Return of a Creek god
AMAGAZINE named him one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world and he had a legion of female fans who worshipped his every line of dialogue.
No wonder it took James Van Der Beek the best part of a decade to feel comfortable with the enormous fame he found as teen drama hunk Dawson Leery.
When Dawson’s Creek ended in 2003, Van Der Beek did everything in his power to distance himself from the Dawson character. He played a variety of roles — a doctor, serial killer, FBI agent and kidnapper among them — to prove he had depth and versatility as a performer.
Now he’s achieved that, he is showing he has a sense of humour by playing a heightened version of himself in the edgy and acclaimed sitcom, Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.
He stars alongside Krysten Ritter, who plays the meanspirited Chloe.
‘‘ It’s the most fun I’ve had on any job . . . one of those magical experiences where it all gels,’’ Van Der Beek, 35, says of the show.
Van Der Beek’s rise to prominence was not easy.
He was identified as dyslexic in kindergarten and learned to read in a special class, later becoming an honours student.
He began acting after a serious concussion stopped him from playing football.
His star rose in Dawson’s Creek, but he could easily have wrecked his career for good after leaving the show. ‘‘ There was a period (after Dawson’s) where I said no to everything, was very pessimistic. I could have passed into irrelevance. I was burnt out,’’ he says.
‘‘ Once the show ended, my response was to get as far away from it as possible. I got to a point where I made a conscious decision to say yes to things.
‘‘ If you say no enough times, people will stop offering.’’ Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Arena, Monday, 7.30pm