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Interview with Jane Seymour of
"Ben & Kate" on FOX 1/7/13
Jane Seymour has been one of my favorite
actresses for a very long time. She was in some of my
favorite movies like "Somewhere in Time", and in the
original "Battlestar Galactica". In the early 80's, she was
in a wonderful TV adaption of "East of Eden" that I adored,
opposite Bruce Boxleitner. It was very steamy for TV of the
time and I fell in love with both of them! Seymour has been
great at playing villainesses her whole life, including "Smallville",
but she is probably best known for her long-running role in
"Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman". It was truly an honor to get to
speak with her here!
FBC PUBLICITY: The Ben and Kate Conference Call
January 7, 2013/2:00 p.m. EST
Moderator Welcome to the Ben and Kate Conference call. At
this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode.
Later, we will conduct a question and answer session.
Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this
conference is being recorded.
I’d like to turn the call over to our host now, Ms. Kim
K. Kurland Hello, everyone. I just wanted to thank you for
taking part in this call today with Jane. She is in
Tuesday’s episode, tomorrow night’s episode of Ben and Kate,
playing “BJ’s” mom, “Wendy”; “BJ” played by Lucy Punch. If
anybody has any questions afterwards, feel free to e-mail me
at email@example.com and Barbara, I think we can get
Moderator We have a question from the line of Kyle Nolan
K. Nolan Could you talk about your character, “Wendy,” and
how she compares to her daughter, “BJ?”
J. Seymour Well, “Wendy,” is very competitive with her
daughter and she’s always putting her daughter down. I mean
she kind of points out things about “BJ,” like the fact that
she has big shoulders and looks like a statue and, of
course, “BJ,” comes right back at her and refers to her
mother as a “cat.” “BJ” sort of thinks her mother looks
terrible and basically, her mother doesn’t. Her mother tries
to outdo her daughter at every possible occasion.
Her mother has a habit of kind of coming on pretty much
anyone that comes around, any guy, including, inadvertently,
“Buddy,” who is seeing “BJ” who runs the bar and then, of
course, “Buddy” suddenly remembers he’s actually going out
with “BJ” and realizes how awful this is because this is
actually her mom. But, I don’t mind at all. “Wendy” thinks
nothing of getting involved with “BJ’s” men. In fact, she’s
done this in the past and doesn’t understand why her
daughter would find anything wrong with that.
K. Nolan Now, there’s quite a bit of improvisation on the
Ben and Kate set. Can you talk about what that experience
was like for you?
J. Seymour I love improv, but I think what’s great about the
show is that it’s so well written to begin with that when
you improv, you’re improv’ing on what they already have
going there. We did a bit of improv, quite a bit, but those
particular scenes were very well scripted.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Reg
Seeton with TheDeadbolt.com.
R. Seeton Can you talk about how “Wendy” reacts to the
secrets that “BJ” is keeping from her?
J. Seymour She’s not sure. She can never trust or believe in
anything that “BJ” says because “BJ” keeps saying that she’s
engaged to this man or that man or this prince and whatever
it is. I think her mother sees right through all of this.
But, her mother has her own agenda and her mother kind
of—she sort of looks at “BJ” a little bit like slightly a
competitor, but also like, “Oh, dear, poor, “BJ.” I don’t
think her mother rates “BJ” too much.
R. Seeton Was there anyone in particular that you used as
inspiration for “Wendy?”
J. Seymour No. Reading the script and reading the characters
that they played, I just thought she was a wonderfully
inappropriate mother really. There’s nothing remotely
motherly about her and she’s a bit of a piranha really. I
mean she’ll do whatever suits here. She’s not terribly
concerned about “BJ” at all really. She’ll go with whatever
happens. She’s pretending to be a mother. She’s acting the
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Jamie
Ruby with SciFiVision.com.
J. Ruby How did you become involved in this show?
J. Seymour They offered it to me. I guess they’d seen my
work and they wanted a character to play “BJ’s” mom and I
suppose the fact I’m English probably helped slightly. They
offered it to me. Rob Corddry, I did something for him
recently. So, when he was going to come in and play “Buddy,”
and they mentioned they were going to have someone come and
play opposite of him as “Wendy,” he mentioned my name.
Apparently, they said, “Oh, we’ve just hired her.” So, that
And then, it turned out that Lucy Punch is a friend of my
daughter’s and she also apparently said, “Oh, what about
Jane Seymour?” So basically, the producers hired me before
everybody put their ten cents in, but it was nice to know
that everybody around them was trying to get me the job
J. Ruby Do you enjoy doing comedy?
J. Seymour 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 straight stuff 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 character-kind of
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Jamie
Steinberg with Starry Constellation.
