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Ariel Winter Speaks On Her Most Difficult Role to Date Ahead of 'Law & Order: SVU'

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By Gary Trock

Ariel Winter was able to cross one of her dream roles off her acting checklist, but also learned some important life lessons in the process.

Winter is guest-starring on the newest episode of "Law & Order: SVU," which airs Thursday evening.

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Gearing up for the airing, Winter took to Instagram to reveal how much she loves the long-running crime drama, and what it meant when she learned she would be acting alongside "SVU" star Mariska Hargitay.

"I've seen every episode of this show and when I got the email about guest staring [sic] in the episode (entitled The Darkest Journey Home) I didn't even need to open it before saying yes."

Winter revealed the episode was a "challenge" in many ways, "both personally and professionally."

"I was so nervous and eager because I wanted to do my best alongside such ridiculously talented people. It was an absolute honor to work with their entire cast and crew (EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO WORKS ON IT IS EFFING AWESOME), and I couldn’t be more grateful that I was entrusted to play Reagan. Reagan is wildly different from any character I’ve played. She's special to me because she’s a realistic [sic] person. She’s not perfect, she's still figuring herself out. She likes to go out and drink and experiment, and like many of us, she struggles with accepting herself and being honest."

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As for the themes in the "SVU" episode, Winter explained that it, "wrestles with the restrictions of being a 'credible' victim/witness. Making mistakes, or experimenting with things some may frown upon, does not mean you should be an open target for sexual assault. NOTHING anyone does could EVER possibly warrant that. It was a challenge to bring this all to life, because I have a fear of failure and a hard time relinquishing control."

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She admits that "Like many people, it was hard for me to accept change and criticism. But the amazing guidance of [Mariska Hargitary] & Jean, our director, helped me break down walls and look at the material in a new way."

Hargitay served as a mentor to the "Modern Family" star on set, explaining that:

"Mariska worked with me not only as an actress but as a person, and I feel I have grown immensely from the experience. The amount of care and interest she showed in me as a person was amazing. She was truly interested in my life story and always made me feel heard. She was honest and gave me some of the most accurate advice I've ever been given. She pushed me as an actress and as a person. I couldn't be luckier I had this experience."

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