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In this post, we have featured the Helen Mirren MasterClass Review 2019 with Helen Mirren as the acting coach with special access plan and video modules.
Who is Helen Mirren?
Helen Mirren is a loved and an outstanding actor whose movie and tv work includes major projects like ‘Prime Suspect,’ ‘Caligula,’ ‘Elizabeth I’ and ‘The Queen.’
Born on July 26, 1945, in London, England, Helen Mirren pursued stage work before debuting in the film during the ’60s.
She was lauded for her lead role in the series Prime Suspect and she’s portrayed Queen Elizabeth I and II, winning an Oscar for the latter role.
She was later cast as Alma Reville, the wife of director Sir Alfred Hitchcock, in the 2012 biopic Hitchcock.
Award-winning actress Helen Mirren was born Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironova on July twenty-six, 1945, in Chiswick, London, England, to Vasiliy Petrovich “Basil” Miranoff and Kathleen Rogers.
One of three children, Mirren’s father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, played the viola with the London Philharmonic. He later left the orchestra to become a cab driver and driving test examiner, both professions that better supported his family, and eventually ended up working as a civil servant with the Ministry of Transport. Her mother, Kathleen Rogers, was the daughter of a butcher who supplied meat to Queen Victoria.
Mirren was attracted to the theater at an early age, finding her inspiration at the age of 13 at an amateur production of Hamlet.
“I was blown away by all this extraordinary drama,” she said in an interview with The Times UK.
“We grew up without TV and ne’er visited the cinema, so after Hamlet, all I wanted to do was get back into that world where all those fabulous things were possible.”
Mirren was sent to St. Bernard’s High School, a Catholic convent, in Southend-On-Sea and was steered away from her career by her parents.
At the age of 18, she was accepted into the company. At the urgings of her mother, however, Mirren entered a London teaching college in order to learn a stable profession.
By age 20, however, Mirren was starring as Cleopatra within the 1965 production of Antony and Cleopatra.
Her performance as the Egyptian leader landed her an agent, as well as a place with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
She began taking part in sexually charged roles like Castiza inside the 1966 staging of The Revenger’s Tragedy; Cressida during a 1968 production of Troilus and Cressida; and woman male monarch
These and several other roles earned her the title “The Sex Queen of Stratford”—a title she greatly resented.
She appeared in Caligula (1980), which also starred Malcolm McDowell and Peter O’Toole. The film, controversial for its strong violence and explicit sex scenes, had a self-imposed X rating. As a result, Caligula performed poorly at box offices and received pans from critics, who dismissed the movie as thinly veiled pornography.
Mirren fared better in the gangster film The Long Good Friday (1979), which received strong praise. She followed this performance with a role in the fantasy film Excalibur (1981), which was based on the legend of King Arthur. But it was her role in the film Cal (1984) that landed Mirren her first major film awards: The Cannes Film Festival prize for best actress, and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award. In 1985, Mirren was cast in White Nights; she worked on the film with director Taylor Hackford and soon began seeing him off the set. The following year, Mirren appeared in the critically acclaimed Mosquito Coast, followed by another critics’ favorite, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989).
What is MasterClass?
Entrepreneur Aaron Rasmussen and film editor and director David Rogier started MasterClass in 2015. Based in San Francisco, it’s an online education platform for creative professionals. Of course, you don’t need to travel to San Francisco to take a MasterClass.
You can watch MasterClass courses using your computer or phone and consume the materials at your own pace.
As a student, you can learn the art of comedy from Steve Martin, writing thrillers from James Patterson, dramatic writing from David Mamet, screenwriting from Aaron Sorkin and lots more. It is a great way of learning online from top creators you would not normally have access to.
Who is MasterClass For?
The MasterClass is for writers, photographers, artists, musicians, painters, and creative professionals. It’s ideal for students who are happy to learn at their own pace using a computer.
Unlike Lynda or Treehouse, MasterClass is suitable for writers, musicians, artists, and creative professionals.
This is an interesting niche.
Many of the opposite online courses I’ve taken facilitate students learn business skills like promoting or additional sensible skills like writing or internet development basics.
The MasterClass isn’t ideal for people who thrive in classroom environments and prefer a more hands-on approach from teachers.
What you get in the Helen Mirren MasterClass?
You get 6+ hours of video modules. That’s Helen Mirren talking directly to us on a variety of key fascinating acting and storytelling ideas.
Each module is long-form and the average length is about the time of a TV show.
Sometimes Helen is sitting talking to us face-to-face, sometimes she’s showing us around a set, sometimes we’re in her makeup room, costume closet, at the wig or prop table, or analyzing scenes from her movies and television dramas.
Helen loves to mix it up, keeping it interesting and making it easier for us to visually see the advice she is imparting.
There are 28 video modules, each detailing a core part of the storytelling profession broken into various exciting filmmaking topics.
Some of the modules included:
- Human Behavior
- Bonus: Naturalism
- Characterizing the Set
- Breaking Down A Script
- Shakespeare (Part 1 & 2)
- Preparation and Rehearsal
- Film Acting Technique (Part 1, 2 & 3)
- Creating Characters: Hair & Makeup (Part 1 & 2)
To be frank, it’s actually not possible to rank the lessons because each one is brilliant.
Each video module is a MasterClass in itself
You can tell Helen is a great teacher, right from the introduction video.
Helen Mirren is an inspiring, raw, open, emotional philosophical, fun, interesting, and compelling speaker. Her passion leaps from the screen and is incredibly infectious.
