Helen Mirren Shares Her Creative Process in Trailer for Her First-Ever MasterClass

Helen Mirren opens up about her creative process for the first time in her MasterClass.

“This is the first time I’ve ever talked about my work and my career in this way,” the English actress, 72, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I’ve always avoided talking about acting because I found it vaguely embarrassing. It’s been a real revelation for me to be able to talk through all the techniques that I’ve learned and to be able to share them in my MasterClass.”

Helen Mirren MasterClass
Helen Mirren on ‘MasterClass.’ Courtesy of MasterClass

In her online class, Mirren discusses her acting method and how she perfects a technique and then lets it go so that her imagination can take over. She teaches viewers how to break down a script, conduct research for both real and fictional characters, approach the “poetic” aspects of a role, work with a costume designer to build a character and handle props with technique.

“I didn’t go to drama school,” the Oscar winner explains in the trailer above. “The first time, in fact, I remember seeing drama at all was when my mother took my to an amateur production of Hamlet. It was a cataclysmic experience — a darkened space with a group of people watching something and they’re transformed by it.”

Mirren goes on to explain that acting is “all about what’s happening within you” rather than “what’s on your face.”

The London native is the perfect woman for the job. Throughout her five-decade career, she has delivered powerful performances on stage and screen. She won an Oscar in 2007 for The Queen, a Tony in 2015 for The Audience and four Emmys, in addition to being appointed as a dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!

Close popup

Welcome to In Motion

Bring photos to life with Us Weekly's exciting new mobile experience!

What's In Motion? Tell me more

What's In Motion?

Go back

How to Use In Motion

What's In Motion? Tell me more