Freida Pinto

A former model and television presenter, Freida Pinto made an impressive debut as the childhood sweetheart of a young Indian game show contestant in "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008). Though her previous work had made her a household name in South Asian countries, the runaway success of "Millionaire" gave her unprecedented exposure to a global audience, which was near-universally charmed by her emotionally charged performance. The shower of accolades earned by the film during the 2008 award season seemed to indicate that Pinto would not have long to access the upper echelons of Hollywood and beyond.