About Miranda

Kia ora! I’m Miranda Harcourt… here’s what
people say about me:

"Intuitive, unique, amazing"
— Nicole Kidman

"Miranda’s skills as a coach place her at the top of her field. The work she does is unique
anywhere in the world"
— Peter Jackson

"Miranda is great!"
— Jane Campion

"She’s a great intellectual co-pilot and a very special person"
— Garth Davis


My specialty is screen naturalism. My approach is based on years of writing and performing Verbatim theater in prisons in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, as well as my work as an on-set acting coach with renowned actors and directors on films all over the world.

I have taught at TIFF in Toronto, at NFTS and NYU Tisch, The London Film School and Directors UK in Britain, at AFTRS and The Hub in Sydney, at Toi Whakaari, The Actors’ Program, Otago University and Victoria University in Aotearoa, New Zealand. For seven years I was the Head of the Acting Department at Toi Whakaari -
New Zealand Drama School.

In my work with actors and directors, I aim to shift paradigms, empowering
creatives to realise their own talent. I introduce simple but innovative ways of thinking about and achieving connection and character. I have developed a series of tools and exercises for use in rehearsal and on-set that get actors to where they need to be, fast.

For more info check out my IMDB page.



For seven years Miranda was the Head of the Acting Department at Toi Whakaari — New Zealand Drama School. Her tenure there is celebrated for establishing a close connection between the training institution and the wider industry. Her students and graduates are remarkably well-represented amongst New Zealand’s premier
actors and directors. Her work at the school was recorded in the acclaimed TVNZ documentary series TOUGH ACT.

Now she works as an independent coach.

Directors she has worked with include Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, Morten Tyldum, Taika Waititi, Garth Davis, Mark Molloy, Tom George, Mirrah Foulkes, Rodd Rathjen, Gaysorn Thavat, James Kent, as well as all directors on acclaimed feature film VAI .

Actors include Nicole Kidman, Juliette Binoche, Dev Patel, Brooklyn Prince, Sunny Pawar, Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey, Lucy Lawless, Erik Thomson, Rebeca Gibney, Ritu Arya, Abischek Bharate, Josh Hutcherson, Saoirse Ronan, Isabelle Fuhrman, AnnaSophia Robb, Thomasin McKenzie, George McKay, Rhys Darby, Daisy Cooper, Amanda Crew, Carrie Underwood, Fionn Whitehead, and Kaori Momoi.

Miranda's daughter is Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Leave No Trace), Winner of NBR Breakthrough Performance 2018

Miranda is Nicole Kidman’s regular coach and works as a creative consultant for Blossom Films.

Miranda works in creative partnership with her husband filmmaker Stuart McKenzie.

At the forefront of verbatim theatre internationally, their plays include VERBATIM, PORTRAITS, FLOWERS FROM MY MOTHER’S GARDEN and BIOGRAPHY OF MY SKIN.

Their acclaimed dark drama FOR GOOD, adapted from their verbatim work in prisons all over NZ, won Best Actress at the Festival Des Antipodes.

Stuart and Miranda co-directed THE CHANGEOVER (2019) starring Timothy Spall, praised as “a perfect genre film” (Roger Ebert); “re- invigorating the YA genre” (Forbes); “bringing YA fantasy magically to life” (LA Times); and “goes down as
easily as a love potion in a coven” (New York Times)

  • shutterstock 10100907cl2
    Peter Jackson Heavenly Creatures, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Lovely Bones

    “My co-producer Fran Walsh and I employed Miranda to work with us in Philadelphia during the shoot of THE LOVELY BONES as the coach for the young New Zealanders Rose McIver (Lindsey Salmon) and Carolyn Dando (Ruth Connors) as they worked alongside Hollywood stars Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci. Miranda’s skills as an actress and coach place her at the top of her field. The work she does is unique anywhere in the world.”

  • 1557306385644 0620x0435 0x0x0x0 1573331259423
    Jane Campion Bright Star, Top of the Lake

    “For me it is wonderful to have a coach who is sensitive to my way of working and can help the actor rehearse without making her stale. That way I can do all the director-type stuff and know the child is as well-prepared, better probably, than if I was helping her myself. Miranda is great."

  • GarthDavis

    "Miranda has an amazing ability to help prepare the actors. She's just a great mate and we sometimes have long conversations about the film and throw ideas around. Miranda is a great intellectual
    co-pilot in that way and just a very special person."