I didn’t watch the premiere episode of Dawson’s Creek when it aired on The WB in 1998 – and pretty much every girl in school told me how foolish of a decision this was. The school was literally abuzz about the floppy haired high schooler named Dawson, who could pass for a 25-year-old. Every girl who had a crush on a boy related to Joey, who was quite possibly the definition of girl-next-door (or as she reminded us in every episode, “the girl from across the creek.”) I rectified my errors by the next week, and soon morphed into a dork that wrote bad Dawson’s Creek fan-fiction for a weekly AOL e-mail newsletter. The phenomenon that was this show ended a 6-season run a full decade ago.
So where’s the cast today?
James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery
Our buddy James (I don’t know him, but assume he’d be friends with me/the website based solely what I know about the characters he plays) has kept busy since the show ended in 2003. In the later 2000’s he did a few TV movies, and had a few notable story arcs on shows like One Tree Hill, Mercy, and How I Met Your Mother.
He pretty much played a fictionalized version of himself in the very-funny-and-very-much-missed Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23, and will make a heroic return to film (remember Varsity Blues?) with a drama called Labor Day, which is set to be released in January of next year.
As noted in Don’t Trust the B, James has no problem making fun of himself. After a legendary gif of him circulated the internet of Dawson crying, James created an entire website to express all of the different types of emotions he could portray. Familiarize yourself with Vandermemes.
James has been married twice – his first marriage to Heather McComb officially ended in June of 2010, and he wasted no time with marrying Kimberly Brook just a few months later. The couple have two children together – Olivia, and Joshua. Who I hope was named after Dawson’s Creek cast roommate Joshua Jackson. Speaking of which!
Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter
First, I’d like to thank Joshua for once being featured on my bedroom wall via magazine cut-outs. Second, I’d like to tell him that I don’t think Joshua Jackson crushes ever fully disappear. (For example, you probably still don’t have a crush on Devon Sawa, do you?) Part of me still feels giddy when I see Josh in anything.
This ex-Mighty Duck has had a ton of success post-Creek. Reuniting with Coach Bombay (er – Emilio Estevez) he had a role in the 2006 movie Bobby, and had a leading role in Shadows in the Sun just a year prior. But you’ve probably seen him the most in Fringe playing Peter Bishop. The show just ended this year, after five seasons.
Oh, and Joshua is active on Funny or Die as well. Ever hear of Pacey-Con?
Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley
Jen got a raw deal on this show. Even my fan-fiction was pretty cruel towards her, which I deeply regret. Not only did they pretty much try to insert her between Dawson and Joey’s romantic tension – which pissed off everybody – but they actually (spoilers!) randomly killed her during the finale.
Good thing Michelle isn’t letting that get in her way. In fact, she’s the first Creek alum to have an Oscar nomination. And based on her excellent choice of projects, she’s had quite a few nominations.
In fact, I’m just going to list a few of the excellent projects she’s been part of: Brokeback Mountain, Wendy and Lucy (a personal favorite), Synecdoche New York, Blue Valentine, My Week With Marilyn, and Oz: The Great and Powerful.
And of course, her biggest project of all – being a great Mom to Mathilda Ledger, who is the daughter of the late Heath Ledger. Michelle’s little girl is already seven, and recently got the chance to tour the North Carolina set where Dawson’s Creek was filmed.
“I actually hadn’t been back since the show ended but I went back and took my daughter on vacation and saw people I hadn’t seen in 10 years and went all the places that we used to go,” Michelle revealed in an interview with The New Yorker’s David Denby. “And it was great. It was actually a real stroke of luck to be transported there.”
Katie Holmes as Joey Potter
It was big news when Katie won the role of Rachel Dawes in 2005’s Batman Begins, but she made headlines for everything other than movies soon after the film debuted. Y’all remember TomKat, right?
Katie took a pretty big acting break, and became a bit of a Fashion-Mom to the absolutely adorable Suri Cruise, who – like Mathilda – is also seven.
Katie and Tom divorced in 2012 after six years of marriage, and she now has two films in post-production. She’s currently filming The Giver, a sci-fi drama, which also stars Alexander Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, and – yep, Taylor Swift is in it too.
