Jane Seymour on Cutting Men's Hair, Hosting Painting Sessions and Giving Back During Quarantine
"I didn't know I was a hairdresser, but I am now," the actress tells PEOPLE about trimming her son and her boyfriend's strands during their time at home
While Jane Seymour has been self-isolating amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at her home in Malibu, she's been giving free virtual painting lessons, helping others through her nonprofit charity and discovering a hidden talent — that she's a pretty good hairstylist.
"I didn't know I was a hairdresser, but I am now," Seymour, 69, tells PEOPLE over a Zoom chat about her newfound skill. "To me, it's sculpting, it's like sculpting clay, but it's hair. If you think about it, cutting hair is just the same as sculpting. And if someone's had a good hair cut, all you have to do is take it back up where it was."
With hair salons closed amid the pandemic, she perfected her hair cutting skills on her at-home hair models, her 24-year-old son Johnny, and boyfriend, David Green. "Hey, listen, I'm not an expert, but I did fine."
And in return, her son helped her in the hair department as well. "My hairdresser was very nice and gave me the ingredients to dye my hair, so we got to do it ourselves. Johnny did all the roots," she shares.
While nonessential businesses like the dermatologist's office were closed for the majority of the crisis, Seymour says it hasn't altered her stellar skincare routine at all — and that's thanks to her go-to Crepe Erase products.
"I have never lasered or done anything like that. I just use the actual Crepe Erase products and they work," the brand's spokeswoman says. "I'm 69, almost 70, and this is it, nothing's ever been done. No peels, no nothing. Nothing in a dermatologist's office or anything like that. I love that."
Recently, she's been keeping her skin feeling its best thanks to Crepe Erase's two latest products, the Triple Acid Targeted Body Peel Pads ($49; qvc.com) which she says she's "crazy" about and the Self-Tanning Body Drops ($34; qvc.com). She can attest that the peel pads leave no redness but still "really gets rid of all the dead skin," while a glow from the tanning drops "makes you feel healthy. It really does."
In addition to self-care, she's been perfecting her cleaning skills at home, saying she's learned to clean bathrooms, toilets and windows. "I'm good at everything except for windows. I really messed up the windows. People say, 'Is there anything you can't do?' Windows, no good."
What she is good at is painting — and she decided to teach others how to paint over Zoom. "I thought, well, what can I do while I'm here? And I thought, paint. And then I ended up painting with people who were stuck in nursing homes in Texas where there was a lot of COVID, where they couldn't see their relatives. And I would Zoom with them and I'd paint for an hour or two and talk about life."
Seymour painted with people all across the country and recently auctioned off her artwork (including 40 original pieces mostly featuring objects found in her garden) to benefit coronavirus-related charities and raised $75,000. In addition, she also started an initiative through her nonprofit, the Open Hearts Foundation, called the Open Hearted Challenge, which encourages people to share stories of those doing good during this time. "People were challenging how many sit-ups they could do, how many press-ups or whatever and I just thought, no, what about what can you do to make a difference in somebody's life today? It took off. It was great."
Throughout the pandemic she's been committed to giving back as much as possible. "My whole thing in life is that when you think that you have a challenge or you think this is hard or you think it's tough, which it is clearly right now, my mother, her mantra always was accept what it is, however difficult, open your heart and reach out to help someone else because there's always someone worse off than you," Seymour explains.
"And then see what you uniquely can do to make a difference and that will give you purpose and when you have purpose in your life, you feel so much better and you can just get on with things. This has been feeding my soul and I've just become obsessed now with turning people on to painting who don't know how to paint."
Before hunkering down at her home in Malibu, Seymour was working in Spain shooting the upcoming miniseries, Glow and Darkness until March. "I got out just in time. The next day they closed everything down," the actress said.
During our chat, Seymour revealed she tested positive for antibodies but didn't experience any COVID-19 symptoms. "Maybe I did meet the virus, but it didn't attach itself to me in any profound way that I noticed," she says, adding that she knows antibody tests have been known to be inaccurate (the CDC warns they should not be used to determine immunity).
Soon, she'll be back at work filming two new projects abroad, the film Ruby's Choice in Australia and TV series in Ireland and will self-quarantine for 14 days before going on either film set.
"It's going to be interesting to see what filming with COVID is like. They're going to have much smaller crews for everything. Since I tend to do my own hair and makeup anyway, it's fine. And of course, I've had plenty of time to practice while I'm here [self-isolating at home]."