Natalie Portman Teaches Acting MasterClass Review: Is It Worth It?
Award-winning actress Natalie Portman has teamed up with MasterClass to create an in-depth introduction to acting. She hits on all of the most important topics, including how to develop characters and take on the roles of people who are still alive. Natalie is not just any other actress, winning several awards during her career and accomplishing many things since her debut at only 12 years old. She is now focusing more on the directing side of the film industry, working with some of the best actors in the industry and the best directors around.
If you’re interested in acting or just a fan of Natalie, you could be interested but, is this MasterClass worth it? In this review, we will take a look at the course, breaking down the lessons that you will learn and the content in each one. While this is not a technical course by any means, it gives students a new way and perspective of looking at the world of acting, beginning with an analysis of character development. Is this MasterClass worth your time and money? We’ll find out.
Who Is This MasterClass For?
This MasterClass is great for anyone with a passion for the big screen. Whether you are a movie fanatic or, hope to be on the big screen one day, this MasterClass quite possibly has something for you. It doesn’t focus on technical details but, hits on many pieces of advice that can help aspiring actors break into the field more confidently.
Natalie gives students a lot of advice plus, gives them a few examples that they can work on themselves. These examples are things that aspiring actors can use and take with them along their journey, as they strive to be the best actors that they can be. It doesn’t just have to be for those that are looking to break into the industry but, for anyone that would like to take an inside look at the complex world of acting.
Natalie Portman has been in the acting game since she was a child. Starting at the age of 12, she began breaking into the industry appearing alongside some of the most famous actors in Hollywood. In just 5 years after her first appearance and initial breakthrough role, she was nominated and chosen for the renowned Golden Globe award. This was just the beginning, as her success skyrocketed her into super-stardom-scoring roles in films from comedies all the way to the famous trilogy Star Wars.
Don’t think that she is just all about acting. Natalie is a dynamic individual that also graduated from Harvard University, with a degree in psychology. Her multi-faceted lifestyle and experiences helped her in the development of her teaching skills, as she gives aspiring actors the tricks of the trade. During her MasterClass, you will see her shine, where she brings everything to the table and puts it out there for all learners to see.
The entire MasterClass is composed of 18 video lessons, all of which come out to a total of 3 hours. Introduced in the course are topics like character development and a look at working on set, all geared towards giving learners an inside and in-depth look at what it is like to be an award-winning actress. The lessons in the MasterClass include:
Developing Your Character
Natalie is a character actor, which means that she has a lot of work to do when it comes to acting. While you might know the person that you are playing and some of their characteristics and quotes, it takes much more than that to take on a role. Natalie shows you her method, teaching you how to really get to know and become your character. You will need to channel the character by thinking about what makes them tick and finding their voice. Once you have the personality traits and reaction down, you can start focusing more on things like their outer appearance, including their hair, makeup, and wardrobe.
Character Development: Exercises to Help You
To make sure that you can solidify everything that you have learned, Natalie has developed a few exercises that you can put into practice immediately. She will walk you through the first one, giving you her example and showing you how it’s done. Then, you can refer back to this section any time that you want to practice. You will notice how much this opens you up to the ideas of understanding how some of the best actors in the business take on characters and create amazing roles. When you watch the next film on your list, try to do this exercise along with it and see how it goes.
The Challenges of Playing Real People
When you’re an actor, you may have a lot of pressure on you when you are selected for a role. If you’re chosen to play a respected character, you’ll need to be really careful and extra sensitive. One of the ways that Natalie Portman accomplishes this is by giving an example of Jackie Kennedy. She demonstrates what part of the late first lady’s life to research in order to give her a better feel for how she was as a person. It takes a lot of research, practice, and repetition to nail a role like this one, becoming much more difficult if the actor or actress is still living.
Replicating the Perfect Accent
The way that a person speaks has much more to it than just the sound of their voice. Life experiences and the position of the person can also shape and influence the way that a person speaks, sounding more powerful or strong if they are in a position of power. Not to mention if they have an accent from another country or maybe a certain personal way of speaking that can be difficult to mimic. Natalie hits on this topic, talking about the parts of speech to study including intonation and tone. She uses her role as Jackie Kennedy once again to solidify this point, showing how she trained for her speech patterns.
