Jane Seymour is currently guest starring on ABC's Castle in a soap opera-themed episode and phoned us for an exclusive chat to talk Castle, her legendary career and how the actress is most identified by her roles depending on the generation of those who approach her.
Oh, and did we mention Seymour is a recipient of the Order of the British Empire? It's time for a SheKnows royal exclusive chat!
SheKnows: Castle is a show about a murder mystery writer and I was curious if you yourself enjoy a good murder mystery?
Jane Seymour: When I have time -- finding time to read is always the hardest -- I do enjoy murder mysteries. I've always liked murder mysteries. You always think you know who it is and if they're really well done, you have no idea.
SheKnows: What can you tell us about your role on Castle and can you reveal anything about the episode?
Jane Seymour: It's a soap opera-themed story line. Basically a murder has been committed on the set of Temptation Lane which is a soap opera set in New York. The head writer has been killed and I play the mother of the writer. Of course I'm the grieving mother so I come on shocked, horrified and devastated but then as the episode goes on we realize that there is more to me than meets the eye. Maybe I'm more than what they imagine me to be.
SheKnows: You've had so many amazing honors over the years including the Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Where does that rank in your lifetime of accolades?
Jane Seymour: Gosh, that means an enormous amount to me. That's a very high honor to receive from the Queen and the government. I'm incredibly grateful for the life I have. I have had incredibly varied and rich experiences. I'm not talking about money, but I'm talking about the kind of experience that I have had in life -- the work that I get to do, the non-profits I work with, the travel that I get to do and the different roles I get to play.
SheKnows: You write books and paint, too, correct?
Jane Seymour: Yes! I write books, I paint and I have one-woman art shows. I get to design things, such as jewelry. I really have a very full life and plus I have six great kids. I do a lot of different things and I think that really helps when I come back to acting. I get so excited to be there on the set. I so enjoy it. It's like a little thrill.
SheKnows: When people here in America recognize you, is it for Dr. Quinn? And if so, is that something you are okay being identified with from your illustrious career?
Jane Seymour: It really depends where I am. If it's anyone 20 and younger, they usually site Wedding Crashers. Sometimes they say James Bond [laughs]. That's hysterical because I shot that 40 years ago! I'm really proud that Dr. Quinn is on every day in America. So there's a lot of very young kids who are watching it and loving it. They don't realize that it's not a brand new show. They enjoy it. It's a great teaching tool too in the classroom for American studies, the history, what goes on in the world, the way people behave about the human condition. I was very happy to be part of that. I've had an amazing career when I think back. But, believe it or not, most people lately recognize me from Dancing With the Stars!
SheKnows: I've seen quite a few of your paintings and am struck by your vision. I'm curious about when you started painting and when you had a feeling it was a hobby or something that is part of your life.
Jane Seymour: I've always painted as a child as one does. I could have gone to college to study art, but at that time I was an actress so I never did. It's always been a hobby on the side. About 20 years ago I went through a terrible divorce and financially lost everything. My mother had always told me that when life is challenging or really tough, and you felt something was insurmountable, to get out of yourself to accept what's happened. You must be in the present moment and reach out and help another. So I visited a fundraiser and an artist had offered to draw someone's children for a donation to the child abuse charity. I gave the last money I had there, and after he came to my house to do a study of the children and saw some finger paintings I'd done hanging in the nursery, he asked who did them. I said they were mine. He thought they were really good and he offered to give me free art lessons and that started then. Since then, I've been showing in museums. I do 14 one-woman gallery shows a year. I'm spending a lot of time -- I'm actually in the art room right now painting as we speak [laughs]. People say, "What do you do for fun?" My idea of fun is to paint. I love painting, sculpting, drawing and photography. I love everything that's creative basically.
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