J. Steinberg I was wondering what was it like getting to
work with Lucy Punch?
J. Seymour Oh, she’s fantastic. She’s got this really droll,
kind of dry way of talking. I thought she was fantastic.
She’s got a very interesting, different comedic way and it
was just lovely to play opposite. We could have gone on
forever. We could have improv’ed a whole episode easily. We
got along very well
J. Steinberg Was there anything you learned about doing
comedy or about comedic timing from your time on the show?
J. Seymour No, I’ve done quite a lot of comedy actually. I
think with comedy, it’s got to be real. If it doesn’t come
from a real place then it really isn’t funny, doesn’t work.
So, there has to be a reality to whatever it is you’re doing
and it has to make sense to your character. So, even if it
is the most bizarre behavior on the planet, it’s got to be
completely normal to the person, to the character that’s
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Liz
Raftery with TVGuide.com.
L. Raftery I was wondering; is there a potential for “Wendy”
to return in future episodes, or do you think it’s just
going to be this one?
J. Seymour No. They did mention when they asked me to do the
role that they were considering having me be a recurring
L. Raftery Is that something you’d be open to?
J. Seymour Absolutely, yes.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Suzanne
Lanoue with TV Megasite.
S. Lanoue I was wondering if you think you’ll be back to
Franklin & Bash again next summer.
J. Seymour Funny you should say that. I just got a text just
the other day, less than a week ago from the creator of the
show who told me he was pitching a story with me coming
back. So, I’m going to be a mother of many people.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Bree
Brouwer with Fanhattan.
B. Brouwer I am wondering—you have done a lot of roles now,
including the role of “Wendy,” and as you just mentioned as
a mother. When you pick roles like “Wendy,” or accept roles
like this, is there anything in the back of your mind that
you’re hoping people learn from these roles that you’re
J. Seymour Just that I really enjoy doing comedy and that I
have quite a range of different kinds of characters that I
can play. Especially recently, I’ve got a lot of movies
coming out, some of which you haven’t seen yet, in which I
play with a short blonde wig and I look like a completely
different person. I’m really playing a lot of different
characters really. I guess what I’m showing is that I don’t
just play myself. I play a lot of different people. That’s
called “acting,” I think.
B. Brouwer I have one other quick question. At Fanhattan we
usually like to ask celebrities what they’re currently
watching on TV and what they like to recommend for others.
J. Seymour I’m really bad to ask because I’ve been out of
the country for a little bit. When I’m here, I’m still
raising teenagers and working and traveling a lot. So, I
haven’t been able to watch something consistently, but when
I have time, I like to watch Downton Abbey because my friend
Julian Fellowes did that and I think it’s a great show.
What else have I watched? Modern Family I think is very
funny. I tend to watch a lot of the news programs. Really,
I’ve been watching a lot of academy movies recently because
I’m voting for …. So, I’m not really good to ask at the
moment, and I get a little frustrated when I haven’t seen a
series from the beginning and I feel like I’m way behind on
it. So, I’m going to have to start catching up online.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Kyle
Nolan with NoReruns.net.
K. Nolan So, you’ve been talking a lot about doing comedic
roles. Are you still looking to do dramatic roles? How do
you decide what type of role that you want to take on?
J. Seymour Well, I look at what I’m offered, obviously, and
then I look at what’s out there and from time-to-time
audition for various things. I have a movie. I did the
American Doll/Girl movie, which I played a grandmother. That
is certainly not comedic. That was just a beautiful little
I’m really open to anything. I read a lot of material and I
see what I think is the best of what I’m being offered. As
you know, at a certain age, there’s a lot less material to
K. Nolan You had mentioned working with Rob Corddry. Could
you talk about what it was like working with him on this
J. Seymour Oh, he’s fantastic; absolutely brilliant and
improv with him, of course, is a dream because he’s just a
great writer. I particularly loved the scene I did with him
I have to admit and I had a lot of fun. It was not a lot,
but what it was was very amusing. I’m hoping that if they do
bring me back I do get to do some more with him. He has a
Web series called Newsreaders. I did something for his show.
Moderator Our next question comes from the Jamie Ruby with
J. Ruby So, you talked about like the roles you’re offered,
but do you have like a dream role still, something that
you’d love to be able to if you could?
J. Seymour I once answered that question and never got to
play that role. So, I’m not playing that game again. But, I
can think of lots of characters and lots of things I’d
really love to do. I think—I really feel that I haven’t even
touched the surface of what I know I can do. I’m hoping that
now that I’m a little bit older that maybe I’ll get some of
the really, really cool meaty roles.
