Film & TV

Case Study: “Black Swan”

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 07:28 min

In this case study, Natalie reveals how she prepared for her role in “Black Swan” as a ballerina losing her grip on reality, which included training with a ballet instructor for months.

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 didn't know much about Natalie Portman before taking this masterclass. I really enjoyed her breakdown of how to behave as an actor: how to treat your coworkers, director, and others on set.

I loved this masterclass with Natalie Portman. I've been an actress for 15 years while raising my daughter. Now that she's grown, I need to pursue this love I have for filmmaking further.

Like all the classes. It is good to hear from the top tier in the industry. To drop the curtain and normalize the process gives confidence in approaching the craft. Hard work, with intelligent execution is another side to the equation. Natalie did a great job of encouraging the viewer. I really liked the class!

I just watched all the episodes of Natalie Portman's class. It's inspiring and meaningful. You can learn a lot from it. I totally recommend it.


Michael P.

Her Black Swan dancing double deserves more credit. When you CGI your face onto someone else's body, that isn't really acting.


Great lesson, I loved getting to see the thought process of Nina's two sides. On that note I may have noticed a typo in the handbook, not sure if it's been pointed out but " a young ballet dancer who has who sides" is that meant to be 'two'?.

Dax A.

This is a good lesson because it reminds me that we should also be re-watching black swan, Natalie Portman took her acting to a new level when she performed in it.

Stanley K.

With my character Troy from 3 kings. He has 3 different parts of him. He is dad, soldier, and one point he he is a POW. On thing I noticed he is dad and soldier the whole time and a POW only for a few scenes. He wants the gold for his family so he is selfish for his family. On the set of the documentary I was on my character had to shoot a giant 100 mm prop gun that used to be a Chinese gun. It still had wadding come out the tip. I had to shoot it over the cast and make sure it did not go to low. The director said it could still injure or kill someone. The wadding shot over a 1/4 mile away. He said if hits tree it could break it. I really used my knowledge of fighting scenes from college classes, hunting (science then I really do not hunt, had change of heart) and martial arts. I wish I had some conversations with soldiers to prep. This lesson is giving so much to think about. I want to work a more dramatic role. I am going to try to speed through and work a more dramatic one and go through again. Really helpful class. Thank you!

A fellow student

Very informative, both the physical and mental state of a character from what i see makes a performance whole, if not it just not interesting enough.

Matthew B.

Great Movie Natalie !! Seen at least 6 times before most recent watch. Got quite aroused on a Saturday afternoon. Completing the lessons.

Joshua L.

I'm gladd i didntpay 90 for a class but for the year mainly focused on music. but characters can justify anywhere in lfie. plus At a young age i always wanted to pursue in acting and now that I got a home studio I can not just focus only on music but also acting. Thank you for these master classes yes I am spending money but damn it is money damn well spent.