They Make Or Break You: Pooja Gor On Hardest Struggles As An Actor

In conversation with SheThePeople, Pooja Gor opened up about her journey in the industry spanning more than a decade, the highs and lows she endured as an artist, social media validation, dealing with stereotypes, and more.

Pavi Vyas
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Pooja Gor, popular for her leading role in the television show Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya, has been an integral part of the acting industry for a significant period now. Gor, who has been part of shows like Savdhana India and Khatron Ke Khiladi, was also seen in the 2018 film Kedarnath. Gor's recent performance in Netflix's series Guns and Gulabs is winning her much-deserved accolades.


As someone who has been part of the industry across platforms and has taken all her challenges up her sleeve, it was important to find out what goes behind it all. As SheThePeople, powered by Gytree, is on an exclusive tour series interviewing remarkable women who paved their paths and are inspirations to others, we sat down with actor Pooja Gor in Mumbai to get to know her journey.

In conversation with SheThePeople, Pooja Gor opened up about her journey in the industry spanning more than a decade, the highs and lows she endured as an artist, social media validation, hard-hitting stereotypes, and more.

Pressure Of Looking A Certain Way

Pooja Gor fought her way from being an underconfident bullied child to participating in a pageant to break free from and see if she could be something more than that. However, on the flip side, she also found herself navigating and steering towards the way a woman is expected to be, with the pressure of looking a certain way.

Gor openly accepted the pressure getting to her. She shared, "That is how you grow up. Those are the notions and perceptions you grow up with, right? From a skin colour to be a certain way to hair a certain way, look a certain way and so on."

Gor also talked about the things a woman is told or sees around herself, "Those things actively stayed in my conscious and subconscious mind as well that I had to be a certain way and look a certain way." 


However, Gor also confessed that she never shared the pressure getting to her with her parents and called her dad a "doordarshi" or a "farsighted" man who sensed his daughter could get insecure when she would come to a certain age. Therefore, he sought everything for his teenage daughter; from braces to wearing lenses instead of big-rimmed glasses. Gor accepted that things did get better for her younger self in a way, "It did get better. It always does."  

Social Media: "A Rabbit Hole"

Gor candidly confessed that, like all of us, she too gets affected to some extent by social media's FOMO or validation. However, she expressed how she copes with it and why the mechanism makes things easier. Speaking about social media FOMO, Gor calls the world of the internet a "rabbit hole" She said, "It (social media) will make you think for a second, are you missing out on something?"

Social media gets us all comparing ourselves to others and on a deeper level, it starts moulding our thoughts. You start to compare and compete with others. You start to think or rather believe what is ideal. You start seeing what others are doing and think 'Do I lack those things? Do I need to create or be like them as well?' However, I constantly remind myself that life is outside this instrument and platform (social media) and I would rather be present, be confident in who I am and talk to people around me rather than be on the phone constantly. 

Hardest Struggle As An Actor

Gor opened up about coming from a middle-class family not having anyone in the industry or having any acting background.


As an actor, and as Pooja Gor, what has been her hardest struggle in getting where she is today? She responded, "I did not have an acting background nor did I receive any formal acting training. I did not even go on stage in school at any annual function. It was like you are learning how to bat and in your first over you are facing Shoaib Akhtar. I learned everything on the job, every trick and trade."

Gor also recalled receiving some unsolicited bad remarks that left an impact on her.

This one moment a certain gentleman told me I was wooden and stone face, and I vividly remember recalling the particular line when I was accepting my Dadasaheb Phalke Award for acting and I thought to myself, 'Life has come full circle' which was like a vindication I guess.

The actor who entered the industry as a young girl without any backing did have to face not just challenges to land roles but also issues with legality considering she did not know the tricks and trades of how the industry functions back then.

"I did not know as a newcomer what negotiation agreement or legal terms meant, what clauses were asked to be put in and so on; I had to come to terms with all that too. There were situations where I did not get paid for the work that I had done, my hard-earned money that I did not get, and I still haven't. At that point, I couldn't do anything about it because I did not have any kind of firepower where someone would have helped me or I could call anybody and ask to help me with things. I had to figure out everything on my own. But I am glad now I am in such a position to help someone like me today."

Gor, who has a tremendous filmography behind her, is a lone wolf in the entertainment industry that continues to evolve, and she is just getting started.


Watch the full interview here

Suggested Reading: Replaced Many Times, Didn't Give Up: Rakul Preet Singh On Struggle

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