Advice Bette Midler Gave Young Winfred’s Actress

Sistahs!Hocus Pocus 2. introduced a new generation of Sanderson sisters — and Bette MidlerShe shared her top advice with Young Winifred.

“Bette said to embody the character more than I think is necessary. Bigger is always better with her,” Taylor HendersonThe younger version of the eldest witch was played by a woman named ‘Bonnie’. TodayInterview published Thursday, October 6. “She said to use what Winifred has to be the character — the hair, the hands, the teeth. Oh my God! When I put the teeth in for the first time that helped me so much to become her better.”

Taylor Paige Henderson as young Winifred Sanderson on set for ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’
Taylor Paige Henderson/TikTok

The 15-year-old, who booked the part in September of 2021, revealed that she “watched [Hocus Pocus] every Halloween for as long as I can remember,” but after landing an audition for the sequel, the Evil Lives HereStar watched the film more than 40 times to make sure she was prepared.

Over the course of two months, the Texas native carefully studied Midler, now 76, in the 1993 original – who she was a person, her relationship with sisters Mary (Kathy NajimySarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her mannerisms on screen.

“When you watch the [first] movie, that’s something that you notice about Winifred — that weird thing she’s doing with her hands with her fingers by her face. I thought it was really important to add that in because obviously she does it a lot,” Henderson said of her character study. “Winnie is always moving. She’s everywhere all the time. She’s up in everyone’s business. She is so proud of her sisters. So, I really focused on that because I think that was really important.”

Hocus Pocus 2., which takes place 30 years after the first movie, sees the Sanderson sisters returning to Salem after two friends — Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Melissa Escobedo) — accidentally light the black flame candle. The girls have to find a way for the child-hungry witches to stop them from casting a spell which will make them all-powerful at sunrise.

The follow-up film also gives audiences a glimpse into who the Sanderson sisters were before they became menacing witches —And what events transpired to make them that way.

Bette Midler Had the Sweetest Advice for the Teen Actor Playing Young Winifred in ‘Hocus Pocus 2’

Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’
Disney Enterprises

Henderson, Nina Kitchen and Juju Journey Brewer, who play young Winifred, Mary and Sarah, respectively, were wildly praised for their performances as the teen trio following the premiere on September 30, with fans especially appreciating the accuracy with which Henderson brought Midler’s iconic character to life.

“Give young Winifred Sanderson the Academy Award,” writer Evan Ross KatzPosted via Instagram following the Disney+ launch. “She is AMAZING,” actor Claybourne ElderTwitter at the time

Henderson spoke TodayThursday, the director Anne FletcherCoaching played a major role in the success of the team Virtual Vocals Cabaret alum on how “Winifred speaks and her facial expressions,” which helped her nail the performance as the trio’s ringleader.

“We talked about a lot about where in the script is an appropriate time to laugh with [my sisters] and where is an appropriate time in the script to yell at them, make a face of them and call them dumb or whatever,” she said. “So that was interesting to figure out.”

She added, “They influence everything [Winifred] does. All of her lines are inspired by everything (her sisters). It was amazing to learn that with her. She’s very protective over them, which was pretty easy. I’m pretty close with both of the two girls who played my sisters. I do feel very protective over them so that was probably the easiest part.”

Following the Halloween adventure’s New York City premiere on September 27, Henderson revealed that she and the BeachesStar met up with her on the red carpet for a discussion about her performance. “She said she really, really likes me in the movie, which was amazing. That is all I wanted and all I needed,” the teen actress gushed.