Jane Seymour has played everything from a sultry Bond girl to an iconic frontier doctor, and her latest role is Queen Isadora in Hallmark Channel’s A Royal Christmas. Jane spoke with DIRECTV about this character, life on set in Bucharest, and some of her favorite directors and costars.
Tell us about playing Queen Isadora in A Royal Christmas. How much fun was it to play royalty?
Playing Queen Isadora was an enormous amount of fun. Especially since it was a kind of heightened reality—an imaginary queen from an imaginary country called Cordinia. It’s very comedic. At the same time, when you watch the movie, the character actually has a backstory that we discover, which makes her more human. You kind of understand why she was so mean and tough in the beginning, and it makes you actually like her a lot when she changes at the end—it all makes sense. It was a really fun role to play. I definitely played it way over the top—that’s what was required for this particular character.
What was life like on set? Did you have fun with the other actors and crew?
Life on the set was an enormous amount of fun. My daughter Katie was on the film, her husband Brett, and her baby Willa came. We all got together, and we hung out with the other cast members, and we really bonded in a big way. We had a lot of fun. We went out in Bucharest and really made the most of this interesting country we were in.
Your show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is as popular as ever! What did you love about doing the show?
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is definitely as popular as ever. It’s an astounding show because new generations are discovering it every day. Whenever I do anything remotely Dr. Quinn, if I post a photograph or anything of me in an outfit or me with Joe Lando, it just goes viral, and everyone gets incredibly excited. I think what I’m most proud of with Dr. Quinn is that it really dealt with the human condition, and because it was set back in the 1870s it’s really a timeless show. It doesn’t date, and it’s a very intelligent show. It had its very romantic moments, very sad moments, and comedic moments, but it also really was very educational in terms of dealing with subject matter that most people don’t want to talk about. Choices in terms of medicine, choices to allow somebody to decide to die rather than to take a treatment, the poisoning of the waters from the Gold Rush, different people’s cultures and prejudices, prejudice against gays, prejudice against books that might be thought to be the wrong books and had to be burned. There were a lot of subjects we did, and at the same time, we did a lot about just parenting and family, and love and marriage. It was a very popular series, I think, for a very good reason.
One of your most famous roles is as the mesmerizing Solitaire in Live and Let Die. Any fond memories of that film?
I have very fond memories of being a Bond girl. I was only 20 at the time when I was hired. Working with Roger Moore was so exciting because he was the star of everything on television at that time—The Saint, and all those wonderful shows. So I was a huge fan, and then suddenly one day, there I am standing next to him playing his love interest in a James Bond film. It was a fairly heady experience. It was also fun because we filmed in New Orleans and in Jamaica, and I’d never traveled to those places before. I had a lot of fun with Geoffrey Holder, who sadly just passed away, who played Baron Samedi. Since I had been a dancer, and he was a dancer and choreographer, we had a lot of fun with the character. We kind of developed our own backstory ,which was something that we did amongst ourselves, so we had a really good time with that. Those were my major memories.
You have worked with so many fantastic actors and directors over the years. Who would you like to work with again?
That’s tough because some of my favorites are no longer with us—Christopher Reeve, Sir John Gielgud, Raul Julia, Lord Richard Attenborough, Boris Sagal. There were some great directors in there that I’ve worked with. I just recently worked with Malcolm McDowell and Keith Carradine, so I’d have to say I’m really looking forward to doing more with them. They were fantastic. We just did a movie called Bereave, which I’m very proud of. I also just played with Judd Hirsch in Forever, and that was a treat, too. There are a lot of actors in my age group that I really enjoy working with.
Hallmark has become a destination for fun, family friendly entertainment. What does Hallmark mean to you?
Hallmark Channel is very meaningful to me. Of course it was the home of Dr. Quinn for so many years, but it’s also been a place where I’ve made a lot of movies. The thing about Hallmark is it’s very meaningful, and fun, and well-made family television. There’s not much of that out there, so I’m very proud to be part of the Hallmark family. I’m always thrilled to be asked to do anything for them.
A Royal Christmas premieres Sunday, November 23 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel (Ch. 312).