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Jane Seymour can still vividly recall one scene on set that went horribly wrong.
“I always wanted to do ‘The Thorn Birds,’” the 68-year-old told Fox News about the 1983 miniseries. “I’d just had a baby and you know, they said, ‘No, you’re definitely going to get to do this.’”
“And I met with [actor] Rich Chamberlain, and we did a screen test together,” continued the British actress. “It went brilliantly and we had lunch together. And then we did a love scene afterward… I’d stopped breastfeeding [but] my milk came in all over his chest. And I did not get the role.”
Chamberlain went on to film the series with another British actress — Rachel Ward.
British actress and former model Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain in the television drama “The Thorn Birds.”
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
“The Thorn Birds” told the tale of a Catholic priest (Chamberlain) and the granddaughter (Ward) of a vast sheep station owner who becomes tormented by desire. It also starred Christopher Plummer and Barbara Stanwyck, among others.
“I will tell you that was very disappointing and devastating,” admitted Seymour. “And to this day, I’ve never seen the movie. That was like, ‘Oh no, how could that happen?’ At this point in my life, I can see the humor in it, but I ended up doing two other movies, two other miniseries that ended up being even better for me. So, you know, I don’t think of the dark side of things anymore really.”
‘I will tell you that was very disappointing and devastating. And to this day, I’ve never seen the movie.’
— Jane Seymour
The former Bond girl and “Dr. Quinn” icon has since kept busy in Hollywood. In fact, she’s currently starring in “High Strung Free Dance,” about young New Yorkers determined to pursue their passions on stage. Seymour, who previously starred in 2016’s “High Strung,” also serves as the sequel’s executive producer.
“It was a terrific script,” said Seymour. “I thought it was even better than the original. That’s why I did it. Plus I think the cast and everything about this one are really great.”
Juliet Doherty, a professional dancer who plays Seymour’s daughter in the film, said she was in awe of the star during filming.
“I had heard stories about working with Jane and just everything that was said about her was just absolutely true — what…a professional she was,” Doherty told Fox News. “I was just enamored when I was in a scene with her because it just seemed so effortless… She made it so easy. And I just learned so much from her on how to carry yourself and operate on set. It was just so comforting… It was a transformational moment for me being in scenes with Jane.”
Seymour, who previously had big dreams of becoming a dancer before finding fame in Hollywood, said the story hits close to home.
“I had flat feet and a speech impediment,” recalled Seymour. “My parents didn’t have any money and were required to get me dance lessons so I learned to not have flat feet… Funny enough, I ended up not only loving dance, but I decided I wanted to be a classical ballerina… But I was never built right for ballet. I just didn’t have the right body, but I got pretty far, considering. As luck would have it, I injured myself and became an actress by default.”
Jane Seymour as a dancer.
(Courtesy of Jane Seymour)
“The two things that I was told I couldn’t do ended up being the two things that I had ended up having success with,” added Seymour.
“I was very young,” said Seymour. “I really didn’t know anything. I mean, I was 20 when I was shooting that and I was a very young 20 — more like 15 really. They were looking for someone to play a virgin and I think I was the last one they could find. I was close anyway. I was completely out of my depth. I was in the most exotic places, fabulous hotels — it was a very heavy experience.”
Seymour said the film’s leading man quickly put her at ease.
Jane Seymour plays the clairvoyant Solitaire to Roger Moore’s 007 in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die,” directed by Guy Hamilton.
“Roger Moore was very kind and very thoughtful,” she said. “He really took care of me, which was really kind of him. But I was totally out of my depth in it. And the funny thing is, I felt comfortable by hanging out with the dancers [from the film]… I’d skip out of what I was doing and go to where the rehearsals were and join them.”
While Seymour found success as an actress, she never forgot her first love.
“When I had to give up dance, it was devastating,” she said. “I couldn’t even imagine what I would do when I couldn’t dance anymore. And then I ended up playing a dancer in a movie and that segued into acting. Every time I’ve realized that [when] something really bad has happened or I [didn’t] get the role I really wanted… it always ended up being for the best. It was always something better coming along. Every time.”
But these days, Seymour is looking forward to what the future holds for her. In fact, she recently reunited with her “Dr. Quinn” co-star Joe Lando.
Promotional portrait of British actress Jane Seymour (born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg), as Dr. Michaela ‘Mike’ Quinn, and American actor Joe Lando, as Byron Sully, in the television series ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,’ June 1996.
(Charles Bush/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
The series, which aired from 1993 until 1998, chronicled the adventures of a female doctor –played by Seymour–in a small Wild West town.
“It’s fantastic,” said Seymour about spending time with Lando, 57. “He’s my closest friend. We’re really, really close and we’ve known each other for such a long time now. Our kids have all grown up together and we see each other socially all the time… We get along really, really well.”
Seymour also hinted it won’t be the last time fans will see her with the American actor who famously played her TV love interest Byron Sully.
“We’re actively trying to get ‘Dr. Quinn’ back,” she teased. “We’re doing whatever we can to do that. We’re trying to get it out there.”
“High Strung Free Dance” is currently in theaters.