Helen begins by discussing the insecurities of the actor and the philosophy of acting – how it’s an empty space that we fill with our fears, terrors, imagination, poetry, philosophy, passion, and storytelling. From there, everything we do is a service to the story. After learning concerning Helen’s journey within the theatre, how she evolved as a theatre actress, and how she chooses roles, we are treated to her fascinating script process.
Helen says upfront that her process requires you to be in a privileged position of getting good roles to start but it’s fascinating nonetheless. Plus, when answering one of the student questions in the Office Hours section, Helen drops a few gems of advice on how to never have to do roles you don’t want to when starting out.
If you follow Helen’s advice, her script process is completely relevant to you even if you are an up-and-coming actor.
We then learn how to break down a script. Helen’s advice is based on her personality but I thought it was great and a good reminder about what you should be looking for when reading a script for the first time and what you should be focusing on.
It was interesting to observe what Helen does right after the primary read-through. You’ll learn why you’ll need two, three, or even four scripts for her method – because she literally deconstructs the script.
Shakespeare and probably the most exciting informational content
Helen begins with a discussion on why Shakespeare is so nice for the budding actor to wrestle with.
Then she dives into a read-through of a speech from The Merchant of Venice, one that she herself hasn’t performed and doesn’t know by heart. She also performs a speech from The Tempest (one of my favorites).
This was a real treat. Helen reads out the lines and analyses and unpicks the meanings. The important thing we learn here is how to find your own meaning.
The literal meaning is one issue however significantly with Shakespeare, you’re allowed to find your own meaning. It must have a meaning for you because then the line lives for you – as an actor, that’s the most important thing.
I loved Helen’s reading and interpretation. I also thought it was great to see for anyone who is intimidated by Shakespeare because even Helen trips over a few words and needs to say a few lines repeatedly to get it right.
Helen offers an unbelievably ablaze and intelligent reading that created me want to devour Shakespeare everywhere once more.
Look in the comments for the Shakespeare module and you’ll see that Helen has awakened a new love of Shakespeare in all of the other students too!
These lessons even brought students to tears, and I can see why. Words come alive when Helen reads them. And we get a glimpse into how we can also do those ourselves on the stage.
The entire Helen Mirren Teaches Acting MasterClass has immense amounts of replay worth. Particularly the Shakespeare section, that I’ve in person re-watched a number of times currently.
Find our character
After rekindling our love of Shakespeare, Helen teaches us the way to realize our character.
This was a superb segment of the course. Beautiful, inspiring, motivating, and filled with practical advice grounded in Helen’s years of experience.
If you’re an actor and you need pepping up on your journey, this class will thoroughly reinvigorate you and remind you of why you started in the first place.
We learn Helen’s analysis method, which is different for fictional and real characters and are treated to fascinating stories of how Helen found unbiased accounts for some of her characters like Elizabeth I.
We also get these in-depth multi-part lessons in creating characters using costumes, hair, make-up, and props.
We study how costumes will tell stories that serve your character. We learn about costume practicality, movement, period, emphasizing your features.
These are extraordinary lessons as a result of they’re the proper illustration of why completely different people like MasterClass. This shows why writers like me enroll in the acting classes.
A designer or dressmaker or make-up artist could watch Helen Mirren’s MasterClass and get as much value out of it as the primary intended audience of actors.
Some MasterClasses can get a mixed response. But Helen’s class is a complete knockout. All the other students are raving about this class.
Efforts Helen put in these video modules
I loved hearing about how Helen learns her lines, how she researches experiences she hasn’t had and her discussions about going into dark places.
It was also fascinating to listen to Helen talk about accents. Helen drops so much gold in this course. You know it’s a great lesson when it’s already long and in-depth and you wished it was even longer.
We learn the differences between stage and film acting and techniques that help in both. We learn how much to plan your performance, understanding the context of your shots, managing energy, relaxation advice, what to do between takes, finding freedom within the technique, and so much more.
After the film acting lessons, we start digging into analyzing some of Helen’s performances in case studies of works like Prime Suspect, Elizabeth I, and The Queen.
Helen dissects U in these scenes. Close-ups, theme, voice levels, technical demands, how to ensure the staging fits your character, how to approach period dialogue, emotion and technique, the filmmaking environment, mannerisms, looks, intention, everything.
MasterClass Pricing Plans
There are two ways by which you can purchase a MasterClass, a single MasterClass and an All-Access Pass for any of the gurus on the platform.
- Single MasterClass: ₹7,775
- All-Access Pass: ₹15,550 per year
The All- Access Pass comes in real handy when you wish to take more than one MasterClass, so this means that there is no limit on the number of MasterClasses on the All Access Pass.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is also available for any of the MasterClass packages you purchase and you will get a complete refund of the amount in case you are not satisfied with their services.
Access your MasterClass exercises anyplace in quickly by downloading the MasterClass application for your iOS or Android gadget for free from the App Store and Play Store. Save exercises as top choices, modify the playback speed and watch them whenever you need to.
Conclusion: Helen Mirren Acting MasterClass Worth It?
The course, in addition to being crammed with practical wisdom, is a piece of art in itself – a real marvel to watch and all the lessons sunk in so well because of it.
I noticed that every single lesson had many students saying it was their favorite lesson so far. Every module is worth experiencing, bursting with advice and entertainment.
And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, Dame Helen Mirren is even super active responsive a lot of student queries within the workplace Hours section of the course.
You simply can’t get better than that. I might even go so far as to say this is the best acting MasterClass on the internet.