The world has had plenty of reasons for actors to be unemployed.
There’s Covid, halting productions. There are all the usual age biases, especially toward women.
Still, Jane Seymour is in a state of perpetual overemployment, juggling jobs and continents. “Usually, actresses 70-plus don’t work this much,” she said. “I’ve been given the most amazing material.”
In the U.S., she had a supporting role in “B Positive,” which just finished its season. In Ireland, she starred in “Harry Wild” (shown here),a mystery series that will stream on www.acorn.tv on four Mondays (two per week), starting April 4. In Australia, she starred in “Ruby’s Choice,” which has been to film festivals. Then there were “Glow & Darkness” and “The Guardians of Justice,” with smaller roles.
“Everyone I know is so jealous,” Seymour,71, said in a virtual press conference with the Television Critics Association. “They kept saying, ‘You mean, you’ve left your house?’ I went, ‘Yeah, I’m in Australia, I’m in Ireland’ …. I was in Thailand last week.”
Some of these are the sort of supporting roles that older actors expect. For its second season, “B Positive” filled a retirement home with classic actors, including Seymour, Ben Vereen and Linda Lavin.
But “Harry Wild” is different; it was “very much written for me,” Seymour said. She catches a young man (Rohan Nedd, shown here with Seymour) who stole from her; they soon become a crimesolving duo.
Yes, that sounds suspiciously like “Hetty Wainthropp Investigates,” a British series that ran on PBS. (Hetty nabbed a young shoplifter, who became her assistant.) But Hetty was a matronly sort, breaking away from a stay-at-home life; Seymour plays someone who is sleek and academic.
“I’m playing an English professor,” she said, “so I spend the whole time correcting everyone’s grammar.”
There’s humor there – which Adrian Scarborough (the star of Acorn’s “The Chelsea Detective”) says is typical of British shows. “We can have a bit of a dry laugh together, even though there’s something as serious as murder in the pipeline.”
Seymour started her career with classic British roles – from Dickens (the impoverished heroine in “Our Mutual Friend”) … to Churchill (his first love in “Young Winston”) … to Bond.
“I was the quintessential ‘Bond Girl,’” she said. “You run three paces behind a man, in stilettos and barely clad, and you go, ‘Oh, Bond!’”
Then she mastered the American accent and stayed busy, including “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” Now she’s an English prof … a logical role for anyone who can casually use words like “quintessential.”