Was born to Frederick Pinto, a senior banker of Bank of Baroda and Sylvia, a principal of St Johns High school in Mumbai, India on Oct 18, 1984. She has an elder sister, Sharon, working as a TV producer with a leading news channel. Pinto family originally hails from Mangalore and is of Catholic descent. Freida is a professional model and has modeled for about 2 years and anchored a travel show, Full Circle, for Zee International (completed 52 episodes) before being cast by Danny Boyle in Slumdog Millionaire for the role of Latika. She was auditioned for about six months before being selected for the role. Post Slumdog she had appeared on the 'Tonight Show' hosted by Jay Leno and the 'Today' show along with her Slumdog co-star Dev Patel.
Since her childhood days, Pinto was fascinated with movies and grew up admiring Madhuri Dixit and Hema Malini. Her favorite actor is Charlize Theron. She started her career in modeling with Elite Model agency and appeared on TV commercials like India Today, Skoda and Wriggleys chewing gum.