Megan Pormer is the Middle Eastern actress bringing medical issues to light with her Hollywood microphone
Megan Pormer is the best kind of celebrity: she’s gotten recognition for doing what she truly loves, and it shows.
Now let the record show that “what she truly loves” doesn’t just include landing major movie roles alongside Oscar nominated actors or walking in New York (and Dubai) fashion week: Pormer also has a degree in medical engineering. That’s right.
The Jane of all trades has never limited herself to one endeavor: she’s always wanted the world, and hasn’t sacrificed any part of herself to further her dreams. She’s in an interesting position in that the actress is from Dubai, but is undoubtedly one of the first to break through and make it in mainstream Hollywood. She offers a unique perspective not only in her international heritage, but also her background in medicine.
In the most unique of ways, Pormer has found a way to marry all of her pursuits and, spoiler: she’s kicking ass at all of them.
The renaissance woman tells us all about her international takeover in the exclusive interview below:
How did you end up breaking into the entertainment industry? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes. I’ve wanted to be a model and an actress from the age of five. I was a child actress, and when I went to boarding school in England I was modeling on the side, but also wanted to finish university to make my parents happy. Then I was finally able to put my whole focus on what I wanted, which was entertainment.
What did you study in university?
I studied medical engineering.
How was that? How’d you end up in that field?
I have a passion for the healthcare industry in general and everything related to it. Nothing upsets me more than seeing someone struggle with a medical issue. Ever since I was a kid, I used to smash pills together and mix the powder, pretending I was inventing the cure for cancer. Medicne has always been my daydream; I’ve always wanted to be in the medical industry, and I’m extremely fascinated by all of the technologies and advancements in the medical world.
It looks like you’ve found a way to merge your love for the entertainment industry and your love and passion for healthcare. Which is really cool, because you’re bringing those issues to the public light. You were actually on Keeping up With the Kardashians, weren’t you?
Yes, I was the ambassador of a DNA testing company, because Kim’s grandma is a colorectal cancer survivor. We wanted to test the family to make sure they weren’t carrying any hereditary genes for different types of cancers.
While I was at university, i got to see all of these incredible new treatments and studies and research— and I realized that no one’s aware of them. Unless people are sick, they don’t know all of the available options. Sometimes even when they do get sick, they end up not finding the right treatment that may literally cure them. It makes me realize that the medical world lacks commerciality and isn’t accessible. That’s why I wanted to use my Hollywood microphone to talk about medical advancements.
Speaking of your Hollywood microphone, how’d you land your first acting role?
My first acting role came about when I was a teenager and was a UN ambassador for children’s rights. Somebody saw one of my speeches and talked to my parents, and that’s how I began some theater acting. But for my first Hollywood role, my childhood friend directed a movie that was shortlisted for an Oscar. When we were little, we promised each other that when we grew up we’d do a project together, and thats where it all started.
When you were younger, did you think you’d be here?
Yes. I’ve always kind of imagined myself exactly where I am right now. I’ve always wanted to be in California, in the heart of Hollywood. I’ve also always wanted to be the first Middle Eastern star to break into mainstream Hollywood movies. I feel like that’s something that needs to be done— nobody has merged the East with the West, and I wanted to be the first to do that.
How do you balance between LA and Dubai?
Right now I’m in LA. During the peak season (September to March) I’m in Dubai. From March to September I’m in LA. It’s a great balance for me: and anytime theres an opportunity elsewhere, I’ll fly out. Sometimes I’ll stay in Dubai for 48 hours. It’s gotten to the point where that 16 hour flight becomes a part of your life.
Do you ever feel like people have tried to place you in a box to portray you as “just” a model, or actress, or female, or businesswoman etc? Do you find yourself fighting these pigeonholes at times?
Yeah. And I thought to myself, if there’s a place in the world where I can break that mold, it’s America. For many, America can be a place that helps people be who they are without the need to change anything. It helps people get out of the box they feel limited in.
What’s coming up next for you?
Well, I’m walking for a few fashion designers during New York Fashion Week in September, then going to Dubai for Dubai fashion week in October. I have another movie project coming up in LA which is a big surprise, and we’re going to announce it by the end of the summer.
Do we get a hint or is it super hush-hush?
It’s pretty hush hush, but I just finished another movie in Dubai. It’s with an Oscar-nominated actor and I had an amazing experience filming it.
Any advice for young girls who want to have it all and don’t know where to start or might be limiting themselves?
It’s all about prioritizing what you want and making sure that you’re willing to sacrifice for your priorities. It is absolutely possible to have it all, and there are a lot of people (especially in our generation) that are proving this. But I think initially you should keep your eyes on the prize, achieve it, and then build from there.
For me, it’s understanding what makes me happy more than anything else. Right now, it’s my success. If i have to sacrifice other things in my life in order to succeed, I’m happy with it, as long as I can keep my focus on my priorities. And once you master one thing, it’s much easier to master a second and a third thing.
Traveling from LA to Dubai has also given me a new perspective on the fact that peoples’ opinions about you don’t really mater. It’s happened so many times where in America, people won’t like a project I did, and in Dubai they love it, or vice versa. Which makes me understand that it’s all about different perspectives. If you hear a “no” in one part of the world, you may hear a big “yes” in another part of the world. It shows me not to get discouraged by any no’s, and to just keep going.
Where do you see yourself in the fashion landscape?
One of my biggest dreams is to become a fashion icon who mixes the Eastern style with Western style. The last six months I’ve been educating myself on the fashion industries in both the Middle East and America which are completely different worlds. But I’m trying to find a way to make them meet one another in the middle.
What inspires you, style-wise?
I like loud. Things that have an “X factor”. I feel like your style can silently communicate your message to the world, and I want my message to be outstanding.
TALENT: Megan Pormer
HAIR: Ted Gibson
MAKEUP: Kelly Kat Hunt
STYLING: Manny Jay
PHOTOGRAPHY/CREATIVE DIRECTION: Prince and Jacob