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Arts & Entertainment

Case Study: Working With Terrence Malick

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 11:00 min

Unlike many of the directors she’s worked with, Terrence Malick doesn’t follow the traditional rules of filmmaking. Natalie shares what she learned from this acclaimed director’s unconventional approach.

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.

Talented human being. Genuinely active actress. Inspiring class.

I've learned accents, and I've just really enjoyed learning from Natalie

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 for making this series. I thought it was interesting and insightful, and I'm grateful to have watched it.


A fellow student

Paying attention to the pauses, the quiet, and improvising in that space. I like that...not just waiting.

Sandy D.

What a great note about lighting used indoors (if possible to be in a place to even make that suggestion) allowing the actor to freely move throughout the space with more freedom and less marks. Wonderful.


I think it is a very interesting idea to keep the camera rolling after the scene ends and for the actors to keep exploring.

Allexandru I.

Good but, why didn't you add the scenes from the movies she is talking about? It would have been much better.

Tiffany P.

As the lessons got by, I appreciate more and more what I am learning. I am taking so much in and hearing information that I have never heard before and will be great for my future. Very useful and intriguing.

Alba M.

This is a great point! To keep in character until the director says cut. It helped me tremendously during a casting for a short film in Georgia. It gives the scenes a more realistic feeling .

Lydia P.

I agree with everyone else on this, that the advice about playing until cut is said is so beautiful. It's something that I do but that I haven't put thought into. I've learned to stay in the scene until the director ends it, but I don't know why it's never occurred to me to sit down and actually think about 'the after'. Something so simple yet so useful! I'll definitely be adding that to my work in the lead-up to shooting.

Nowa C.

I love the idea of developing what exists after the scene ends and having those moments in your memory.

Iddo G.

Very professional material in this lesson - a lot of amazing deep insights and tips. Toda Natalie

Nastasia M.

I love the point about continuing the scene after the dialogue has ended. I didn't fully grasp the lesson about creating emotion through gesture though.