At 73, Jane Seymour is 'not afraid to look my age' — or have a 'face that moves': 'I can play very young and I can play an 85-year-old woman'

Jane Seymour
Actress Jane Seymour knows how to age gracefully. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Pablo Cuadra/WireImage)
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Jane Seymour is 73 and she’s happy to look her age, despite the negativity she feels exists around women getting older, whether they're in Hollywood or not. “For most actresses, at 40, traditionally [their career] is over,” she tells Yahoo Life. “A lot of women, especially, you know, hide under a rock by the time they're 50 and just kind of give up.” She, on the other hand, refuses to be “unseen.”

The actress prides herself on the decades-long career she’s had, and how she continues to find success on screen — most recently in the just-released Lindsay Lohan rom-com Irish Wish and the television series Harry Wild. In the latter, she's the series lead. “I mean, that's very rare, you know, to have your own show and have a drama — in this case, a drama comedy — at my age," the British star says. "I mean, that doesn't happen. And I think it's because I'm not afraid to look my age and beyond.”

Seymour credits her appearance with helping her achieve acting range. “My choice is to have a face that moves so I can play very young and I can play an 85-year-old woman,” says the former Bond girl, who played octogenarian Bette in the CBS sitcom B Positive. “There is a pressure obviously to look as good as you possibly can. And to me, good is healthy. And being healthy is really important.”

Seymour says that her mother acted as a role model for her in that sense, having had no plastic surgery, not experimenting with special diets or spending much time focusing on her appearance at all. It was her mom’s “attitude, her vibrance, her desire to enjoy life to the fullest” that ultimately taught Seymour how to age gracefully.

Seymour’s health regimen is simple: plenty of physical exercise, a focus on mental well-being, eating well and exfoliating her skin. “I do take care of what I have,” she says. She also makes an effort to take care of others through philanthropic efforts with her Open Hearts Foundation. Her inclusion in the biopharmaceutical company Insmed’s Speak Up in BE campaign, which is raising awareness about “unseenism,” is another avenue for her to encourage women of all ages to advocate for themselves and their health. Seymour also sees social media as a valuable platform for engaging with people across the world and encouraging kindness.

“I pride myself on being authentic," the former Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star says. "So I'm not going to tell a story for anyone unless I actually believe it, use it, live it. And I think with social media, once I managed to get my head around the fact that I needed to do it, I wanted to be responsible with it."

Seymour adds that social media has helped her embrace her individuality. “I think it took me many years to become my own person," she says. "I was always people pleasing, like, ‘What am I supposed to look like for this? How am I supposed to handle that?’”

Now she’s less focused on meeting people’s expectations and more inclined to step outside of her comfort zone when it comes to sharing personal experiences that might help others find their own sense of freedom. Earlier this year she opened up to Cosmopolitan's "Sex After 60" digital issue about her thriving love (and sex) life.

When I was growing up, these conversations could never happen,” Seymour says. “There's a stigma to these things. And I think there's this stigma to menopause, there’s stigma about gracefully aging as a woman and still feeling like a woman and behaving like a woman."

What does she want women to know? "You matter — you have a life. Whether you want to have relationships with people or not, that's up to you."

Showing up on social media, taking on new roles, discussing taboo topics and even keeping her hair long — something Seymour says she was told to change after becoming a mother — are all efforts to rebel against ideas people have of women in their 70s.

"I spend a lot of time, on purpose, around my daughter's age group, between 40 and 50 years old. And they're all looking at me and going, 'You're not looking and sounding like my mom,'" says Seymour. "I just think that it's about being the best you can be at the age you're at, not trying to be something that you aren't and having a sense of humor about it. ... We're going to go through stages in life and we should enjoy the ride as long as we can."