Jane Seymour’s had a lot of maternal screen time. She stole our hearts as the adoptive mother Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman in old west Colorado, and she made us laugh at her unconventional undressing as Rachel McAdams’ mother in Wedding Crashers. And tonight she’s guest starring as BJ’s mother, Wendy, in the latest episode of Ben and Kate. In fact, in a recent conference call, Seymour talked not only about her upcoming guest role as Wendy, but also about how privileged she is to be working at her age, especially when she can do comedy.
Seymour briefly discussed her character’s unusual interaction with her daughter BJ in Ben and Kate. “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,” said Seymour. She explained that in this episode of Ben and Kate, Wendy comes on to BJ’s boyfriend Buddy until he realizes that he shouldn’t be pursuing his girlfriend’s mother. Seymour said, “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.”
Seymour had little problems getting her guest role as Wendy. She revealed she was offered the role in part because she’s English and because the producers had seen her previous work. Coincidentally, she’d also just done some work with Rob Corddry, who was coming in to play Buddy and he recommended her to play opposite him. Lucy Punch, a friend of Seymour’s daughter, also suggested her for the role. “Basically, the producers hired me before everybody else put their ten cents in,” said Seymour.
Ultimately, though, Seymour just couldn’t turn down such a curious character. “I just thought she was just a wonderfully inappropriate mother, really. There’s nothing remotely motherly about her. And she’s a bit of a piranha, really. She’ll do whatever suits her; she’s not terribly concerned about BJ at all, really. She’s pretending to be a mother; she’s acting the role.”
Seymour’s not as young as she used to be, but that fact hasn’t stopped her at all. She said that even though the roles and material are fewer at a certain age, she counts herself as being one of the lucky actresses who still gets works. “I’ve been in this sort of in-between age for quite a while, but now people are quite happy to hire me to play grandmothers as well as mothers of twenty-something-year-old young adults,” she said. “I really feel that I haven’t even touched the surface of what I know I can do, and 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.”
When asked about her opinion on comedy, Seymour eagerly expressed her love of the acting style. “After Wedding Crashers, people suddenly realized it was something I could do.” Seymour also commented on the improvisation that happens on the set of Ben and Kate. “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 improving on what they already have going there.”
Seymour noted that the producers of Ben and Kate had mentioned that her role of Wendy could be a recurring role in the show. Would she consider returning for future episodes? “Absolutely,” she said.
Don’t miss Jane Seymour in Ben and Kate tonight!