The Dos and Don’ts of Working on Set
When a set is created and all made up and ready to go, actors have to put themselves in the setting and make themselves a part of the background. This can sometimes be a challenge, especially with so many people all in the same place. One important thing that Natalie brings up here is the fact that it is extremely important to work well with others. One of the things that you will always need to do is have open communication with everyone on set, making sure that everything turns out as planned. This also includes making sure that you consider working with directors, both respected or new in the industry.
How to Flawlessly Perform on Camera
It can be challenging to perform on camera. There is always the challenge of coming off unnatural on camera, making you feel self-conscious when you step in front. This is why Natalie added this section, one where you can learn to perform with ease in front of the camera. Her theory is that it takes a lot of concentration and a deep focus and attention to detail to create a great performance. You must know your lines and your position on the set at all times. The better that you have these basics memorized, the more easily you can create magic on screen, focusing on tiny details that make roles memorable.
Advice for Actors of All Levels
The last two videos of the course are packed with loads of advice that comes straight from Natalie. She has gathered this up over time and summed it up into a detailed message for all students to see. Included in the video is advice to always respect others even if you don’t agree on certain topics. There is also a section on undesirable roles, with Natalie speaking about how to handle this phenomenon with ease.
Natalie Portman’s MasterClass comes with over 3 hours of video lectures in total that you can access time and time again. Apart from that, there is a workbook included that goes over all of the most important points introduced in the class, giving you something that you can study when you want to refresh your memory. For all of this, Natalie Portman’s MasterClass comes out to $90. While this is a steal for a class with a professional and famous actress, there is a better deal from MasterClass, especially if you’re always interested to learn.
MasterClass has a long list of classes to choose from. When you’re curious to learn something like cooking, writing, or acting, MasterClass comes with the opportunity to take all of the classes you want for $180. These all come with unlimited access with the all-access pass plus, all of the extras that come with each MasterClass course. We are not saying that Natalie’s class is not enough, packed with so much information and advice for up and coming actors but, with an all-access pass, you’ll have so much to learn from the best in the business with a super discounted cost per class.
Overall, this class has received praise for its content and Natalie Portman’s dynamic teaching style. Several learners that have taken the course have left feedback about their experience. Here is what a few of them have to say:
“Natalie lessons are enlightening and focus on polishing your all-round character in readiness for performances. The classes not only mold you into a complete actor but also sharpen you to prevail against many life challenges.” – Matthew R.
“The Natalie Portman Masterclass is a great piece of training; it’ll be extremely useful for virtually anyone. Regardless of whether or not you want to become an actor, acting classes are a great way for you to learn how to better express yourself. Natalie Portman is one of the great actors of our generation and in this masterclass, it clearly shows.” – Benjamin R.
“I also like that there’s no set time to complete the online acting course. If you want to do a lesson every day, go for it, but if you’re super busy and don’t get to it for a week or two that’s cool too. It won’t expire like that – in fact, you can re-watch the lessons from your MasterClass account whenever in the future you want a refresher.” Kristen B.
“This class is for anyone who wants to improve for their next role. As with most things, leaders in your industry can teach you a lot. Sure you could trial and error it, and you will still to a certain extent, but the inside tips of an Academy Award winner like Natalie Portman are gold.” – Donnie D.
Overall, is this course worth dishing out the green? Well, that just depends. Fans of the actress and those interested in pursuing a career in acting can surely benefit from this class, as there is a ton of information and advice to come by. If acting is just something you’re curious about, $90 could seem a bit steep to pay. That is why the all-access pass can be a good way to go, scoring Natalie’s class and many others that are taught by famous and well-known people in the industry.
The course has a high rating from those who have taken it, with most leaving satisfied with the information they received. If you’re looking for a class to set you in the right direction in your acting career, this class will do just that. Plus, you’re receiving advice from an award-winning and inspiring actress that is loved by people all around the world. This MasterClass can help your dreams come true by first opening your mind up to the world of acting and taking on complex roles.