Film & TV

Active Empathy

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 02:50 min

In her final lesson, Natalie encourages you to see acting as an exercise in empathy. As you step into your character’s shoes, she encourages you to be playful, not worry about making mistakes, and have fun above all else.

Natalie Portman
Teaches Acting
Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman shares the techniques at the heart of her acting process—and teaches you how to tackle your next role.
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Make every role extraordinary

Natalie Portman began acting professionally at 12 and won an Oscar before she turned 30. As a self-taught actor, she uses personal techniques to create compelling, complex characters. In her first-ever acting class, Natalie shows how empathy is at the core of every great performance, how to bring real-life details into every role, and how to build your own creative process. Get ready for your breakout performance.


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

I feel more confident, and understanding of the artistry of acting. I learned a lot from someone I really look up to. I aspire to be able to apply what I have picked up from this class.

I didn't realise that Natalie was an incredible teacher in addition to being a talented actress and director. Thank you. I learned a lot from her. I play her lessons just before I shoot a selftape or go on set.

Excellent!!! LOVED Natalie's style of teaching.

So far, I'm loving this class. Natalie gives great advice and puts it in a clear way. Great for students of all experience!



Thank you so much Natalie for taking the time to show us your world. I started this masterclass not to act but to find out how actors go about their craft developing characters. I have definitely learned something from it. I have a novel in the works which is almost near completion and it gave me an idea of how an actor might approach my characters. It has been so invaluable. To me, you'll always be Padme from Star Wars. Wicked film btw :-)


What a way to end the class! What Natalie said about acting bringing meaning due to being an imagination of someone elses life, and being in a movie theatre is so important to human culture, society and community because it is a social experience of learning empathy is completely beautiful. I've often struggled with the idea that I want to pursue something creative and artist with the pressure of others around me to do something more 'serious'. Every time someone uses that argument again I'm going to bring up what Natalie is teaching here, I don't think anyone can argue with that. Loved this lesson and the whole class.

Ken C.

Great class! Thank you for sharing your insight. I couldn't agree more - it's all about empathy!


It's fabulous! I love the way Natalie presented the class. It gives a non-acting major student an insight into the creative process of a great actress. A lot of highlights and inspirational methods are in this class. I especially love that when Natalie said where you find the stumbles are often where the gold is, which is thought-provoking. And I love the class on active empathy, we all need that as human beings.

Sam B.

This class had great insights......Acting is being in the moment....with honesty... in every moment of those moments..

Master B.

Natalie Portman, Thank U for Sharing the Detailed Methods N Successfully Collaborating with Thespians as a Filmmaker. Continued Success SiStar!!!


Wow this was phenomenal and I learned about so many tools to help me in my acting work. Thank you so much Natalie!

Lydia P.

What a Masterclass! Thank you, Natalie. Truly. It's been amazing! I love how you put viewing a film as a social experience with a room full of people, spending two hours caring about someone else's life. I've always viewed it as entertainment and something that could make me feel deeply, but I didn't know how to put into words the enormity that it meant to me. You've nailed it. We do care about those characters on the screen. We share in their triumphs and their sorrows, and we share it all together, as one.

Katie M.

Beautifully said. Many people presume that Actors are attention seekers (and some are) but mostly Actors are givers who want to make their audience feel good. This in itself is the Art of Empathy.

Douglas S.

Great course! I learned so much in these videos! Thank you, Natalie. Look forward to working with you one day ;)