One of Jane Seymour’s greatest pleasures is sharing her family history with her three grandchildren through the photographs and memorabilia she inherited. “Being alive and able to show them is magical,” Jane confides to the latest issue of Closer, on newsstands now. “I can talk to them about my parents and my grandparents.”
In this way, Jane keeps the memory of her loved ones, especially her mother, Mieke, alive. “My mom always got it right,” Jane, 69, marvels. After spending more than three years in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, Mieke, who died in 2007, moved to
the U.K. where she met Jane’s father. “She said that everyone’s life is going to have some challenges,” recalls Jane. “The secret to surviving is not to look back. Be present in the moment, appreciate what you do have, and see what you can do to help others less fortunate.”
For many years, Jane has been doing this through her Open Hearts Foundation, which during the pandemic has provided grants to charities supporting women and children. Helping others “brings health, joy and purpose to your life,” Jane says. “You see the glass as half-full instead of half-empty.”
Lately, the actress has been fortunate to share a lot of time with her grandchildren, Rowan, 7, Willa, 6, and Luna, 4. “They have one day of school here every week on a Friday — everything happens outdoors. They swim here, or we go to the beach or do gardening,” she says. “Having little adventures with them is fantastic. It keeps you young and active because they move very fast.”
Jane admits that she sees a lot of herself in the children. “Willa and Luna both love to perform and dance all the time,” she says. “And Rowan is an amazing young man and absolutely gorgeous!” It wouldn’t be a surprise if one of them follows in their grandma’s showbiz footsteps. “They have just started watching Dr. Quinn — they love that,” says Jane.
On October 9, her latest film, The War With Grandpa with Robert De Niro, will be released. “It’s a wonderful film — and very amusing because he isn’t playing his typical kind of character,” she confides. Jane also stars in Friendsgiving, a holiday comedy with an all-star cast due out on October 23.
The actress remains grateful for all her blessings — and knows how proud Mieke would be of her great-grandchildren. She’s even been teaching them how to do a British accent. “I told them that when they went to England, they had to pronounce things English!” she says. “But they don’t like saying “tomato” or “bath” the English way. For those, they have decided to hang on to their American accents.”
For this story and more, pick up the latest issue of Closer, on newsstands now.
Reporting by Natalie Posner