Classic Bond girl Jane Seymour pulls back the curtains to reveal her deepest desires and secret to being friends with her exes
By Pamela Chow
Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Jane Seymour will make her Asian debut here as a sensual socialite in Noel Coward’s celebrated play, “The Vortex”
In 1973, British-American actress Jane Seymour shot to international fame as the mystic and sultry psychic Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die, earning her a place in IGN’s Top 10 Bond Babes list.
After 40 years of award-winning and memorable projects – spanning drama (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) and comedy (Wedding Crashers) – Seymour is back with another sensual role; this time, in a play that reportedly shocked and scandalised London society in 1924.
She debuts in Asia as glamorous socialite Florence Lancaster in Noel Coward’s celebrated work “The Vortex”, set in London 1920’s high society in the Lancasters’ elegant home. However, all is not as it seems and a storm threatens to engulf the family.
Ahead of Seymour’s Asia debut in Singapore, Weekender casts the spotlight on the award-winning actress’s secrets to success – both in her career and in her personal life.
1. What have you been busy with recently?
Recently I have been working on a number of soon to be released independent movies: The female lead in Bereave Me Not with Malcolm McDowell and Keith Carradine along with the lead role in Mistrust.
I have also been busy with High Strung, Praying for Rain, Scout and the upcoming British television series, “Hooten and the Lady”.
2. What did you personally feel about “The Vortex” when you first saw/read it?
I was fascinated that this play could have been performed or written at that time period and intrigued that it was still moving and pertinent to today’s world and life experiences.
3. How do you hope the Asian audience will react to it?
I think they’ll be absolutely fascinated and involved. Firstly, by seeing the world of London High Society in the 1920s and the behaviour of that society.
But also by the realisation that, in terms of the relationship between mother and son which is the central theme of ”The Vortex,” the play is a very contemporary one too.
4. As a young girl, did you ever fantasise about being in the London high society? What ambitions did you have as a child?
Never. My ambitions were to be a dancer, hopefully in a corps de ballet somewhere.
Seymour as Bond girl Solitaire in 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die, for which she was listed among the Top 10 Bond Girls.
5. You portrayed one of the classic Bond girls. How do you feel your role in movies has changed over the decades?
I enjoy playing all sorts of female characters, strong, kind, mysterious and even evil. The beauty of being an actress is that you can play a lot of different characters.
I also enjoy playing real people, including famous people.
6. If you could star in the reboot of a classic film, which would it be?
I’d love to star in a reboot of Sunset Boulevard in which Gloria Swanson played the deluded femme fatale, Norma Desmond. I was fortunate enough to meet Gloria who wanted me to play her in a movie of her life.
7. How do you feel about the newer Bond movies?
The latest Bond film always seems to be appropriate to the new generation that they are targeting. They have an unerring skill to move with the times.
8. You’ve recently also been taking up comedy projects like Wedding Crashers and Fifty Shades of Black. Are you exploring more roles in comedy going forward?
I love comedy and as people are realising that I’m maybe funny I’ve been given more opportunity and it’s wonderful to stretch my art. I love making people laugh and I seem to have a natural comedic timing and really enjoy comedy.
At this time in my life, I relish this new opportunity.
Seymour clinched a Golden Globe award for her role as physician Dr Michaela Quinn in 1993 drama series “Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman”.
9. What led you to co-found the Open Heart Foundation?
I wanted to give back and spread the idea of being open-hearted as being a universal symbol of giving and receiving love. It was very much the inspiration of my mother, who survived a great deal in World War 2.
I wanted to find a way to recognise people who have been through challenges and use it as an opportunity to honour them as an inspiration for all us.
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10. You’ve shared that you still maintain cordial relationships with your ex-husbands. What is your secret to managing this?
Developing a new relationship with them based on trust, respect and the knowledge that we will always be parents and we are united in that. Also, we have years of many wonderful experiences together with a lot of love and it’s hard to dismiss that.
11. If you had a time machine, when and where would you travel to?
Probably the time period of Somewhere in Time [a 1980 romance movie that depicts America in 1912]. It was so elegant and creative artistically and so much was happening that stayed generations to come.
12. What is your guilty indulgence?
Black liquorice and English Maltesers… Maybe lobster, too.
13. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
If your heart is open, love will always find its way in.
Catch Jane Seymour in “The Vortex” by Noel Coward from now to May 14 (except Mondays), 8pm, at Raffles Hotel. Tickets available from $135 at sistic.com.sg.