The Girl Next Door
James Van Der Beek Nixes Dawsons Creek Reunion
By Valerie Nome
Although "Sex and The City," "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Charlies Angels" milked their small-screen success with big-budget blockbusters and "90210" has been revamped for todays viewers, dont expect "Dawsons Creek" to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon.
The coming-of-age drama, which aired from 1998-2003, made household names of Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson. Despite the popularity of the long-running WB hit, the title character, James Van Der Beek, feels the notoriety his former co-stars enjoy squelches the possibility for "Dawsons Creek" to return in any form.
Probably not, he tells me during a Feb. 8 press day for his thriller "Formosa Betrayed." We did the reunion show at the end of the run. We flashed forward five years, and did that. I think those characters are too media-savvy to do it again.
Still, theres not the slightest hint of resentment.
I talk to Michelle quite regularly, he admits. I talk to actually a number of those guys.
For James, 32, who split from wife Heather in November, focusing on the present keeps him moving forward. He guest stars on NBC medical drama "Mercy," and hopes the role will usher in his full-time return to TV.
Im having a lot of fun right now, he tells me. Im having a lot of fun. Its a great character, its a really good cast and the writing of the show is so good. It is a really good show. I love what theyre giving me so far. I could certainly do this for quite a while.
Nevertheless playing the blunt, womanizing Dr. Briggs has its drawbacks.
I am afraid, God forbid I ever get to the hospital, and theres some nurse who watches the show theyre going to stick me with a needle and go oh sorry, does that hurt? he says. My character does not treat the nurses with kid gloves lets put it that way. Ive had nurses on the show technical advisers come up to me and say [impression] boy, you are just like doctors that I know.
Even though hes in a new situation, James draws on his "Dawsons Creek" experience as he navigates Hollywood life.
One thing I was able to learn after being lucky enough to experience the success that I did at 20 years old is I eventually learned pretty quickly that if its all about you, youre always going to be a little disappointed, he says. Its a lot more fun and a lot more fulfilling to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
"Mercy," I think hes calling your name.
Catch James in "Formosa Betrayed," which hits theaters February 26.