J. Ruby Is there anybody that you want to work with that you
J. Seymour Again, I’m very superstitious about all of that,
but I am enjoying working with a lot of the young comedy
writers. I think that’s very exciting for me. My daughter
writes comedy and is an actress. My son watches everything
there is on television, my oldest of two kids, and I’m
excited that they get excited now by some of the people I’m
working with and it’s fun, especially since they’re sort of
contemporaries of my kids. So, that’s pretty cool.
K. Kurland Barbara, do we have anybody else in the queue?
Moderator Yes. Actually, one more person queued up. The next
question is a follow-up from Bree Brouwer with Fanhattan.
B. Brouwer I just had another quick question. You mentioned
you were out of the country and by “out of the country” you
mean you’re back in England I’m assuming.
J. Seymour Oh, yes. I just went for a little holiday.
B. Brouwer Yes. I know that you’re from England and I’m
wondering, what’s one thing that you find that you enjoy the
most about English culture and one thing you enjoy most
about American culture, maybe something you think that we
could learn from each other.
J. Seymour Well, what I love personally in England is I love
the theater and the music and I love the English countryside
and I love the history. It’s such an old country and it’s
just so amazing to wander around. Things are there from the
Roman times. They’re there from before the Druids. I mean
everywhere you go, things are just ancient and amazing and
preserved and beautiful.
I really like the fact that the fields aren’t straight and
the roads aren’t straight and everything is kind of a little
wiggly little island. Then you come to America and
everything is much more organized. Everything is in grids
and you can find your way. It’s such a huge country. You
can’t really compare the two.
America is a new country. So, you can’t really compare it to
an ancient country, but what I love in America is really,
it’s a wonderful combination of people from all over the
world and so many different heritages and so many different
cultures. I feel like it’s a new country. It’s still the
land of opportunity; very much so.
Moderator We have a question from the line of Tobey Jeffrey
Greer with TheVoiceOfTV.com.
T. Greer I hope you will forgive me if this question has
asked before. I came onto the call a little bit late. I was
at the gym and certain trainers just don’t believe anything
you say if you say, “I have to leave early.” So, you said
that after an actress reaches a certain age that the roles
that you’re offered change a little bit, or maybe dry up a
bit. I was wondering if that’s ever a source of frustration
J. Seymour Well, I count myself as being one of the lucky
ones that does get offered quite a lot of work. So, I’m not
complaining at all. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Obviously, you play the age that you are. I’ve been in the
sort of in-between age for a while. But now, people are
quite happy to hire me to play grandmothers as well as kind
of mothers of 20-something year old, young adults.
Moderator (Instructions given)
K. Kurland If we don’t have any other questions, Jane, would
you mind just telling people the film that you did with Nat
Faxon since that is that kind of an added connection to Nat?
J. Seymour Yes. I have a movie that Nat stares in called
Freeloaders and it’s basically the story of how Adam Duritz
from Counting Crows had a house in the Hollywood Hills,
based on a true story and he was so busy on the road that
his friends kind of freeloaded off of him. They were all
living there and spending his money and enjoying his home,
which he never saw for about seven years. They were up to no
good. They were partying. It was the party house apparently
in Hollywood. I’ve heard from people who actually went to it
and they said it was just like in the movie. It was
completely insane. It was a crazy place.
I played the character of a Beverly Hills real estate agent
who Adam hires to come in and sell the house. Of course, the
freeloaders are not happy to leave and they do everything in
their power to stop the sale of the house. So, it’s a
comedy. The … were involved with this particular movie and
it’s pretty funny. So, that’s premiering tonight and then I
think I’ll be on pay-per-view and wherever, in a few
And then, I’m on a thing called I Get that A Lot if anyone’s
remotely interested. It’s very funny. It’s like a reality
kind of spoof thing where I’m pretending to be someone who
works for Cost Plus and these people, regular normal people
think I’m Jane Seymour and I manage to convince them that
I’m not. That’s on Wednesday night I think.
Then, I’ve got a movie coming out sometime in April. I don’t
have a date on it, but it’s worth looking out for. It’s
called Lovestruck and it’s a musical in which I sing and
dance to a Lady Gaga number and play a choreographer. It’s a
terrific musical with Chelsea Kane and Sara Paxton. And then
after that, the other show I did which I think will come out
in July, I play a grandmother in the American Girl/Doll
movie, the new one.
K. Kurland All right, if nobody has any other questions
we’re going to wrap it up there. Jane, thank you so much for
your time. We really appreciate it.
J. Seymour You’re welcome.
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude our
conference for today. Thank you for your participation and
using AT&T Executive Teleconference Service. You may now
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