Film & TV

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.

Play
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 All-Access

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.

It was fantastic to hear from a profesional actress things that you already know and learn some tools that will help you to improve your art. Thanks to Natalie Portman and all the Masterclass team.

I didn't know much about Natalie Portman before taking this masterclass. I really enjoyed her breakdown of how to behave as an actor: how to treat your coworkers, director, and others on set.

I enjoyed the section where she demonstrate improvising on using natural instinct to include props and the camera to a particular scene

Adore the empathetic approach! It teaches us each, as humans, that no matter our role or character in this life, love is the answer. :)


Comments

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.

Pétainguy M.

The next week end will be dedicated to Natalie's work. She is really a wonderful person : talent, humility, high capacities, ... She really merits her success ans she is a generous teacher. We can call her Master, with a big M.

Kristine K.

I love her honesty in this lesson. She is really opening up and teaching us. I love this! Give the director choices...play with it etc.

Matthew B.

I got the DVD of Days of Heaven Directed by Terrence Malick and spent the afternoon today watching the Film twice, once with the audio commentary of art director costume designer and casting director !! also listened to commentary from Stars Richard Gere and Sam Shepard. Incredible DVD content and Film !

Nastasia M.

Helpful to think about what the director needs from you to work with. The variety, changes etc.

ALICIA S.

Working and getting along with everybody especially the directors is like the smart. Emotional changes for the same role in the same scene can get frustrating. Looking at yourself seems torturous. Good class 🤩

Amy

The link is broken to download the PDF lesson plan.... anyone else finding this?