Film & TV

Performing on Camera

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 12:05 min

After years of performing on camera, Natalie has figured out what helps her achieve her best work. She explains her personal process as well as other tips for making the most of your time in front of the camera.

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.

it was an absolutely amazing experience! Natalie its such a pro, i love her, and everything she said made me rethink everything i thought i knew about acting, and i definitely will put into practice every lesson from this course. thank you so much Masterclass, this was worth every penny! and thank you, Natalie.

Excellent course, loved it. Thank You very much.

It helped me gain more insight on what it is like to act, what it is like for a woman in the film Industry and how they are treated. It also taught me new skills and how to apply them to myself not just for acting but for real life scenarios.

It was very interesting when she helped about preparing for a character. However, it would be even more interesting to get more technical advice about what movement can express what feeling, more tips about how to balance the expression of the required emotion, not to overplay it or underplay it for example.


Lydia P.

I love her constant reminders on being flexible. There are times that I get so focused on 'getting it right' that I forget to live in the moment. On her note of watching playback, I know it's something that I struggle with. I have a love/hate relationship with watching myself on screen. I tend to be overly critical which leads to questioning myself and why I'm pursuing this career/if I'm good enough and so on. But on the days that I can look past all of that, it is so very helpful. You can only learn from doing and if you never see your performances, you'll never know where improvements can be made. I've had the same experiences of thinking I'm portraying a certain emotion and then finding out that it is not coming across the way I intended.

A fellow student

I have a question. If im doing the same thing for continuity, how am i supposed to change things from take to take so in the end the director can have multiple reactions of me ?

Dan U.

She has creative, emotional and intellectual intelligence that is most impressive.

Pétainguy M.

I am very impressed. Really great course and happy to understand job like best ones do.

Kristine K.

I love that she touched on crying. It's not that easy for me to cry on cue. It makes me feel better that she said that other actors have the same problem. I am really loving this Master Class. Natalie is an amazing teacher. I am going to watch this over and over again. I have to say this is the best class for the arts that I have watched on MC. I'm very impressed.


Creating the role, learning the script and being memorized is the imperative to being a believable storyteller. Great advice 💕

Matthew B.

The referenced article from the New York Film Academy on Types of Camera Shots is really interesting and informative.


That was very useful, it's true, when watching playback, if you're looking at yourself, you're probably focusing on something superficial or being too critical of something no one else is remotely observing. So, be kind to yourself :)

Maya D.

Continuity can sometimes make my performances feel stale and planned.... finding freedom while maintaining moments of continuity is a great challenge.

Samuel E.

Really related to what she said about sometimes what’s happening on the inside might not be translating well on the outside. That’s why I believe watching playback as feedback and a type of direction, is a a great idea.