Actress Jane Seymour is timeless. The 66-year-old believes she is more comfortable as an actress now than she’s ever been. Seymour is thriving in all aspects as a producer, philanthropist and star in the new Pop TV comedy “Let’s Get Physical.” While the early parts of Jane’s career were filled with serious roles in shows like “Dr. Quinn” and “Somewhere in Time,” Seymour is getting another opportunity to show off her underrated humor.
Seymour chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about her new show, why “Wedding Crashers” changed her career and how she’s managed to do so many different things in her life.
DJ Sixsmith: Jane, how has the entertainment industry changed since you first started your career?
Jane Seymour: Gosh, that’s a huge question. I think what’s interesting is television especially has embraced female driven shows since “Dr. Quinn.” I remember when I did “Dr. Quinn” 25 years ago, everyone told me that a woman as a lead in a show would never work, that period shows wouldn’t work and that medical shows wouldn’t work. All of the sudden, that kind of broke the mold. When something is good, it works. There’s been a lot of amazing female driven shows since then. I think that’s a difference. The other thing that’s huge is that there’s a million shows out there, who has the time to watch them all anymore? There’s so many different generations watching in different places. I’ve always wanted to be involved with what’s happening and worked with people outside of my generation. That’s why Pop TV was very appealing because it starts there and then goes to Amazon or Netflix after that. I like the idea that television has different platforms. Everything is made much cheaper and much quicker. I was in England when I first started and we did all of these amazing costume dramas. I’m happy to see they are still making those in England. There’s something for everyone out there.
DS: Going off of that point, “Let’s Get Physical” is a comedy for all ages that also brings in the nostalgia factor with the aerobics craze of the 1980’s. Why did you want to be on this show?
JS: I hadn’t seriously thought about doing this, but I knew I loved Matt Jones and think he is very talented. I read it and thought it was hilarious. It’s the kind of comedy I like a lot because it’s not the love track type comedy. It’s comedic from the authenticity of the relationships between the characters. That’s what real life is like. I was there in the 80’s with the striped leotards and the leg warmer generation. I think everyone is obsesses with weight loss and being fit. Everyone is wearing Fitbits and want to know how many steps they’ve taken and miles they’ve walked. It’s ridiculous in my opinion. This show is funny because you see both sides of it. You see the obsessive ones with the obsession with weight loss and goals and then there’s the old school band of merry and inappropriate men and women.
DS: What has been the best part of your experience with this show?
JS: Everyone in it is really funny and the writing is great. We filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was great. The most fun part was when the writers put words in my mouth and realized they could get me to do things they came up with. I have no shame and every time they came up with something that pushed the envelope, I did it with my perfect English accent. It’s a very serious world that we live in and there’s a place for some wonderful comedy. I felt that this was a really fun comedy. Everyone I know who’s seen it has loved it and it’s as appealing to my age group as it is to 22-year-olds and 35-year-olds.
DS: In the past, you mentioned that “Wedding Crashers” allowed you to show people your humor. How did that movie change your career?
JS: “Wedding Crashers” was a game-changer for me in my career. After that, everyone looked at me completely differently. It was almost as if I had a brand new career or as if I was a brand new actress. It was wonderful because it introduced me to a whole new generation that had never seen me in anything besides a James Bond film. What really made “Wedding Crashers” funny is that the people who saw it were used to seeing me do something completely different. It opened the doors for me to work with great comedians. I did an Adam Sandler movie and had some great scenes in that. I did one with Marlon Wayans where I had some funny moments in that. I had some fun moments in “Jane the Virgin.” “Franklin and Bash” wrote me some great material. There are all kinds of great shows that I’ve had the privilege of being in. Not many actresses get to play straight material and comedic material equally. I get to do that all the time. I get offered everything; character roles, comedy roles, serious stuff.
DS: You mentioned some of the projects you’ve worked on in the past. What are the proudest moments of your career?
JS: “Somewhere In Time” was one of the classic, all time great love stories and I’m very proud of that. My relationship with Christopher Reeves went on until the day he died. That was very special to me personally. I would say “Dr. Quinn.” I never really had time to look back and appreciate it when we did it because I was so busy working on it. When I watch it now, I realize it was very intelligent and a very forward thinking show set back in the 1870’s. That was clever because that means it is now timeless. It’s astounding to me that there is a whole new generation of people who are watching it for the first time now and it’s still playing in 98 countries. That was much more important than I ever gave it credit to be. I also produced a number of movies that I did in my off time from “Dr. Quinn.” I don’t think anyone is completely happy with their career. I chose to do something quite rare, which is to have a family and do other things as well as acting. I’ve raised six children, I have six grandchildren, I’ve produced movies, documentaries, I’m an artist, I’m a designer, I write books, I travel a lot and do a lot of humanitarian work. In terms of life, I’m incredibly blessed to have such varied exposure to what I can do in my life. None of that would’ve happened if I didn’t have something like “Dr. Quinn” to open the doors and play a character that people globally loved. People ask me at my age, why do I still act? I tell them I love it. A lot of women my age that were actresses had their careers end 10-15 years ago. I’m very fortunate and I don’t take it for granted.
DS: Finally, what else would you still like to do in your career?
JS: I’m sure there are some great roles out there. I would probably have to fight a million other actresses for them. I’m more comfortable as an actress now than I’ve ever been. I’m older and I have more mileage under my belt. I think I’ve been more exposed to life’s ups and downs. I feel like I have a lot more to offer now as an actress than I did when I was younger. I’m hoping that there’s some really great, juicy role for me out there. I don’t care what genre it is. I just really enjoy acting. I’m also producing and pitching two different series at the moment. I like working behind the camera as well. I’m working a lot and each role is completely different from the last and that’s exciting for me.
“Let’s Get Physical” premieres Wednesday, Jan 24 at 8:30pm EST/PST on Pop TV. Pop is a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Lionsgate.