Catching up with actress Jane Seymour

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By Kellie Freeze,
ReMIND magazine

When describing actress Jane Seymour, the phrases “Bond girl,” “romantic lead,” “frontier doctor” and “artist” are all things that come to mind. But what about comedian? In Pop’s comedy Let’s Get Physical, Seymour plays a former beauty queen who tries to motivate her middle-aged slacker of a son (Matt Jones from Breaking Bad and Mom) into achieving his destiny as the scion of an aerobics industry magnate. ReMIND magazine caught up with Seymour to chat about the zanily nostalgic comedy and got a little insight into her own fascinating history.

Jane, you’re best known for your dramatic roles. Why does comedy appeal to you?

Jane Seymour: I think I’m a natural comedian, but somehow segued into playing straight roles and romantic roles. … Peter Hall, the director of (the play) Amadeus, said to me when I did Amadeus that I was a character actress in spite of myself.

Let’s Get Physical captures the legwarmer-clad charm of the 1980s aerobics culture. Do you have any fond memories of that era?

Oh my God, I’m on the cover of the Jane Fonda pregnancy workout! I mean, how close do you need to get? [Laughs] And when we did the cover shoot, she had no idea who was going to be in the cover shoot. She just knew it was going to be people that paid to go and do the pregnancy workout at the gym: a woman who’d had a baby, someone that was still pregnant — and that was me.

Why do you think your frontier drama, Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman, still resonates with audiences?

Firstly, because it’s set back in the 1870s, so it’s “back in the day.” But I think it’s because it deals with the human condition, and all of the issues that we dealt with are still current issues. So I think it is a timeless series.

I’m very proud of it. When I did it, I don’t think I realized quite how well done it was. Because who had time to watch it? I was making it! Now that I’ve had a chance, every once in a while I find myself alone in a hotel room, and there I am! When I get over the shock of not looking quite so young anymore, I get into the show, and I realize it was a very good show, one I’m very proud of.

Your acting career has been recognized with accolades and awards, including two Golden Globes and an Emmy. Where do you keep them?

I think they’re next to my bed. I think they’re in my bedroom … I’m very proud of them, actually. One of the Golden Globes was for East of Eden, and I got really great reviews for East of Eden. But I did not get a nomination for an Emmy, so I think the Golden Globe people felt that they had to make that right. And then, Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman. To get a Golden Globe for an 8 o’clock show is unheard of, as you know. And then the Emmy was for playing Maria Callas in Onassis: The Richest Man in the World. I was thrown into that, and I really worked hard on that and learned all the arias. I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard on a character as Maria Callas, so that was particularly exciting to me.

Do you have any special memorabilia from any of your projects?

I do… uniquely, I think. I’m the only actress that I can think of who had in her contract that she could keep the costume. So I have costumes from almost everything I’ve ever done. I have all the best Doctor Quinn costumes right here in my closet, including some of Sully’s pieces. And I have costumes going back to The Sun Also Rises, which I did way back. Karl Lagerfeld personally designed and created four dresses for that through the house of Chanel, and all kinds of amazing costumes. I basically have a costume house in my home. … I even have the waistcoat that Christopher Reeve gave me that had the penny in it in Somewhere in Time.

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