From Natalie Portman's MasterClass

Developing Your Character's Physicality

To develop your character, you will need to use your body. Natalie teaches you how to find the right movements and physical exercises, as well as how to use wardrobe and makeup, to embody the role.

Topics include: Root Your Character's Physicality in Emotion • Let Your Character's Psychology Inform Your Movement • Play With Movement in Relation to the Camera and Other Actors • Get Creative in the In-Between Moments • Use Your Appearance to Connect to Your Character • Let Costume Inform Your Character's Movement • Costume Informing Character in Jackie

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To develop your character, you will need to use your body. Natalie teaches you how to find the right movements and physical exercises, as well as how to use wardrobe and makeup, to embody the role.

Topics include: Root Your Character's Physicality in Emotion • Let Your Character's Psychology Inform Your Movement • Play With Movement in Relation to the Camera and Other Actors • Get Creative in the In-Between Moments • Use Your Appearance to Connect to Your Character • Let Costume Inform Your Character's Movement • Costume Informing Character in Jackie

Natalie Portman

Teaches Acting

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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.

Reviews

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

I'm an actor who is also not classically trained but have taken classes and am open to new ways of preparation. I liked that Natalie is very practical and modern in her approach, especially in the way she researches. Very real and grounded class. Thank you!

loved it! Helped me very much understand complex ideas.

Loved this class and all of Natalie's insights and tips and tools and her genuine respect for the art of acting <3

Loved many parts of this, especially the bit when Natalie took us to set. I wish we could've seen a bit more of her actively walking us through acting. But overall, I really enjoyed this class!

Comments

Tracy D.

I'm a writer, so I work in a different creative field, but Natalie's advice on how to develop and show a multi-faceted character is unusually helpful. Thank you!

A fellow student

This is my third master in acting. I think this one will be my favorite. My main concern is can i memorize the script? Right now i am writing even a play. Thank you for your lessons master Natalie Portman.

Stanley K.

I am a little head of schedule for myself studying this lesson, but wanted to get ahead. I am already working on movements a little. Troy, from 3 Kings is soldier, so I made an attempt to contact my instructor Paul Pax (retired) from Special Forces (he was the instructor for Special Forces, Green Beret, Navy Seals, and Rangers [hand to hand & other training too]) I started training on my own again in Muy Thai and Silat, what they use in Special Forces and other elite units. I thought since my character was friends with Archie Gates, Special Forces, he may have taught him some hand to hand combat, each part of the military uses different martial arts. I have a scarf I started to wear, too. Archie Gates trained them in tactics in one scene... Scarf fighting is something Silat uses. So thought that would help me think more like my character some. I sent out some other emails to people, too, for advising (a U.S. Rep., Paul Pax, and some past/present Presidential staff), I hope to hear back soon. I signed up for DOD and DOJ reports years ago. Those help a lot, always, trying to stay current with DOD and DOJ email.... I did a research paper about POWs in college, (for my Narco Terrorism teacher at WSU, Professor Erin Sanders, I think saw her in that movie "DoomsDay" from England she cute, smart, and talented, it looked like she got the main role... not sure though, I have no idea what she is up too) so I am trying to check up on my report I did, at the same time. My grandfather's friend is a POW/MIA from the Korean War & my character got captured at one point and became a POW, so this character is making think of him a lot, Milton Lawson(POW/MIA) from my college research paper and grandfathers friend. Watching a lot of youtube videos and reading reports. I hope for some phone interviews and emails, too. I will get back to more movements, soon, I might check Air Soft competitions, for tactics and gun research. I am still working on last lesson...... I will probably get some camo or black cargo pants. I am happy too see I am working some this on my own, ahead of schedule. I may check out if I am doing anything else early, as well. I like seeing I am on the same wave length, bettering myself and learning this.

habiba C.

I love her advance thinking. That helped me tremendously since I just wrote a fictional manuscript and I play as myself and it hits the point that if the character relates to a situation then magnify it with other amenities such as physical alteration. I wrote a book S413 and it is about bringing Muslims and Jews and Christians together to unify mankind a diminish hate and in one part my character I have to go though a severe physical change when the character finds out about the bombing of the Israelities and Palestinians.... and I totally took note that if I loose more weight on that scene then it will be more believable. Maybe one day I can stop the ongoing war between jews and muslim and all other religions. I dedicated my book to the victims of 9-11, the christ church shooting and the victims of sri lanka church attack. For now I can only write my script and educate people of hate crimes through my acting. Me as a muslim girl for when I speak my dialogues I want to have that authentic vibe as Natalie. This post was remarkable. I learned so much as how to embrace my character that maybe one day I'll get to play on the silver screen. I guess what I want to take from Natalies class is I want to become real life Kamala Khan from Marvel just without a cape.

ALICIA S.

Movement is very important. But physicality changes with age. Like I cannot be a female action hero at 50 years old, or do like a lovemaking scene. Maybe you can because of the dancing background. For me, there are some serious limitations: Firming cream still leaves some cellulite behind. It’s a sad truth.

Patrick M.

Such a lovable actress. I remember the big change in how I saw movies was because of her part in Closer. I would sit at night waiting for my mom to come home from work watching movies. Mostly I preferred Men in Black and the common stuff, but one day I saw Closer. Obviously what stunned me was how beautiful Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts are but I remember thinking about how crazy it is that they’re getting caught up in so much trouble because of words. The whole film is about things we don’t see happening on screen and yet they feel so much more powerful for it. I don’t think there are many actors that can do that, it’s what Jack Nicholson does with the imaginary baseball game in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s something that is in you but not a lot of people give themselves the time to pay attention to. It’s like we’re surrounded by nothing but people with the attention span of a fly who have nothing else to do but echo. I wish I wasn’t one of them but I am. I wish I was so passionate that words could mean the same they seem to do to the characters in that film.

Norma H.

loved the class, just for this one I can't download the work sheet, is it only me or happened to someone else?

Casie

To share your work, get feedback, connect with students and discuss the workbook, visit The Hub! Tons of great resources there. Here's the link: https://community.masterclass.com/c/performance/np-workbook