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.
Get All-Access

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.

Portman combines a rich sensitivity with a finely honed practicality to deliver a thoughtful and nuanced approach to acting that can benefit anyone.

I think this class has helped me see the inner workings of an accomplished actress and that she too started from the beginning. It inspires me to practice more and not insecure about asking questions and taking risks. Super informative and helpful for someone who learns well from real life testimonies!

listening to someone who has already been in acting films and who has used different types of body language to portray her character is very remarkable and this class helped me realize that acting is where you can experience different roles but still be yourself at the same time.

I learned how to bring humanity to a character, how to communicate with everyone involved on set, and ultimately the purpose of acting: to practice empathy and connect to other people in a kind and meaningful way.



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 ;)

Luis P.

I love this so much. This is exactly what made me want to become an actor in the first place. I've felt alone most of my life, and I wanted to help other people feel less alone through a character that they can relate to. It's something really great to keep in mind when I start to get discouraged.

Rodalyn E.

Hi Natalie, I picked you as my online mentor with great belief that I can learn and take away useful tips as I commenced my acting career. Very helpful indeed. Who would you recommend best to develop, explore and realized my interesting real life story where You and I would be playing most important role? +447963310367. . I wish you can get in touch. @emperadolove. FB :RodalynLoveEmperado . Beamodels. Its time to unleash the truth and share this extraordinary life story of mine. Take aways: Beautiful moments. Keeping spaces. Improvization. Research. Freedom to invent. Will definitely work on assignments. Mapping out chronologies. Listening. Reacting appropriately. Interpreting lines. Talking with co staff. Demo is very helpful. Green screen acting/generated effects are cool/action sequences. Figure out beats of emotions . Envisioning around you. Be an advocate for others. Thank you for all of these. Im definitely coachable. I look forward to be working with you one day. Rodalyn Emperado

Eena B.

Beautiful...all of it. Contributed to me in so many different delicious ways. Thank You Natalie for You