To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Arts & Entertainment

Working With Directors

Natalie Portman

Lesson time 06:41 min

The rapport you establish with a director from the beginning of your collaboration can help you deliver a successful performance. Natalie teaches you how to navigate this relationship and bring your own ideas to the table.

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.
Get Started

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.

I learned some deeper aspects of technique with special regard to character development.

Such great insights on getting into character!

Natalie Portman is so articulate and intelligent. She explains the "inner game" of acting and the practical skills of a working actor. She is a great teacher, and her class has given me more confidence as an actor as well as renewed inspiration.

The past two days taking this class has been amazing. This is my second Acting Masterclass and I have learnt so much more. Incredible class.Thank you!


A fellow student

Working with the director and being respectful of his or her style, but also be willing to propose a new a nice way.

Shunda G.

Developing a good relationship with the director is key. Get to know them and their style of working. What their vision is. Do they open room for improv, or are they a stickler for memorization. Also be able to add a little spice to your character that provides a variety for the director. Help Him/Her help you. Thank you Natalie this was vey helpful

JD Mayo

I do about 3 takes per scene. Also I do about one rehersal per take. Because of timing and how long the script is. I also don't like improve even if it's a good idea from the actor. I will only want them to say what's authentic to the script. Good points.


It's important for an actor to offer choices, reactions and ideas to help the director in the edit.

Tiffany P.

I didn't realize how important it was to form a close relationship with your director and how much they would appreciate you bringing many different ideas to the table. This lesson also showed that you should always keep in the back of your mind that their critiques are only there to help you. Asking a lot of questions, and trying new transitions is something directors will always enjoy but not to say that they will use it all.

Kristian A.

I'm noticing that as she describes all of these emotions, her face is instantly shifting into a very convincing expression of that emotion. In other words, I hadn't noticed how in control she is, or rather how little control I have over my own face. I'm impressed

Caro J.

I’m surprise that she doesn’t mention the help of the script supervisor for continuity

Katie M.

Amazing advice about playing more and giving more variety for the director to work with. Also helpful that she suggested breaking bad habits...

Nowa C.

Where Natalie informs us that directors are also counting on you to bring creative ideas to the table too is really an important realization for me because I always feel insecure about positing some thoughts or ideas I have about the character. Here's an excerpt I got from one of the reading recommendations made through Natalie's lesson plans: "I recently spoke with a novelist about one of his character's motivation in a particular scene. His explanation took me entirely by surprise, as I interpreted the events very differently. His explanation may have been what was in his head when he wrote, but that doesn't mean it's what he put down on paper. If he had, I probably would have received that message on some level. However, five the playwright credit (at least initially) for knowing what she was trying to do and keep an open mind about her opinions ... since characters have multiple layers and motivations, everything the playwright thinks about a character may be true, but what you think may also be true."

Pétainguy M.

Really good advice, and I had experience soon the necessity : speak with the director to be clear what you want and he wants or not before the job. Better refuse than having a very uncomfortable relation during filming.