Upbeat and unstoppable.
Jane Seymour is 62 years old. Yes, that’s right, 62. We’re not sure exactly what combination of eating right, doctors’ visits and devil’s blood she is using to look so young, but we wanted to find out. After interviewing her, we suspect it has something to do with her incredibly upbeat, positive spirit.
Like many FOFs, Jane has reinvented herself umpteen times. She started out as a Bond girl. (You may remember her as the Tarot-reading chanteuse, Solitaire.) But unlike many Bond Girls, Jane quickly segued into the realm of serious acting, with leading roles in East of Eden, War of Remembrance and about 50 other films. (Seriously, look at her Wikipedia entry–it’s astounding). In her 40s, she starred, for six seasons, in the much beloved Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and in her 50s, she landed a series of comedic roles, including one in the movie Wedding Crashers, where she memorably flashes her “perfect breasts” to a befuddled Owen Wilson. Oh, and she has six kids (including twins at age 44), wrote four self-help books and designed a wildly successful line of jewelry for Kay Jewelers. Jane currently lives in Malibu, CA.
As we said, this woman defines indefatigable. In honor of Mother’s Day, Jane spoke with FOF about being a mom, becoming a grandma and what drives her constant reinvention. What did she have to say?
What are your greatest challenges being a mom to adult children?
I’ve had a number of different jobs – actress, artist, writer – but the biggest and most important job I’ve ever had is being a Mom. Now that my children are adults, I have to remember to respect their decisions and remind myself that they still need Mom, but not like they did when they were young.
What are the challenges to raising daughters?
To teach them how to live a full and happy life, just like my mother taught me.
What are the challenges to raising boys?
I have always had an incredible relationship with my boys, but discipline was one thing I struggled with at first. When they were younger, I think it was much easier for dad to get their attention, but I did figure out my own style and am proud of the men they have grown to be.
You had two sets of children 10 years apart. How did your parenting style change from one set to the other? What do you think was easier and/or harder about being a parent to young children when you were in your 50s?
Well, the biggest change for me was that I had twins my second time! While there were some moments of getting accustomed to being a mom of twins, it was also such an incredible blessing. I was much more relaxed while raising Kris and Johnny because of the experiences I had with my other children, however, and ironically enough, I was also vigilant in knowing what they were up to and who their friends were.
Quite frankly, you look amazing. What do you do to keep your shape?
The key is finding something that you like, something that will be fun for you, and mixing it up so that you stay engaged.
I work with a trainer three times per week to ensure that I am doing the right things and getting my heart rate up. My instructor has encouraged me to incorporate light weights to all my workouts, including spinning, Pilates and gyrotonics.
I don’t believe in dieting as I prefer to incorporate healthy, yet delicious, choices, like fish, chicken, organic vegetables and fresh fruit, into my lifestyle to give me the energy to do all of the things I want to do.
In recent years you’ve done a lot more comedy–Wedding Crashers, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl. And you’re a wonderful comedic actress! Why do you think you’re able to do this more now than when you were younger?
I love doing comedy; absolutely love it! After Wedding Crashers, people suddenly realized that it’s something I could do. I don’t suppose there are that many people who do serious roles and comedy, but I’ve always loved doing comedy. I think the older I get, the more chances I’m being given to play more funny characters and I’m thrilled for the opportunities!
People love your Open Hearts jewelry collection. Why do you think it’s struck such a chord?
People love the collection so much because they’re attracted to the universal theme of the jewelry but also because they’re empowered by the meaning behind the designs.
I began to adopt my mother’s Open Hearts philosophy during a difficult period in my life when I was painting and noticed that the hearts I painted were always open. This led me to create an Open Heart symbol that mirrors my mother’s advice that only when you can love yourself and keep your heart open can you best give and receive love.
My newest collection, Open Hearts Family by Jane Seymour, represents a design evolution of the Open Hearts artwork and an extension of that philosophy. If you keep your heart open, your family will find you! The collection is available in Kay Jewelers stores and online at Kay.com.
It seems like after 50 you had a bit of a Renaissance, getting involved in all sort of projects, from art and fashion to flowers and philanthropy. What motivates you to make all these projects happen?
I have always been driven by my love to create and my desire to connect. Living with an Open Heart allows you to overcome adversity and create something positive in your life and the lives of others. My work with the Open Hearts Foundation, to celebrate the amazing people who truly live this philosophy, has been both humbling and exhilarating.
What’s your next project that excites you?
I’m excited about the recent release of Lovestruck: The Musical, an ABC Family movie which tells the story of what happens after one of the best dancers Broadway has ever seen leaves the spotlight. I was especially attracted to this project because I actually wanted to be a dancer when I was growing up, so having the chance to play a choreographer was a great deal of fun.