Freida Pinto to lead & produce The Henna Artist TV adaptation
It’s been a few years since we last saw Freida Pinto (Mira, Royal Detective) on the small screen with her recurring role in the third and final season of Hulu’s The Path and now the 35-year-old actress is eying a return to live-action TV with Miramax TV’s adaptation of The Henna Artist, according to Deadline.
Written by Alka Joshi and published by Harper Collins/MIRA this past March, the novel followed 17-year-old Lakshmi as she escapes an abusive marriage and makes her way to the vibrant pink city of Jaipur in the 1950s, where she becomes the most sought-after henna artist and confidante to the women of the city’s upper class.
“Alka has crafted a beautiful story of independence, family, heartbreak and success, led by a captivating heroine with an indomitable spirit, and we are very excited to collaborate with Alka, Michael and Freida to bring this extraordinary journey to the screen,” Miramax head of worldwide television Marc Helwig said in a statement.
Pinto will star in and produce the project via her Freebird Films banner alongside Michael Edelstein under his first-look deal with Miramax. The duo previously met in an ashrum in the small Northern India town of Dehradun and would stay in touch about potential projects over the years, but it wasn’t until Edelstein picked up Henna that he found the perfect project for the two to work together on.
“It was clear to me from the first chapter that Freida was born to play Lakshmi,” Edelstein said. “Fortunately, the project is blessed that not only is Freida a brilliant actress, but she is the perfect producing partner to help bring this project from book to screen. It’s incredibly important to get somebody who understands that world. In addition to her perspective as a woman born and raised in India, Pinto is bringing to the project her deep connections in the Indian film community. Search is currently underway for a writer to pen the adaptation, and, in addition to Hollywood names, the producers are considering new voices out of India, many of them pitched by Pinto.”
“As an actress, I cannot wait to dive back into the stories of my motherland and make my women (and my men) of all backgrounds, with all their good and their complexities feel seen and heard,” Pinto said. “Lakshmi Shastri is not a puritanical woman. She empowers me and I am honored to pass that feeling on to a very global audience. The Henna Artist has tremendous potential to become that bingeable, high quality, multilayered television show that honours the glory and beauty of India, its culture and its people.”
Sources report that Joshi is developing a literary follow-up to Henna that will give the series a blueprint for future seasons and that she has a lot of confidence in Miramax, Edelstein and Pinto to “treat the material with sensitivity, intelligence and heart.”
(Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)