I need to know whether it is possible to call a movie artist's performance natural in English?

For instance, can I say something like:

She's a good actress........
a) she always acts naturally.
b) her acting is natural.

Do the both provided options above sound correct to you?

I wonder if you let me know a natural phrasing of my sentence, if mine is not idiomatic or natural to you.

1 Answer 1


Both expressions are valid English and yet they probably don't quite convey the meaning you intend. Here is a (slightly modified) extract of a discussion of acting:

for some, it is how perfectly an actor changes his accent, body language & mannerisms in accordance to the demand of role etc.. I personally find it really remarkable & commendable when an actor seems natural on screen, as if he's totally unaware of the presence of camera.

source here

The key difference is that word natural is not applied to the acting but instead to the actor. As you have expressed it, there is an slight implication that no acting is actually taking place, the actor is just being his or her self. In fact they will be expressing a range of emotions in such a way that the audience forgets that they are acting.

A less important problem with your first phrase is that for many it will bring to mind an old song "Act Naturally", recorded by Buck Owens, The Beatles and others.

Well, I hope you come and see me in the movie
Then I'll know that you will plainly see
Biggest fool that's ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally

We'll make the scene about a man that's sad and lonely
And begging down upon his bended knee
I'll play the part but I won't need rehearsing
All I have to do is act naturally

Well, I'll bet you I'm a gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar, you can never tell
The movie's gonna make me a big star
'Cause I can play the part so well


Which indeed implies that there's no acting happening at all.

  • Thank you @djna, but what would you say instead of these two sentences to convey the meaning you intend if you were me?
    – A-friend
    Jun 1, 2019 at 10:27
  • 2
    She is a good actress, she seems so natural on stage, I quite forget that she is acting.
    – djna
    Jun 1, 2019 at 10:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .