Winston previously played Barbara in the BBC drama Babs, and worked directly with her at the time. And while considering the challenge of playing the most famous character of Barbara, the actress revealed that she made her decision after a series of signs.
“I have a deep connection with her and respect for her. I had my own kind of questions for her,” she said RadioTimes.com and other media.
“I actually had a little word with Barbara upstairs, and she got my cues, and it just felt like it was written for me. So I just felt like I got to move on and that Scott [Mitchell, Barbara’s husband] He agreed to it and everything.”
When asked about the sign she mentioned from Barbara, Winston replied, “It’s very special, but…it was a butterfly, actually. It’s been days before I decide, and it’s the chance of a lifetime.” [but] I still have to think about it.
“It was a little blonde butterfly that kept coming into my garden and I was thinking…we don’t usually get a lot of butterflies. So that was my tag, ‘This is it.’ You know when you know.”
The star also spoke fondly about her time working with Barbara. “Obviously it was a real honor to be asked to put on Barbara’s shoes again. But I really felt like my journey with Barbara wasn’t really over, and this was a real opportunity for me to end my journey with Barbara.”
Of course, Winston said, there were things about the late icon that simply couldn’t be studied. But she can still draw inspiration from her experiences with Barbara.
“When we shot Babs, I worked very closely with her, I became a great friend of hers; so there were certain things in that you couldn’t really study or learn, in terms of the way you worked with people, the way you touched people’s shoulders when you were talking to People, hold your hand when she was advising you.
“So there were things that I could naturally draw from my personal life, and then I was asked to wear Peggy Mitchell’s shoes—she’s the only character I couldn’t do in Babs. So I really felt like I’d finished my journey with her, and that’s a huge honor.”
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