Mary Beth Peil as “Grams” (er – Evelyn Ryan)
Grams was an amazing part of this show. She was like Jen’s partner-in-crime. If only the two of them had a spin-off show.
You might have recognized her in The Stepford Wives, playing Helen Devlin. She also reunited with Joshua Jackson on an episode of Fringe in 2009, and was in a bunch of episodes of The Good Wife as Jackie Florrick. You go, Grams!
Mary-Margaret Humes as Gail Leery
Anyone else still get a little weird over the sexual tension between Dawson’s parents? Like, remember when they almost did it on the dinner table, and Dawson walked in? While we all figured out that Gail was cheating on Mitch before Dawson did, we just couldn’t hate her as the series ran on.
Here’s a fun fact about Mary-Margaret – she was actually a beauty queen, who was encouraged to head to Hollywood by the one and only Burt Reynolds.
Since then, she’s been in a few TV movies (and by a few, I mean 5) and has had a few guest spots on shows like The Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy.
John Wesley Shipp as Mitch Leery
Speaking of Mitch, let’s just start by saying that John Wesley Shipp wasn’t the first actor cast for the role. Here’s some footage of the “original” Mitch.
I wonder if the other guy would have had a similar fate – death by ice cream cone. Sigh.
John had a show called Palmetto Pointe in 2005 that was only on for a season, and then went on to do a few guest spots on shows like The Closer and Drop Dead Diva. He was in a bunch of episodes of One Life to Live until 2012, and also played Mr. Lahey on the television series Teen Wolf. He also happens to share my birthday. Totally important for you to know that, I’m sure.
Nina Repeta as Bessie Potter
Sure, Joey didn’t always get along well with Bessie. Especially when Bessie forced Joey to babysit. But she did teach Joey the importance of wearing lipstick, which was a major breaking point in regards to Joey’s transformation from tomboy to beauty pageant contestant/girlfriend.
Nina wasn’t the only Repeta in Capeside – her husband Mike was actually a camera man on the show. And while Nina hasn’t acted too much since the show wrapped, she’s been focused on her musical career.
Here she is performing a cover of the song “Satin Doll” in North Carolina. Bessie’s got some pipes, guys.
Meredith Monroe as Andie McPhee
Hey, it’s Capeside’s favorite little anxiety-ridden firecracker! I didn’t care for her too much, based on pure fictional jealousy (read: Pacey) and sadly, I feel like others felt the same way.
While she was only on the cast until season 4, she made an appearance during the finale (which was cut from the original airing, but ended up on the DVD.)
Meredith has been in a bunch of things since the show ended – even lending her voice to portray Pepper Potts in the the 2008 Iron Man video game – but has had the most success playing Haley Hotchner in the TV show Criminal Minds. (Unsure if she was in any of the Gail Leery episodes.) She was one of the few “teen” cast members to have been married during her time on the show, as she’s been with husband Steven Kavovit since 1999.
Kerr Smith as Jack McPhee
The writers really threw Kerr for a loop, when they decided to make his character come out as being gay shortly after he started dating Joey. But, the plot change was pretty legendary for the show – his season 3 kiss with co-star Adam Kaufman was the first gay male kiss on prime time television. Ever.
In 2004, Kerr played the role of Kyle Brody on TV series Charmed, and quickly moved to the soon-cancelled show E-Ring, which focused on the Pentagon. He then had a starring role on another show that sadly just aired for a season, called Justice. The bad luck then continued for his next two shows, Eli Stone and Life Unexpected – the latter which lasted for two seasons, and had great reviews before getting cancelled. Which means it’ll probably be a cult classic soon.
But don’t feel too bad for Kerr. He just released a movie called Criticized, and if anything, he does have a business degree from the University of Vermont to fall back on. He’s a smart guy!
Winner: Have to go with Michelle Williams. Besides taking awhile to warm up to Jen, I haven’t seen one thing that Michelle’s been involved with that has been terrible. Or even average. She’s a star, plain and simple.