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Jane Seymour relishes playing flawed, sassy sleuth in 'Harry Wild'

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Jane Seymour relishes playing flawed, sassy sleuth in 'Harry Wild'
Jane Seymour can now be seen in the mystery comedy, "Harry Wild." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- Jane Seymour says she signed on to play the titular sleuth in the new mystery dramedy series, Harry Wild, because she had never seen a character quite like her on the small screen.

Debuting Monday on Acorn TV, the Dublin-set show follows Harry, a fun-loving, recently retired university literature professor, who discovers she has a knack for investigation while staying at the home of her police detective son Charlie (Kevin Ryan) to recover after she is injured in a mugging.

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"I just thought she was intelligent, funny, flawed and aspirational in that she was a woman who was going to do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted, however she wanted," the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress, 71, told UPI in a recent Zoom interview.

"She's pretty sassy at her age to be facing some of the worst criminals known to man, who are doing ridiculously weird things, and to actually have the tenacity to figure [cases] out using her knowledge of literature and history."

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Aiding Harry on her adventures is Fergus (Rohan Nedd), a smart teen from the wrong side of the tracks, who becomes Harry's sidekick after she forgives him for snatching her bag.

"He knows how to find some good crooks who can pick locks when she needs it and she manages to correct his vocabulary and his grammar and support him in his school work," Seymour noted.

People reexamining their values and career choices after the coronavirus pandemic might connect with Harry and Fergus, who are also starting new chapters of their lives.

"It's a very, very good link to who Harry is because she has been a very successful professor of English literature at a major university, Trinity of Dublin, and she quits because she feels like she loves her subject, but most of her students are more interested in partying," she explained.

"She's not going to waste her brain or her passion, so she figures, 'Oh, I must be able to find something else.' And, of course, she realizes she is much smarter than her son, who happens to be a detective - much smarter actually than most of the detectives, so she tries to help them along a little bit."

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The actress -- who also paints and writes -- tried to focus during the two years of the pandemic on what she could do virtually instead of what she couldn't do in person since so many businesses were shut down and travel restrictions were in place.

"I am very much a 'glass half full' kind of person," Seymour said.

"So, I realized what I can do is paint and design and, so, I thought, 'I'll paint and design with people who want to paint with me, who were stuck in old people's homes or with fans across the world who wanted to help me create greeting cards for foster kids,'" she added. "I had the best time."

That's also when she got the idea to actually start wearing her art.

"I turned it into scarves and pajamas, all kinds of fun stuff," Seymour said.

This adaptability echoes Harry's attitude of turning a terrible incident -- that robbery -- into something useful and healthy, a young man's redemption and a productive partnership that hopefully makes the streets of Dublin safer.

"Harry realizes that she is vulnerable," Seymour said.

"She is an older woman and when she gets mugged -- even though it is a light mugging as we like to say -- this guy did snatch her purse and she did fall and she did have to spend at least a night or so with her son, recuperating. But I think she realizes she actually has a talent for helping people."

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Seymour -- whose credits include Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, The Kominsky Method, Austenland, Wedding Crashers and Somewhere in Time -- also has the distinction of playing a Bond girl in one of the early 007 capers, 1973's Live and Let Die.

"I'm very, very happy to be a part of that legacy," she said when asked how she looks back on the experience now that the film franchise is turning 60. "I was the only person on the planet not trying to be a Bond girl."

She recalled how she had been honing her craft in the theater, starring in classic dramas by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Middleton and Rowley when the Bond producers noticed her playing a young virgin in a TV series called The Onedin Line.

They immediately called her agent and said they wanted her for their next 007 movie.

"It was the easiest audition I've ever had. All I had to do was take my coat and hat off and my hair came tumbling down," Seymour said.

"That was when I was 20, so, yes, I have very fond memories. The crocodiles [in the film] were a little scary, but Roger Moore was fabulous."

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