Four years ago, when Jane Seymour opens the door to the downtown New York hotel she’s been staying in, she greets me with an animated hello—and quickly rushes me to the sofa and insists I apply the buttery-like cream she has on hand.
“No one wants to talk about crepey skin—especially not me—and I thought there was no way this could possibly work, she says. “But, as they say in England, I gave it the ‘old college try.’ I put it on, went to my trainer to work out and she insisted I tell her what I had gotten done. She thought I had had a body peel or something, but it was all Crepe Erase. The bottom line: It worked off the bat.”
In what is more a reflection of my skin-care snobbery and less of a solid case for the brand, I am skeptical. Anything that makes a 60-something look better than most 20-somethings I know (especially when it comes to a topical body product) falls in the “I’m not so sure” category.
But then I start to hear other musings of the magic: A masseuse tells me he swears by it for a full-body massage, as his typically picky clients are seeing almost-immediate results anywhere he applies it. A coworker shares that her mom has it on auto-replenish and credits it to her neck looking like it has never seen the sun. And, in the true this-product-actually-works fashion, friends start to ask if they should buy it.
Fast-forward to now: Spas and salons are closed, the months are long and the overall magic of life in the time of COVID, amongst other things, is dwindling. I haven’t seen Seymour in a couple of years since we first met in Manhattan, but I keep seeing her pop up in various projects: There’s the casual on-set snap with Denise Richards from the period piece they’re working on, the on-screen kiss with Robert De Niro in Netflix’s War With Grandpa and the for-charity (with proceeds going to her Open Hearts Foundation) virtual reprisal of her infamous character of Kitty Cat from Wedding Crashers. Plus, word on the street is that she also has a big birthday coming up—as in the almost unbelievable 7-0 on February 15.
Everyone is talking about her—and to her—and I want to be on the list.
Getting her on the phone isn’t too hard. She calls a few minutes prior to the time we’re scheduled to chat, sans any assistant who might want to listen on the line to make sure we’re hitting her intended points. “It’s Jane,” she says. “Is now a good time to talk?”
She shares a detailed rundown of her during-COVID schedule, which consists of staying at home in Malibu, spending time with her four adult children and boyfriend, with the occasional Zoom meetup with her grade-school girlfriends. Over the summer, she learned she was fairly skilled in the art of haircutting, with Photoshop and a new volunteering app on her hit list for the new year. “I realized that, as an artist who sculpts, haircutting is basically like sculpting,” she says. “I think I’m a better cook now, I’ve learned how to speak some Korean, and I’m getting into Photoshop. It’s hard, but my children learned it in college, so they’re showing me. It’s not unlike throwing paint on canvas, which everyone knows I love. I’ve been doing more abstract painting, not such literal pieces, so I’ve been growing in my artistic expression. I’ve been designing scarves, too. I’m a scarf-a-holic, literally. I will buy a scarf before I buy anything. It’s terrible. It’s close to hoarding, but it doesn’t take up as much room…although that is debatable.”
My family has sort of become an in-house creative-marketing group in our little bubble over here.
Not debatable is that Seymour is enjoying the back-to-the-nest situation she has set up. “My family has sort of become an in-house creative-marketing group in our little bubble over here. My kids take photos of me in the garden or by the beach and we do videos—we even did a teaser for a new show! We just sort of come up with these ideas, create things and make it happen. When you bond with your kids over something other than being a parent, when you actually work with them and they work with you, and you learn from them and they learn from you, that’s exciting.”
To say she’s excited about turning 70 isn’t totally accurate—although she says it doesn’t faze her as much as it does the media. “I feel the same. I’m a glass half-full person. My thinking is, ‘Just be as young as you possibly can be.’ I don’t have many regrets, but I do wish I could tell that younger version of myself—that young girl who lived in England where it’s cloudy and rainy most of the time—that she shouldn’t bask in the sun with a reflector board and cooking oil during those two weeks of vacation! But, I stopped sun-worshipping a long time ago, so I guess I’m lucky there.”
She’s still a fervent supporter (and user) of Crepe Erase, although she admits she’s since lost count of how many years she’s been a spokeswoman for the brand. “You have no idea how many things I get asked to do, and likewise, I used to do more brands that dropped me as I aged out. I mostly say no, but when it’s a yes, it’s either something I’ve created myself or something someone else created that really works and there would be no point in me trying to do it myself. That’s the case here. I wouldn’t even be comfortable putting my name on something I didn’t use every day, and the formula has just gotten better and better—what it can deliver for a body product is unbelievable. Before COVID, people would literally come up to me in the airport and want to touch my skin. Some people are huggers, some want to take a selfie, but they all want to touch my skin, which I’m going to figure out how to handle moving forward!”
Besides Pilates, a lot of vitamins, a daily walk on the beach, and eating mainly produce she grows in her garden (she also has a chicken coop nearby), Seymour credits the healthy-skin factor to her youthful look. “I think having good skin is really the secret to not aging your face. Using retinol at night, protecting yourself from the sun, using the great skin care that plumps your skin…and pretty much anything that makes me feel healthy, is the best anti-aging secret I know,” she says, stressing that she needs to clear a misconception that she’s most definitely opposed to plastic surgery, as has been quoted in the past: “As of now, I have chosen not to have a facelift—but I have nothing against any of it, nothing. Almost everyone I know is doing it and they’re really thrilled with the results. I think it’s great, and if I felt that somebody could do something that wouldn’t change my face, and I would have the results where I would look just like me, I would do it. I’m not saying I’d never do it, but I haven’t done it yet.”
Pretty much anything that makes me feel healthy is the best anti-aging secret I know.
As for what’s next, she says she just plans to stay as busy as possible with her close brood. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I am working more than any actress I know in my age group—other than, obviously, Meryl Streep, and the other amazing Academy Award–winning ladies. And that’s all you want when you get into this business. I can play my own age, I can play younger, and I can play older with some lighting and a wig. There’s not a lot for me to complain about. So, yes, please, let me get even older! I just like to be alive. Everything after that is a bonus.”
Photography: John Russo; Makeup: Marina Gravani using Laura Mercier / TraceyMattingly.com; Hair: Danni Katz using T3 Micro / TraceyMattingly.com; Styling: Cheri Ingle