After dazzling audiences in the period piece Mr. Malcom’s List, Freida Pinto is heading to the world of U.S. politics with her latest role. Per Deadline, Pinto has been tapped to play Huma Abedin, the famously private Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff and longtime advisor whose personal life blew up after the antics of her then-husband Anthony Weiner became public, in a series adaptation of her New York Times bestselling memoir Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds. Aside from starring, Pinto is also developing the series with Entertainment One through her banner Freebird Films which has an overall deal with the company.
Published back in November 2021, Both/And covered Abedin‘s life in politics and the various roles she’s played throughout her career. Abedin is a career public servant of Indian-Pakistani descent whose roots lie both in Michigan where she was born and Saudi Arabia where she was raised. For most of her career, she’s been tied at the hip with Clinton, beginning as an intern for the First Lady before following her to the Senate and becoming her Senior Advisor. An important figure in the Clinton campaign, she’d eventually become the Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of State under Clinton and later the Vice Chair of Hillary for America in her 2016 run. During that time though, Abedin‘s personal life received public scrutiny after Weiner‘s sexting scandal came to light. She’s still working for Clinton as her Chief of Staff.
Regarding the memoir, Abedin said in a statement “Telling my story in Both/And has been an empowering and liberating experience.” According to Deadline, she said the book explores “the power of family, of friendship, of commitment” along with “the feelings of love, loss, betrayal, trauma, re-birth.” It’s quite the time for an adaptation of her memoir to begin production given she recently returned to the headlines for her newfound relationship with Bradley Cooper.
Abedin also boarded the series as an executive producer, joining Pinto and her Freebird partner Emily Verellen Strom. She had high praise for Freebird and its talented producers, saying “It was clear to me from our very first conversation that Freida and Emily not only believe in but get the story, that they have a vision and a passion about bringing a life filled with unexpected adventures to the world in a way that is true to who I hope to remain always – defiantly optimistic.”
Pinto is best known for her BAFTA-nominated turn in the massively acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire which catapulted her presence in film. From there, she’s had a fruitful career, going from Rise of the Planet of the Apes to Knight of Cups and more. Some of her most recent credits include the Disney Junior series Mira, Royal Detective, Needle in a Timestack, and Hillbilly Elegy. Pinto spoke about being drawn to Both/And after reading the memoir, saying:
“We thought we knew Huma’s story – the woman behind the scenes, and then reluctantly in front of the camera when her own life hit the news. Then, we read her memoir and were stunned by her candor, generosity, warmth, intelligence, and the way that her childhood, faith and family have so authentically woven through her whole life. Huma’s story is both extraordinary and immediately relatable, timely and relevant to so many of us. Freebird Films is so honored to be able to work with our partners at eOne and Huma to bring her story to television. Stories like this – of powerful, everyday superheroes among us are what drives our work at Freebird Films and playing Huma in this series will be such an honor for me.”
We’ll have more here at Collider as the Both/And adaptation gets underway.