Here is more of an interview with actress Jane Seymour that appeared in the June 2010 issue of CAT FANCY magazine, in which she discusses her work in films and TV, her thriving art and design projects, and her cat, Stachie.
As a painter, are you inspired by your cats?
I have taken the photographs to do paintings of Stachie, and I haven’t got ’round to doing it yet. It’s funny because I was thinking yesterday that it was time to paint Stachie. I’ve painted people’s dogs and drawn dogs, but I’ve not done a cat yet.
But you will.
Oh, I will. Stachie likes to sleep in a particular spot that’s kind of neat. I got some good shots of him just a couple of days ago, so I think I have a photograph that will make a cute painting.
Which roles on TV have you played that best represents you as a person?
Probably Dr. Quinn. I really think that the person she is just came very similar to a lot of things I really felt, and I used to give them ideas all the time to write. A lot of my philosophies were used in that.
How and why did you pick the stage name Jane Seymour at the age of 17?
Well, in those days, if you were going to be a dancer, which is what I wanted to be, you changed your name to a Russian name. You always had a stage name. You had your own name, and then you had your stage name.
My first agent basically told me that (my) name Frankenberg was too foreign, too difficult to spell and too long. My other names were Joyce, Penelope and Wilma. Well, Wilma was the Flintstone thing; the Dutch version was Wilhelmina, which was again too long. So, they kind of messed around, and I decided I wanted to keep the initial J. I was never that keen on the name Joyce anyway, and since I had to change my name, somebody came up with the name Seymour and we all went, “Yeah, it’s easy to remember, easy to spell, very English,” which was the idea since I was very English. So, we took the name, and we kept wondering why it was so familiar and then we realized it was Henry VIII’s third wife. But at that time they hadn’t made any movies about Henry VIII. Unless you studied British history, she was the wife that no one ever remembered.
Out of all your creative talents, which one do you enjoy the most: painting, dancing, or acting?
Well, it just depends. If I have a great role, I love the acting. Obviously, I love dancing. I had the best time on “Dancing With the Stars” in terms of personal pleasure. It was also terrifying and, with all the injuries I have, astounding that I was able to do that. But at that time in my life that was exciting because I was able to push myself beyond the limit.
My surgeon said if America had seen my MRIs, they’d have realized that I was not actually able to do any of the things I was doing every week.
So that was kind of exciting, and I think a lot of who I am is expressed physically because that’s how I started, as a dancer. But I love color, I love painting, I love sculpture, I love designing. I’m just full of ideas all the time. I like taking photographs. I used to study music, but I’m nowhere like the rest of my family. They’re all really good at music, and so I appreciate what they do. But I used to sing. I studied opera for a little bit.
Which of your talents do you think your cats would most enjoy or choose, particularly Stachie?
I think Stachie really would enjoy the modeling aspect. Commercials and modeling. You know, selling cat food probably.
What projects are you working on now that you’re excited about?
Well, I have four movies that are finished. One’s called “Wake,” one’s called “Driving Lessons,” one’s called “The Assistance” and the other one’s called “Freeloaders.” They’re all independent movies, and they will all be coming out at some point, hopefully this year, in some form or other. Our production company has just done a movie we’re really proud of with Rachel Bilson, Tom Sturridge, Richard Jenkins, Blythe Danner — it’s a great cast — called “Waiting for Forever.” That will be coming out, I’m pretty sure, this year. It’s actually going to be in competition in the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and the film festivals are now lining up.
I’m launching a design business in terms of home décor. So I’ll be in Las Vegas launching that — designing furniture, furnishing tops of beds, lamps, tchotchkes, selling flowers — all kinds of things.
And I do art shows all over the country. I’m going to Florida tomorrow. I’ve got three art shows — one in Fort Lauderdale, one in Boca Raton and one in Palm Beach. And then, of course, I design and do jewelry with Kay Jewelers.
Wow. You are busy.
Yes, I’m very busy. On a daily basis I’m designing and painting. But when the work comes and I find something I really want to do acting-wise, I go and do it. I just got offered something in England today. I haven’t looked at it yet, but it would require my being away for 2 1/2 months from my family, so sometimes I don’t work because it takes me too far away from other things I’m doing.
And you don’t have kids in the home for very long. They go to college, and then that’s it.