Me Too rules are getting silly — if you have to touch my breasts to fit a mic, just do it, says Bond girl Jane Seymour

FORMER Bond girl Jane Seymour knows when boundaries have been crossed.

As a young actress she once stood up and left a screen test for an important role when a very powerful Hollywood producer groped her thigh.

She found the experience so shocking that she gave up acting for a year, before returning to the business and winning two Golden Globes, an Emmy and starring in screen hits such as Bond film Live And Let Die.

But now she thinks the obsession with male and female colleagues keeping a safe distance due to the #MeToo movement has gone too far.

The 69-year-old British actress has no problem with being touched in intimate places — in the line of duty.

In an exclusive interview, she tells how sound recordists ask her: “Am I permitted to approach your body and put a radio mic on your dress?”

No-nonsense Jane then tells them: “Yes please, why don’t you just hurry up and do it? Here’s my zip and there’s my bra, just hang it on the back, thank you very much.

“Between my breasts so you can hear my voice? Yes, great. Are you happy? Does it sound good? Thanks. Next.”

For an actress with such lengthy experience — she has been making movies since 1969 — this is an example of people over-reacting to a genuine issue.

While there clearly weren’t enough safeguards for women in the film industry in the past, she thinks the pendulum now seems to have swung the other way, arguably to an extreme.

Jane says: “I think, like anything, people go in the opposite direction. People are very conscious now, especially in the media business. There are all these rules. It’s ridiculous.”

People are very conscious now, especially in the media business. There are all these rules. It’s ridiculous.

The incident with the Hollywood producer happened in 1972, when Middlesex-born Jane had already appeared in three films and was a star of BBC drama The Onedin Line.

At the time she was married to Michael Attenborough, son of the late actor and director Richard Attenborough and nephew of TV’s Sir David.

The unnamed film mogul had invited her to his home for a screen test and when Jane refused his advances, he made it clear her fledgling career would be ruined if she told anyone what had happened.

She says: “I made a choice to not accept the proposal and after that I was upset and quit acting for a year. Then I just realised that was even more stupid, because why would I quit something I loved because of one person?”

Nearly five decades on, Jane’s career is as strong as ever. She is about to return to her role as Alan Arkin’s old flame Madelyn in the third series of Netflix comic drama The Kominsky Method, which stars Michael Douglas as an acting coach.

When she was first cast it was only supposed to be for a couple of episodes, but she became a key character in series two and is now back again, even though Arkin has left.

Jane says: “I came in for two episodes and ended up with five, and nominations. So that’s good.”

Even though she will turn 70 in February, she had to wear a grey wig to look old enough to be Arkin’s lover, and less than three years ago aged 67 she posed — clothed — for Playboy, becoming the oldest woman to be photographed for the magazine.

Jane, who has shunned cosmetic surgery, describes herself as “incredibly low-maintenance” and says: “I’m not doing all the fillers and plastic surgery.

“I tried it a long time ago then I looked in the mirror and I just went, ‘Do you know, this is not going to work, not for an actress’.”

Instead, her regime mainly revolves around plenty of fast walking, Pilates and good skin care.

Jane reckons she isn’t quite as slim as she used to be, but thinks excessive dieting might ruin her looks.

She continues: “I look at myself and think, ‘Gosh, I weigh more than I’d like’, but photographically I’m looking better than when I was thinner.”

She has long taken a relaxed approach to her image, going topless for a fun scene in 2005 film Wedding Crashers, with Owen Wilson, and she found posing in a camisole for Playboy was a positive experience.

Jane says: “It was very liberating. A lot of older women have come to me and said, ‘That was great’.”

And she sees nothing to stop her being a Bond girl again, saying: “Of course, why not? I’m not against it at all. Far from it.”

Being bold has helped Jane to maintain such a long career. The actress, who has married and divorced four times, was willing to do “anything” after the end of her third marriage left her broke in 1992.

Her husband David Flynn had lost a fortune in business deals and she was struggling to find the money to look after their children Katherine, now 38, and Sean, now 35.

Jane recalls: “I’d gone through a terrible divorce in which my husband had lost everything I’d ever earned and left me so in debt, with lawsuits from every major bank, that I couldn’t even conceive of how I’d feed myself and my children the next day.”

She told her agent to accept whatever part was offered to her. It turned out to be one of the most important ones in her career, playing the title role in long-running Western drama Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Jane won a Golden Globe, and the show, which ran for six series, is still playing in 98 countries. Her next marriage, to US actor and director James Keach, also ended badly in 2013 after 20 years together.

James, she claimed, had fallen for someone else. But despite all the heartache she has remained on good terms with her exes.

Jane says: “People always say to me, ‘How can you be friends with your ex husbands?’ for example, after what happened.

“I’m friendly with them all because in those cases, it’s appropriate. They are the father of my children.”

I saw the white light and I did see, very calmly, people screaming and yelling and trying to resuscitate me.

As well as Katherine and Sean, she had twins John and Kristopher, now 25, with James.

For the past six years Jane has been with British film producer and director David Green, but she has no intention of marrying for the fifth time.

She says: “There’s no reason to. We’re not having children and we’re of a certain age where he takes care of his life and his children, and I take care of my life and my children, and we get to enjoy life together too. Why have a contract?”

Her experience of the frailty of life has taught her to make the most of every day. If she is not acting she is writing books, taking long walks or running her jewellery business.

Her Dutch mother Mieke survived three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War Two and Jane herself once “died” on a film set.

More than 30 years ago she was accidentally given an antibiotic, which was five times the recommended dose, in the wrong part of her body.

She recalls: “My whole body shut down. I was resuscitated with cortisone and adrenalin, but I did leave my body.

“I saw the white light and I did see, very calmly, people screaming and yelling and trying to resuscitate me.

“It was confirmed to me by my doctor that I did die, but they got me back.”

The experience taught her that you take nothing with you and that how you live your life is the most important thing.

She says: “I’m very accepting of who I am and I’m just so grateful to be alive.”

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