"There were times when the director would ask me to tone it down," reveals Freida Pinto, talking about her new film, Black Gold.
At the film's high profile world premiere at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Pinto's performance was met with some unmistakable tut-tutting beneath the burkas. Her Princess Leyla owed more to Princess Leia in her sexy belly-button baring boudoir attire – more harem charmer than pristine princess.
Jean-Jacques was mindful of dressing me up as the traditional princess while also communicating her desire to just break out and be modern. The 27-year-old actress, who was raised as a Catholic, tackles a similar quandary in her own life; for her steamy sex scene with Henry Cavill in Immortals she apparently hired a "butt double".
It's hard not to feel sorry for the Indian beauty with the perfect English accent who, having won fame four years ago in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, has been criticised at every turn for her artistic choices.
When asked if about the rumours that swirled around the pair when they initially began dating, claiming their relationship was established to purely to promote their careers, Dev vehemently disagreed.
Born in Mumbai to Mangalorean parents – her mother was a high school principal and her father a senior banking official – she earned a degree in English literature from Mumbai's St Xavier's College before signing to Elite Models, where she became used to living out of a suitcase."My heart will always be in Mumbai, but I've kind of moved to London. "We have shared so much together, and he is always the person I go to first. I'm like, 'You don't sound like a 21-year-old to me!And I know that it would be difficult to live up to those expectations. But I do have those moments and I think it's perfectly fine for me to have them.If it were a comedy, or maybe a dark comedy, I'd be interested in trying that out with him. I have found a way of dealing with those moments and using them in film sometimes.Rounding out this global catwalk of characters are Brits Akin Gazi, Riz Ahmed and Jan Uddin. Blessed and cursed with an all-purpose beauty that passes for every ethnicity, from her native India to far-flung corners of Palestine, Greece and Arabia, Pinto has grown weary of being a pretty punch-bag for critics who argue that she shouldn't portray cultures that don't belong to her.Today she picks her words carefully: "For me, it was very difficult because, as a 21st-century woman, I would want to turn around and say to Antonio's character, 'I will not divorce him. ' But Leyla has been brought up differently, so she's slowly but surely trying to get there."Deferring blame for her revealing wardrobe on to Black Gold's costume designer Fabio Perrone, she says, "There's a certain royalty that comes with vintage costumes and I had an almost two day play-date with Fabio.