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Arts & Entertainment


Helen Mirren

Lesson time 02:03 min

Helen shares her final thoughts and leaves you with her practical—and delightfully blunt—advice for young actors.

Helen Mirren
Teaches Acting
In 28 lessons, the Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony, and Emmy winner teaches her process for acting on the stage and screen.
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People say what's, in a few words, your advice for young actors? And I always say be on time, don't be an asshole. And that's it. That's really end of story. But anyway, don't be a time waster. But if you're not a time waster, and, you know, you're there and prepared and all the rest of the things you have to be, then film sets are pretty kind to you, because you've earned it. And you can say, look, let me just try one more time or six more times or whatever. But always be polite. Try to always be on time. And be as gracious as you can, but be very careful. Be self-protective as well, because sometimes what the film or the movie want for the film or the movie is not actually what is right for you. I didn't go to drama school. I have never been to a drama class. But I have worked professionally as an actress. And it's those, you know, sometimes complicated and sometimes very simple ideas and understandings that I've picked up that I've tried to communicate with you. I hope you've had as good a time with me as I've had with you. This is the first time in my life I have ever actually talked about my career and my work in this way. And it's been quite a journey for me. Thank you so much for coming on the journey with me. It's been an education for me, as well as for you, so thank you.

Find freedom in your roles

In her first-ever online acting class, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren shares the techniques she has learned through the course of her international career that has spanned stage, screen, and television. Her powerful and versatile performances have earned her numerous awards, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in The Queen, a Tony Award in 2015 for her performance in The Audience, and four Emmy Awards.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I really enjoyed and learned at lot from this Master Class with Helen Mirrin. Because of her diverse background of acting both in Shakespeare and in popular television shows, and under a variety of directorial styles, her approach can be seen as both classic and modern, and not rooted in orthodoxy or rigidity. The course is a winner!

As a drama school graduate I have to say that a lot what Helen Mirren said was part of my curriculum but she also gave me a different perspective which opened a lot of new opportunities

The production, content, instructor's insights were incredibly valuable.

Great start by talking about just the simple thing of walking as your self or as a character, has me thinking....


A fellow student

To paraphrase, "Be on time and don't be a jerk". Be polite. This is valuable advice in most professions or jobs. I loved that Helen Mirren has never been to acting school or has never taken acting classes, but she is a consummate actress. She encourages a respectful way of being toward others and toward herself.

Madeline E.

Absolutely loved every second of these classes. I've took so much from it and I know the lessons are going to help me in the long run. Thank you!

Amrit S.

Thoroughly enjoyed Helen's Masterclass. The wisdom Helen offered was insightful and there was plenty of opportunity within each lesson to apply her tips into my Shakespeare piece. I feel that theatre and Shakespeare pieces are excellent to report to when an Actor is unsure or in need of fine-tuning. Will definitely be revisiting some lessons again! Thank you so much!

Shane H.

“People say, in a few words, [what is] your advice for young actors?’ And I always say, ‘Be on time. Don’t be an asshole.’ And that’s it.” —Helen Mirren This quote is valuable and applicable to everything in life. Thank you for the wonderful course Ms. Mirren.

Sarah M.

Thank you very much dear Helen! You are a great actress and a wonderful person! I've learnd a lot in your masterclass! I wish you all the best!

Matthew B.

Shakespeare Uncovered some of which is Free on Amazon is helpful !! I see Researching Shakespeare could become a Passion

A fellow student

I adore Helen, and she is pleasant to listen to and these lessons feeling like having tea with an interesting person, but I feel like this lesson should be called, “Things Helen Mirren can do that you can’t.”

Dario Z.

I'm very sad. I almost was getting attached to you just through this course! Thank you so much Helen and MasterClass!

Michael O.

I can't think of a single famous actor who has provided so much practical knowledge before and behind camera. I took this class to hone my skills as a director. (My experience acting frazzles my nerves.) I took this class to learn how to better walk a mile in the shoes of the actor. Helen, I sense your presence as strongly in these lessons as in your films. And that is the measure of a very fine teacher. It was a pleasure to get to know you, albeit digitally. Cheers!


I sure appreciate this class. Helen Mirren talks about it all! No stone left unturned for me. Loved it!