11 December 2008 12:59 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

With his 1996 film Trainspotting, director Danny Boyle gave a boost to the early careers of Ewan McGregor and Kelly Macdonald. With Slumdog Millionaire, he could do the same for Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, who play Jamal and Latika, thwarted young lovers from the slums of Mumbai, India. The two were cast after an intense six-month audition process, and each had little or no professional acting experience. Patel, an 18-year-old Briton of Indian heritage, had one credit — a role in the BBC sitcom Skins — and no agent. For Pinto, a 24-year-old Mumbai native and a model, Slumdog is her professional acting debut. The two recently spoke about their experiences. (Warning: spoilers ahead.) Back Stage: What was the audition process like? Freida Pinto: I went in for the audition in May 2007, and about a month later I got a call from London saying Danny Boyle's now coming down to India himself. »

- Andrew Salomon

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