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Arts & Entertainment

Dialect Coaching in “Jackie”

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 10:49 min

In this case study, Natalie and Tanya share how they prepared for Natalie’s role in “Jackie” as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

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.

Loved the tips Natalie collected along the way....the kind you don't necessarily find in books. Really enjoyed this class: A+

I think acting appears very daunting. but having someone like Natalie share more about it helps it seem less scary. I enjoyed her genuine personality and wisdom.

how to fully prepare for a role and commit 100%

Different techniques, and how to use a set and props. Working with different coaches to build your character.


A fellow student

It certainly gets more complex if one is following a character over time. Changes in voice, poise, confidence. The explanation of the Long Island accent and Miss Porter's training. Yes, a Master Class with the accents coach would br fascinating.

Shunda G.

interesting to know that no accent is precise with the characters origin all the time. it has colors based on other influences as well, such as education or hobbies. It's not always consistent with each vowel sound because the character might pronounce the same sound differently for different words.

Inge V.

My notes: - “Think about what the accent tells you about the person. The dialect can inform character choices, and then the character choices can inform the dialect.” The emotion, scene and who the character is with can have an influence on the accent. - “Understanding the character’s upbringing can give you some clues as to why she sounds the way she does.” - “Drill yourself into the dialect using the word lists, which group certain words with similar vowel sounds together, like the “aw” sound in “talk,” “walk,” and “chocolate.” - “Why do they breathe at that particular moment? Are they hesitating or thinking? The moments in which a person takes a pause offer great clues to what’s actually going on for them versus what they want you to think is going on. This is also known as subtext, which is an interesting way to reveal layers and add depth to a character.” When you see where the breaths are, you can see the thought process that is going on underneath the lines. The exact inhales and exhales reveals a lot about a character. When a character stumbles on their words, that is where the gold is – something else is going on underneath. - “When doing your own dialect work with a character, it’s important to remember that a lot of people are inconsistent with the way they speak and the sounds they use, so sometimes as an actor you have to make a choice as to what sounds you will use and when you’ll use them. Place the sounds where they sound and feel the most authentic to you.” Nobody talks consistently the same all the time. - “Film yourself doing a read with the dialect and without the dialect, and then watch both takes. How does it change you? Do you find yourself behaving differently? Is your pitch different? What about your physicality? Record your findings in your notebook.”


When you speak 4 languages, it’s not too hard to switch between linguistic elements but for me the trickiest part is trying to adopt certain accents in a language I know but aren’t too familiar with

Jacek M.

I work sometimes as dialogue coach for actors who don't speak French but they need to for the specific role or scene. This lesson really helped me to see how deep dialect coaching should go! Thanks a lot!

Lydia P.

Fascinating lesson! I find dialects such a fun adventure and it was wonderful to see how Natalie tackled her role as Jackie when it came to learning her voice. There is so much to mine from this lesson that I'll definitely be watching it a few more times.

Joshua J.

Excellent class, I love watching the actual video of Jackie, then listening to Natalie and Tanya discuss it.


Marvelous! That's how long-term commitment to a craft looks and sounds like!

Nastasia M.

Very informative, the article exercises are great too for voice over warmups.

Nastasia M.

I love to focus on her character from Jackie, along with the video examples. It really ties together the message.