Miranda Harcourt ONZM
Miranda is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated acting coaches. Miranda has coached for screen internationally and at home in NZ, including Jane Campion’s Bright Star and Top of the Lake, Sean McNamara’s Soul Surfer, Gabor Csupo’s Bridge to Terabithia, Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones and Gaylene Preston’s Home By Christmas. For seven years Miranda was Head of Acting at Toi Whakaari – NZ Drama School. Her tenure there is celebrated for establishing a close connection between the training institution and the wider industry. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study drama-therapy at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. As an actress Miranda has twice been awarded Best Actress at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards (A Doll’s House and Biography of my Skin) and is a 5-time finalist for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress at the NZ Film and Television Awards. She was awarded a NZ Suffrage Medal in 1993 and in 2004 Miranda was made ONZM (New Zealand Order of Merit) for her services to theatre and the community.
Miranda’s approach is based on years of writing and performing Verbatim theatre in prisons in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, as well as her work as an on-set acting coach with renowned actors and directors on films all over the world.
Miranda has coached Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA-award nominated and winning performances in films and TV shows from Lion, Bridge to Terabithia, Big Little Lies to Being the Ricardos. She was the dedicated coach for Sunny Pawar (young Saroo) in Lion and was Director: Background Action on Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara and Joachim Phoenix. Her first feature film The Changeover, co-directed with Stuart McKenzie, was released to acclaim in NZ, the UK and the US. Miranda’s daughter is the winner of the NBR award for Breakout Talent 2018, Thomasin McKenzie.
For seven years Miranda was the Head of the Acting Department at Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa: New Zealand Drama School. She been awarded the ONZM (for services to theatre and the community) and the Centennial Suffrage Medal. Other awards include the NEXT Arts Woman of the Year, the 2018 Women of Influence Arts Woman of the Year and the 2018 Women in Film and TV Award for Achievement in Film. She has also won many awards and nominations for acting and directing including the Media Peace Prize.
Her training was as an actor at Toi Whakaari — New Zealand Drama School and as a Drama-therapist at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Miranda’s Substack articles are a rich resource for actors, directors. A new article is added every fortnight to this treasure-house of exercises, tools, tricks, tips and insights. Followed by thousands of creatives all over the world, this is Miranda’s textbook: mirandaharcourt.substack.com
Miranda Harcourt talks about The Changeover, her unorthodox coaching methods, and her talented daughter
Trailer for Lion