‘Real coup’ having Harcourt at school

Award-winning New Zealand theatre and screen actress and director Miranda Harcourt (rear) and...
Award-winning New Zealand theatre and screen actress and director Miranda Harcourt (rear) and University of Otago student Allesandro Pezzuto (18) play a game of cat and mouse with acting students during a pre-Christmas Summer School acting for camera lecture. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Working with high-profile Hollywood actors is "just another day at the office" for Miranda Harcourt.

"Except everyone’s extremely beautiful," the award-winning New Zealand actress and director says.

She is in Dunedin for the next three weeks to share some of her acting skills with University of Otago students — some of the same skills she has already shared with stars such as  Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson,  to name just a few. Harcourt is  best known for her role as Gemma, in the 1980s television drama series Gloss.

Her character was so despicable that people spat at and insulted her in public.

It is one of countless theatre and television productions she has starred in across New Zealand and Australia.

She started her acting career in Dunedin at the Fortune Theatre, and has since transitioned into directing and coaching.

"It’s always a great pleasure to come back here.

"I come back whenever I can, which is not very often, but when they invited me to come down here and teach this class, I was like, ‘Yeah!’"

Harcourt is leading the pre-Christmas Summer School acting for camera paper.School director Dr Elaine Webster said it was "a real coup" to have someone of  Harcourt’s calibre lecturing.

"Miranda has a tremendous international reputation as an acting coach, and this was an incredible opportunity to bring her expertise to Otago students.

"She has been the acting coach on numerous international feature films including Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta award nominated film Lion."

Dr Webster said  Harcourt’s paper was different from most theatre papers offered around New Zealand because it focused on acting for camera, not for the stage.

It is one of nine papers being offered in the  school, which runs until December 15.


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