Upcoming-Movies.com speaks to Jane Seymour, star of Anchor Bay's Lake Effects
It seems likely that Jane Seymour will always be best known for her work as the lead on the long-running TV show Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. But, says the British actress, that's not a bad thing at all, because she truly enjoyed both the show and the experience of making the show. In fact, the closeness of that cast and crew wasn't unlike what she found while making Lake Effects, a family movie originally made for television that's just come out on DVD. Seymour is the mother to two girls, Lily (Madeline Zima), who still lives nearby her lakeside home in Virginia, and Sara (Scottie Thompson), who has left for the big city and a powerful law office. But Sara returns home when her father (Jeff Fahey) dies tragically, and has to confront the fact that maybe where she comes from, despite its slow pace and lack of cell phone signal, isn't as bad as she might have thought. Seymour recently spoke to Upcoming-Movies.com about making the film.
It seems so often these days that it's actually very hard to find movies like that, that are just very nice.
Jane Seymour: I know. Very rare commodity. But I think that's the whole point of the movie really, is that this girl goes off to become a high-powered lawyer, and, you know have money and power and prestige and all the rest of it, and when she's forced to come home and deal with the death of her father and go back to this rural community, she realizes what the value of life is and the choices that she made were based on things that never happened, or things that she perceived in one way and were actually something quite different. I think it's something that is very easy relatable to, for everyone, plus of course, there is some fun humor in it too.
I think we all have this habit of looking back where we come from and where we grew up, and trying to put those beings behind us. We push away our roots in ways that are often not healthy for us.
Jane Seymour: Well, exactly, and whether we like it or not, you know, we all think we're a new generation. We're different. We're nothing like what our parents went through, but the biggest things in life we all have in common. You know, the choices we make, the way we manage our lives, the way we follow our passion and the way we conduct ourselves in terms of relationships with other people and with ourselves and the journeys that we're on. I think what is so powerful about this is that it speaks to everyone that watches it in a different way. You suddenly go, 'oh gosh, that reminds me of my relationship with my mother. It reminds me of what I thought about my parents, you know, and how I thought my mother was this and my father was that,' and then you find out that you were so wrong. And then you suddenly realize why one behaved one way at a certain time and the other another way and then when both of them gone – this has happened in my case – and suddenly you find all the paperwork and all the old letters and all the old photographs and all the stuff that they hid in drawers and you go, 'wow, that's who they were.'
And then you kind of look at yourself and go, that's astounding, because there are elements of them and what happened to them that somehow have managed to eke themselves into my life experience. So we're all attached basically, whether we like it or not.
It's strange to me that when I visit my parents, I really start acting like a kid again.
Jane Seymour: In a funny kind of way, yeah. I mean, it's very strange you know. You go back and your parents are always your parents. And the same thing as a parent, your kids are always your kids. When they're 35, for some reason they're still your kids and somehow you're still responsible for helping them out, and sometimes paying for them, and you're going what, when does it end? Please leave that empty nest.
So, how did you come to this project and how did it come to you?
Jane Seymour: It had to be a really good movie to take me away from where I live. I live in a very glorious place. I'm right on the ocean in Malibu and I have kids and a life here, and for me to go away for a number of weeks and work in Virginia – the reason I did it was, first of all, I love acting and secondly when I read the script, it really got me. I just thought, this is unusual. This is not what I thought this was going to be. It took a different tangent from what I imagined it was going to do, and so I felt that it was valuable and entertaining and meaningful to me just reading it. Therefore I thought it would be something worth doing. You know, I don't always feel that way, but I definitely felt that way when I read "Dr. Quinn," for example.This, I can relate to this. There is something happening here that is different and special and extraordinary and albeit much kind of sweeter and not one of these ten million, hundred million dollar movies with a lot of action.I felt it was very valuable and very beautiful and fun and funny and then when I heard who the cast was I just thought there was some hope of it being good. When I went out to do it, it was such a bizarre experience, because it had been funded by the people who live around that lake you know, a special project. The local retirees got together and decided to become the drivers who were driving us to work. The girl who produced it, her parents donated their house, so we used that. Everything was given and donated. The food that we ate on the set was donated by local restaurants, etc, etc, etc. And you know we arrived to gift baskets from every neighbor with homemade pastries and cookies. Madeline and Scotty and I were all living next door to one another and I went to the grocery store and I cooked dinner for everybody as if I were their mom, and we all shared very intimate conversations about life and love and the journey we've been on and our relationships with our own parents. It really was a very special experience making that movie.
Well, it sounds like it ended up being very personal, if you will, if that makes sense.
Jane Seymour: Yes, it was, for all of us. It was just a special time. A very intensely interesting and beautiful time and I'm really glad the movie came out well.
The way you describe it sounds almost more like doing a theatrical production than a film.
Jane Seymour: Yeah. And well, you know, that does happen and you become like family. We had that relationship, I think, when I did "Summer in Time," and certainly "Dr. Quinn." You know the people that all worked together in whatever capacity, we're all still friends, we're all very close. There was something that happened when we made those movies that impacted us. Not just the subject matter, but you know, the relationships we developed whilst we were making them, so I think the same thing happened on "Lake Effect." And it doesn't always happen.
But when it does, everyone is incredibly close and then, you wrap it or closing night comes around and everyone has to go their separate ways.
Jane Seymour: Yes, but you know the other side of it is, I have just wonderful memories of a really kind of special kind of connection with these two lovely girls. When I watched the film, I see that connection on film, so it's there for the world to share. So, therefore, it's not just a private experience I had. It's something that came across on film and therefore becomes entertaining. It's a movie literally you could watch with anyone, wouldn't you say?
Right. Have your kids seen it and what did they think?
Jane Seymour: Yeah, they really liked it. My kids are into some very kind of edgy funky stuff and I think they'd probably rather watch "Family Guy" or something, or I don't know what they'd watch, or "Breaking Bad," but they loved it. They got sucked into it. They really liked it a lot. I think at the end of the day we're all human beings and we all have parents and we all have – well we don't all have kids – but a lot of us have kids, and it's that huge cycle of life. You watch it and you go, 'wow, life is not necessarily what it appears to be or what we understand it to be.' It is sometimes quite the opposite of what we understand it to be. That's the power of the movie.
About Lake Effects:
In Lake Effects, Sara (Scottie Thomson) and Lily (Madeline Zima) are two sisters from a small, lakeside town that lead two different lives: Sara, a successful Los Angeles attorney and Lily, a local art teacher who never left home. But when the father of the two sisters (Jeff Fahey) unexpectedly dies, Sara returns to her childhood home - on the enchanting Smith Mountain Lake - to help settle his estate. Through the guidance of their father's spirit, the two women and their mother, Vivian (Jane Seymour), will finally discover what being a family truly means.
Directed by: Michael J. McKay
Produced by: Sara Elizabeth Timmins
Starring: Jane Seymour, Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Jeff Fahey, Casper Van Dien, Sean Patrick Flanery
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment