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.