CTV.ca: Jeff Seymour (The Dominion Council Head in "She's Come Undone")
Jeff Seymour has quickly become one of Canada's most recognizable faces as Kamal Azizi in CTV's The Eleventh Hour, which received 14 Gemini nominations last year, its second season. Seymour w as awarded a Gemini for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series for his role as Azizzi during the program's first season.
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Virginia, Jeff Seymour moved to Los Angeles at age 19 to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. It was in L.A. that he spearheaded the design and building of the city's prestigious Gnu Theatre. In the theatre's 10-year history, Seymour produced, directed, and performed in 30 multi award-winning shows at that venue, including American Buffalo, A View From The Bridge, Brothers, and El Salvador.
Seymour broke into television with appearances on the hit series Knot's Landing and Bosom Buddies. He quickly landed the recurring role of "Lou Santini" in season one of the long-running hit series Hill Street Blues; followed by numerous roles on television throughout his 25 year career.
For the big screen, Seymour wrote, directed, and starred in Rave Review, which garnered a Gold Award for Best Comedy Feature when it premiered at the 1994 Houston International Film Festival. The film went on to earn Gold Awards in its category at the Spain and Portugal International Film Festivals. Seymour's film credits also include performances in the thrillers The Burial Society, Kari Skogland's Liberty Stands Still, and Kill Me Later; and the comedy Wedding Bell Blues in which he co-starred with Illeana Douglas.
After winning the Gemini for Best Actor, Seymour was immediately cast as one of the regulars on Barna-Alpers' critical darling, Show Me Yours, a half-hour comedy playing on Showcase and Oxygen networks. While shooting Show Me Yours, Seymour also played a wealthy German-Arab banker on TNT's The Grid, and a recurring role on Mutant X. He followed that by playing Paul Gross's chief advisor in the upcoming political thriller H2O and just wrapped one of the starring roles in Coldwater, a feature film written and directed by Ruba Nadda (executive produced by Atom Egoyan). Seymour is a talented writer as well. He recently created a half-hour comedy series called Jeff@Work. Seymour is in his third season of The Eleventh Hour and has started his second season of Show Me Yours
Seymour recently received his second Gemini nomination for his work on The Eleventh Hour.
Kamal Azizi, Correspondent
Kamal Azizi grew up in Boston, son to Iranian diplomat parents, among embassies and spies. He studied classics at Cambridge and began his career at the BBC. Kamal can be a terrible snob, intellectually speaking. His smugness is balanced by a wonderful sense of humour. He can imitate anyone, and he can always argue both sides, which leads to accusations that he's apolitical. Really, he just hates hypocrisy, and he knows that no one is without sin among us. He tends to see Canada as a bit of a colony, a bratty little brother. He's now found his inner diva as he thrives in his new on-camera role.
Kamal is what they used to call a ladies' man, charming and flirtatious, although his private life is a mystery. His scrupulous privacy is doubly annoying because he always knows all the gossip, and is delighted to trade information. He's the person to ask if you want to know what's really going on – which, this season, will get him into deep trouble as his private life explodes into the workplace.
Andpop 2/27/07: Jeff Seymour
American Jeff Seymour a Canadian Success Story
Posted on February 27th, 2007 by andPOP Staff
He has been called one of Canada’s most recognizable actors. And he’s not even Canadian. While most aspiring actors pack their bags and head to L.A to park cars, pump gas and dream big, Jeff Seymour took a different route. He has found success since leaving Hollywood years ago to pursue opportunities in Canada. “It’s not a lot about showbiz here,” Seymour tells andPOP. “Actors in L.A are paid way too much.”
After moving to L.A from hometown Virginia at age 19, Seymour got tired of the “showbiz” and the “getting-paid-too-much” and decided to try it north of the border. It proved to be a good decision. Now, he is proving that you don’t have to be a prairie gas operator or a trailer park boy to win over thousands of Canadian viewers. 900,000 people tuned into his show, “Jeff Ltd.,” during its first season, launching it into the rare group of Canadian television shows that actually make it to a season two (the second season airs Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. on CTV).
CTV’s “Jeff Ltd.” follows title character Jeff Stevens and a quirky supporting cast as they cope with Jeff’s numerous get-rich-quick schemes and unpredictable antics.
So, why do fans love Jeff Stevens?
He’s not a smug, assured pretty boy who delights in crushing the dreams of friends and foes alike. He’s just a guy looking for an easy fix of money, women and happiness – a sentiment Seymour believes many people can relate to.
“He’s the typical person who thinks that when they get a nice car, wife or house, they will be happy, but we all know that never fixes it.”
There’s something about this lying, cheating, reckless goof that comes off as charming, loveable and almost genuine. Seymour thinks there may be something appealing about Jeff’s “unknowingly destructive” behaviour.
“He’s like Wile E. Coyote. It’s hard to hate Wile E. Coyote.” No matter how many anvils seem to fall on Jeff’s head or how many of his harebrained plots blow up in his face, “the person most hurt by Jeff’s schemes is Jeff,” Seymour says.
If the first two episodes are any indication, the second season will find the title character up to his old tricks. Jeff is chasing women and coming up with eccentric money making schemes – two endeavors viewers came to know very well in season one.
Finding the perfect woman for Jeff to save him from his old ways is not in the show’s near future. To see Jeff settle down “will be its death,” says Seymour.
“This season we actually have Jeff kissing women less.” Seymour finds humour in his character facing rejection from women rather than in gratuitous scenes of Jeff as a triumphant womanizer. “It’s not as funny to see a Romeo. It’s too self-gratifying.”
In this season’s second episode, Jeff tries unsuccessfully to hypnotize a lesbian into loving men and instead turns the spell on himself. He then proceeds to smack his head on a desk and pass out, only to wake up as a flamboyant, shoe-loving, surprisingly more sensitive Jeff.
It’s pretty funny stuff.
Seymour has always been into comedy. His first big acting gig was for the hugely popular television series “Hill Street Blues,” where he specifically remembers his role as a member of a gang that looked more like a “gay dance troupe.” He laughs uncontrollably while trying to reenact the first line he ever pulled off on the show.
His mood changes from serious and introspective to silly and humorous within seconds but when he talks about the success of “Jeff Ltd.,” his contentment is persistent. He says he feels like he’s won the lottery. Aside from his acting accolades, Seymour has proven himself as a director, co-writer and co-producer of the show.
So, does Seymour ever feel like he’s taken on too much?
“I love working under pressure,” he says. “I don’t think I bite off more than I can chew. I bite off just enough so I’m not gagging.”
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