Chapter 3 of 20 from Natalie Portman

Developing Your Character Through Research

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Real-life resources are invaluable for developing your character. Natalie explains how historical research, documentaries, and even YouTube videos can help you understand your character’s motivations and behavior.

Topics include: Draw Your Character From Real Life • Use Documentaries to Inform Your Character • Use YouTube as a Resource • Learn the Historical Context for Your Character • Invent What You Don't Know • Research Ahead of Time

Real-life resources are invaluable for developing your character. Natalie explains how historical research, documentaries, and even YouTube videos can help you understand your character’s motivations and behavior.

Topics include: Draw Your Character From Real Life • Use Documentaries to Inform Your Character • Use YouTube as a Resource • Learn the Historical Context for Your Character • Invent What You Don't Know • Research Ahead of Time

Natalie Portman

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.

Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman teaches her process for creating complex characters through psychology, voice, gesture, and movement.

A downloadable workbook with lesson recaps and supplemental materials accompanies the class.

Upload your acting videos to get feedback from the class. Natalie will also critique select student work.

Reviews

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

It helped me to acknowledge and find a relationship with every character in the scene and not think about just my emotional state.

Natalie gives a lot of deep insight into the world of acting. The intricacies of character development that she offers are great tools to know. A lovely class.

loved it! Helped me very much understand complex ideas.

I was curious. I'm a mathematician and I use my imagination every day, all the time. Active empathy means a lot to me. But, now, thanks to this class, I've understood how awful it must be to be an actress. I'm so happy I'm not one. Thank you Natalie Portman!

Comments

Sydne H.

As a director, gaining a stronger grasp on what actors do to prepare for their roles is already so insightful. I love how Natalie is clearly so passionate about what she does and wants anyone with a drive for creating to feel the same.

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

Dorin I.

How Natalie Portman played herself in this life, where we do not receive User Manuals, is incredible interesting. She managed a lot of difficult jumps between complex roles by thinking that "Anyone can be your teacher" and "you are allowed to make mistakes because you are young (she still think of herself as being young and allowed to test dangerous approaches", even if a lot of "medals" get heavy on her soul and could freeze a week person). Then a super DNA phrase "if you can not find a reason for one act of your character, do not play that character". This is an Outstanding Quality Standard that we all should have in any enterprise that we have to deliver back to Humanity. I am amazed of her inner and outer beauty and power. I think I was in a New York nightclub where I saw the round VIP room from "Closer" and I can not stop looking at the movie - if this is the "make movie to reflect live" thing than it worked "too much", for me - "But who is complaining :-) ?"

Eden L.

Research is so crucial and something I'm implementing regularly now - and this is an awesome class about where to start looking. So SIMPLE, but so crucial.