The 53-year-old British star opened up to fans at the Cheltenham Literature Festival about her preparation, revealing that she even consulted a psychic to speak with the late royal.
“She said, apparently, she was glad it was me. My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility," Carter said, via The Guardian. “So I asked her: ‘Are you OK with me playing you?’ and she said: ‘You’re better than the other actress’ … that they were thinking of. They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else."
It was this exchange that made the Harry Potter star feel she was actually speaking with Margaret in the beyond.
“That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say. She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time," she said. “Then she said: ‘But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.’ Then she said: ‘Get the smoking right. I smoked in a very particular way. Remember that -- this is a big note -- the cigarette holder was as much a weapon for expression as it was for smoking.’”
Carter also noted that she has personal ties to Margaret, who was originally portrayed by Vanessa Kirby on the show. She revealed that her uncle, Mark Bonham Carter, had gone out with Queen Elizabeth's sister when he was a Grenadier Guard.
“They always remained good friends. I have photos of them together and they look really dashing as a couple … It was definitely pre-Townsend. They remained forever friends," she said.
The connection even led Carter to meet Margaret prior to her death in 2002.
She claims the royal said at the time, “Oh Helena … You are getting better at acting, aren’t you?”
Season three of The Crown premieres Nov. 17 on Netflix.