Why Jane Seymour Thinks She Scored Her Big Live And Let Die Role (Despite Not Trying To Be A Bond Girl)

Jane Seymour as Solitaire in Live and Let Die.
(Image credit: Danjaq, LLC and MGM)

Unforgettable opportunities can come at the most surprising times. Reading how Jane Seymour feels she scored her iconic role in the James Bond movies, her casting as Solitaire in 1973’s Live and Let Die definitely seems like another example of such a case. The funny thing is that despite the role becoming her huge launching pad to stardom, Seymour wasn’t even trying to become a Bond Girl at the time she landed it. 

While speaking with EW, Jane Seymour mentioned a chain of fate that would lead to her casting in the first of Roger Moore’s run of 007 outings. What started as filling in for an actor on the British TV series The Onedin Line eventually became a recurring gig for Jane Seymour. Two episodes later, she was offered the female lead in Live and Let Die, which she thinks came from the following motivations that ran contrary to her thoughts on the gig: 

I was the only woman on the planet that was not trying to be a Bond girl, literally. That was not the trajectory I was looking for. I was going to go and do Shakespeare and Ibsen and all the classics. They were looking for a virgin to play the High Priestess of Tarot, and I was playing a virgin on television [on Onedin], so I'm assuming they thought I had some memory of that experience.

As the alluring Solitaire, Jane Seymour played the counsel to Live and Let Die’s villainous Ross Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Her powers being linked to her virginal status, Jane Seymour’s character eventually flees with Roger Moore’s James Bond, as the legendary ladies man eventually seduces her. The actress' assumption on her casting might be right on the money, which only highlights this rather questionable character quirk all the more. 

What isn’t debatable is the fact that Seymour’s role in the film added her to the impressive canon of Bond Women that make up the 60-year legacy of 007’s companions. That’s partially thanks to the chemistry she shared with Moore himself, which is also the subject of several stories Jane Seymour has told in the past. Sharing another anecdote from their time together on Live and Let Die, she further reflected on what she felt was another gap between her expectations and the reality of the part:  

I just remember Roger Moore was lovely. He realized I was so green and didn't know what was going on. I took the whole thing terribly seriously, like it was a major acting role — and they were probably more concerned about how I looked and how my figure was.

Playing Solitaire in Live and Let Die was an unexpected scenario for Jane Seymour, which led to some wild 007 stories from that set in particular. The memories from that experience, and the inside knowledge that Seymour learned as a result, sound like it all made things worthwhile in this surprise turn of fate. Which is all the more fun to consider when remembering the special powers Seymour’s character possessed. 

If you want to get your own glimpse into the future, we can help out in our own special way. Head over to the schedule of upcoming movies and take a look at what’s heading to a theater near you in the months ahead. Meanwhile, if you’re a Jane Seymour fan, you can catch her new mystery series Harry Wild, which is currently streaming on Acorn TV.  

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.