Whether you know her as Bond Girl Solitaire ("Live and Let Die"), the pioneering Dr. Michaela Quinn ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), or the oversexed Kathleen Cleary ("Wedding Crashers"), actress Jane Seymour will most likely leave an impression on you. Seymour, who has a knack for portraying diverse characters with ease, will be starring in the Hallmark Channel TV movie, "Dear Prudence" on Saturday, August 23, in which she plays a talk show host who doles out household advice and works to help solve a murder. Seymour also recently released a line of "open heart" jewelry through Kay Jewelers.
Seymour recently spoke to Beliefnet about her own favorite cleaning hints and her appreciation of Native American culture.
You play such a multi-faceted character in the movie--a talk show host who gives out household advice and tips, and then you help investigate a murder. What was it like playing a character with such diverse talents?
I just thought it was a lot of fun, and I really wanted to make it comedic. So I thought for once I'd play it very English and very, very New Yorker. She's English, but she's been living in New York forever, she's a real fish out of water. I love this character because she's such an A-type personality that it makes her laughable. She sees a spot, she has a cure. She hears a squeak, there's another cure. And it always comes out of her very fashionable handbag. And she's always completely inappropriately dressed. "I'm being sent to the mountains? Ralph Lauren mountain outfit, here I come."
Did you learn anything from the movie with all of those little household hints?
Oh, yes. I didn't know that shaving foam took stains out of carpets. It makes sense doesn't it? I know from movies that if you get a spot on your clothes and you have to get rid of it quick, baby wipes work perfectly. I did know about hemorrhoid cream, but I don't use it very often, but it does work [on puffy eyes], and lemon on your forehead [to cure a hangover], I thought that was a cool one.
Do you have any of your favorite household tips that maybe weren't in the movie that you use around your own home?
I've always thought tea bags on your eyes or the cold cucumbers are really good. But, as we say in the movie, hemorrhoid cream works even better. One of the biggest problems I always have [in my home] is [with] those white Casablanca lilies and those red stamens—I just love big red stamens.
Of course, when you go to the flower shop, they smartly get rid of [the pollen or lily stamens] for you. But I tend not to, and I always brush into them and they always mess up something I have [on]. The stain is impossible to get out. I discovered that when you brush past something like that accidentally, don't touch it. Get some hairspray and spray [the stain] from about a foot away, where the pollen has landed, wait until it's completely dry, and then brush it right off. Usually, you can get away with minimal stain.
Native American spirituality played a big role in "Dear Prudence," as it did in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Do you particularly like to work on story lines that involve Native American culture?
I do like it because it's the original culture of this country. It's a very beautiful belief system. I love the fact that that they care so much about nature. I also totally respect that they're not greedy. They just want what they need and they don't want any more. We could all benefit by taking some of their belief systems and using them in our lives.
I just recently did a documentary about the world's water crisis, and specifically in southwest [part of the U.S.] I was filming in Albuquerque New Mexico on a major reservation. One of the things that was astounding to me was that 40 percent of the people on that reservation, the Four Corners reservation, have no fresh water at all.
Somehow we managed to siphon off their water, siphon off the Colorado and get tons of it to places like Las Vegas where they can have nice water fountains jetting up in the air in the desert to music, and meanwhile, 40 percent of this reservation literally can't get drinking water unless they drive for 10 miles or more and have to pay for it and bring a bucket.
I understand that you don't consider yourself part of an organized religion, but do you consider yourself spiritual?
I definitely believe in a God and in a higher power, and I definitely take from many different religious cultures. I go to church.
What kind of church?
Usually Episcopalian....But, I really I'm very open to many belief systems. I'm not involved in the politics of religion, but I love what the message is.
I've just written a book that's going to come out at the end of the year about living with an open heart. One of the things I always wanted to do, especially after 9/11, was find a way of showing that a lot of different spiritual beliefs, and a lot of different writings speak to the same things, one of which is to live with an open heart, to be able to open your heart and give and receive love, and to find in your heart the possibility of forgiveness.
When I was researching the book, [that idea] is in so many different spiritual writings of so many different belief systems. It's one of the little quiet missions that I do. I came up with this image of the open heart, and my hope is that it becomes a universal image of giving and receiving love that is not specific to any doctrine.
What kinds of spiritual practices do you take your beliefs from?
I read about all of them. I find something beautiful in pretty much all of them. I have friends who are Muslim and they've told me some of what's in the Qur'an—some of it is very beautiful. I think the problem is that with all of these faiths, every one of them, some people have hijacked the faith and turned it into something that I don't believe was ever intended in the first place, which is to say we're right, they're wrong, they die. That's where I have a problem.
If somebody believes that a certain practice will get them to heaven, and then other people believe a different way of doing it, I think it's their choice. But I do find it very sad when somebody believes that another person is a bad person because they don't practice exactly the same way they do. I think it's a very personal thing, basically.