Winona Ryder looked to her mother for advice when filming tough scenes in hit horror drama Stranger Things.

The 45-year-old actress, who plays desperate mum Joyce Byers in the popular Netflix show, recalls how her own mother's wise words helped her through some dark scenes.

In the first series Ryder's character becomes more and more frantic as she refuses to believe that her son, Will, had been murdered - even when she was presented with an impressively realistic fake body.

Speaking to Marie Claire magazine, Ryder said, "I said, 'Mom, if every bit of logic is telling you your kid is gone, would you still (refuse to believe it)?' and she said, 'Absolutely'.

"I said, 'What if they show you a body?' and she said, 'If you don't see it happen, you don't believe it.' It's a weird, primal thing."

Ryder admitted that she was regularly overcome with emotion while filming the show. "I may have gone too far: it seemed like every day I was crying or freaking out." she said.

Stranger Things won the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Stranger Things, which returns for a second season later this month, marked Ryder's return to screens after a break of almost 15 years from acting.

"My hiatus, whatever they want to call it - I did take time off," she said.

"It was mutual, I think. I just went through a tough time."

Ryder rose to fame in the late 1980s and 1990s with leading roles in cult films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Girl, Interrupted.