"I never set out to create a bullying movement," said Davis Scott. "But bullying affects so many kids – I had to keep going with it"

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated October 30, 2015 08:00 PM
Credit: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

When it came time for writer/director Galvin Scott Davis to cast the voice for his animated short about bullying, Daisy Chain, choosing Kate Winslet was a no-brainer.

“From the moment that I wrote the story there was only one voice that I had in mind, and that was Kate’s,” Scott Davis told PEOPLE. “She’s a great advocate for people accepting other people, so we just thought it was perfect.”

After personally reaching out to Winslet’s agent and arranging the project, he found out it was going to take nearly a year before Winslet, 40, would be available to record the narration. But to Scott Davis, she was well worth the wait – and he was right. It only took two takes for Winslet to perfectly tell the story.

But that wasn’t the only reason he had his heart set on the actress. Turns out, Scott Davis had met Winslet 20 years before on movie set, where she gave him a piece of advice that helped inspire Daisy Chain.

“[I told her] there’s a reason I waited for you and didn’t give up,” he said. He told Winslet the story of when they first met on a movie set during Scott Davis’ first film. As the two started talking a costume designer came out and told Winslet that she had just been nominated for her first Oscar for Sense and Sensibility.

“Before she left she turned to and said ‘Galvin before I go, if I have one piece of advice for you – never give up,'” he explained.

Daisy Chain is a whimsical story about a young girl who is bullied, and through the help of a friend she learns to create a “daisy chain” so strong that even her bullies can’t break it down.

The story is a sequel to Scott Davis’ first book, Dandelion, which he wrote after his 9-year-old son confided in him that he had been bullied by one of his friends. When Scott Davis went to his son’s bookshelf, he couldn’t find any books that talked about bullying, so he decided to make a story up himself.

“I started telling him about this little boy that had lost his identity but found his magical dandelions, and that when we blew them he could create incredible things with his imagination,” Scott Davis said. “I finished the story to him with ‘bullying is for people with no imaginations’ and the minute I said that to him I thought ‘I have to write this down.'”

After the success of Dandelion, Scott Davis created Daisy Chain. Both stories include similar hand-drawn animation specifically created to help kids envision themselves within the story.

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And as the character Buttercup Brie in Daisy Chain meets Benjamin Brewster from Dandelion, Scott Davis intends to continue merging the stories in the future.

“I never set out to create a bullying movement,” said Davis Scott. “But bullying affects so many kids – I had to keep going with it.”

Along with the short film, Daisy Chain and Dandelion are also an illustrated books, an App and character figurines.