It takes a strong person to step into Winifred Sanderson's pointed-toed shoes. Particularly for someone like Taylor Paige Henderson who has spent years watching Bette Midler in her classic role in the 1993 adaptation of Hocus Pocus. Henderson put a lot of effort into analysing every single motion that Midler made before taking on the role of young Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus 2. She was fortunate to receive some sound counsel from Winifred Sanderson herself.
In an interview with TODAY, Henderson talked about her part in the Hocus Pocus sequel, which she admitted to seeing "every Halloween for as long as I can remember." She ended up viewing the film an additional 40 times for research in an effort to truly replicate all of Bette Midler's acting mannerisms as Winifred Sanderson.
"That odd thing Winifred is doing with her hands while holding her fingers close to her face is something you notice about her when you see the [first] movie. She obviously does it frequently, so I felt it was crucial to include that, Henderson told TODAY. "Winnie never stops moving. She is constantly everywhere. She is meddling in everyone's affairs. She is very close to her sisters. I gave that my full attention since I thought it was crucial.
It's fortunate Henderson took things seriously since she had to dominate the opening scene, rage around Salem, and throw a temper tantrum in order to establish the tone of the film. And that Bette Midler herself was in her corner, offering her suggestions on how to portray the role they currently both play. "Bette advised assuming the role more fully than I believe is required. She always responds better to bigger," Henderson told TODAY. She instructed me to make Winifred's features—her hands, her teeth, and her hair—the character. God, oh God! It really enabled me to become her better when I first placed the teeth in.
Henderson has been receiving accolades everywhere for her superb portrayal as young Winnie Sanderson, so the suggestion obviously had an impact. She is sassy, volatile, and wild, but she loves her sisters more than anything in the world. even though she abuses them. We are extremely fortunate to have two talented Winifred Sandersons in movies.