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James Van Der Beek reveals why he embraced challenges to his career

James Van Der Beek Exposes His Funnier Side

For years James Van Der Beek has been known simply as "Dawson." His face and shiny smile have been associated with the 90s hit show "Dawson's Creek" forever more. But where other stars spend lifetimes trying to undo their most famous on-screen personas, Van Der Beek has spun what could've been a disastrous pigeonhole in to something we can all laugh about. He even played a pompous, self-absorbed character named James Van Der Beek for the ABC sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23."

In a brand new interview with AOL.com's Brian Balthazar, the 37-year-old reveals how taking a direct hit to his ego was a necessary evil. "There's nothing better than laughing at yourself. When you're lucky enough to experience the crazy success I stepped when I hit my early twenties I think there's always a tendency to kind of get precious about that. Then the years kind of wear some of that off you as careers ebb and flow. To be able to run towards playing this completely narcissistic, bizarre human being who shared my name was just a great way to take the piss out of any last little vestiges of ego that may have stayed clung to my soul."

Clearly, his willingness to poke fun at himself have worked to his advantage, even making him a viral superstar. One of the lasting memories Van Der Beek left for his "Dawson" fans was the scene known now as the "Dawson cry." Fortunately or unfortunately, the world of social media brought Dawson's wincing, tearful face while saying goodbye to girlfriend Joey (played by Katie Holmes) to the masses as a meme being retweeted and shared the world over. Some stars would've hid, but not Van Der Beek. "To see people mocking each other with it later just really tickled my funny bone. Six years of work boiled down to four seconds of an ugly cry just made me laugh. So I worked with FunnyorDie.com and we decided to run towards it and just make a selection of memes." Van Der Beek admits he's a fan of surreal images created by his fans too. Rest assured, if you draw an image of his head on a penguin's body, he will retweet you on Twitter.

Who knew Dawson had such a great sense of humor? Well, now everyone knows Van Der Beek's funny side. He's making people laugh every week on his new sitcom "Friends With Better Lives" on CBS and he says there may be less ugly crying at his new gig but there will be tears if he can't make people laugh. "If the joke isn't working there's nothing more painful than comedy. But that said, it's a lot easier to laugh all day than it is to cry all day."

Luckily, the laughs seem to be working! Catch Van Der Beek every week on "Friends With Better Lives" Monday nights at 8:30pm on CBS.

Join the discussion

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Leslie April 21 2014 at 5:11 PM

My Mom was James' aunt Gladys' good friend at an Assisted Living place for years. Aunt Gladys ADORED James and never missed watching an episode of Dawson's Creek. She would be thrilled to see him in his new sitcom. Good luck, James!

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daxcess2 April 22 2014 at 7:54 AM

I used to enjoy this actor in Dawson' Creek, I watch him morph into an awkward 20 something and then he was lost for a while.

Now he's in an awful sitcom that must use body humor and genital references to get attention. The newst fad on TV is how many times can the say vagina and penis. It's like a little kid who gets a pass from Mommy and Daddy to say dirty words.

Frankly I am offended but I guess anything for a buck rings the sweetest bell. That used be reserved for behind closed door conversations among consenting adults. I am glad I am not raising children in this environment.

Prude, you say? If not wanting to be assaulted with crude useless bullsh*t that supplants comedy is being a prude, then yes, I am a prude.

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2 replies
APerfectGentlman daxcess2 April 22 2014 at 8:15 AM

Here's an idea.....Don't watch the show. WOw! Eureka! I know that's something that never occurs to you wingnuts, but turn the channel. It works remarkably well. Oh, and save the profanity for your Jesus-loving friends. I, for one, don't appreciate it.

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1 reply
cclawnj APerfectGentlman April 22 2014 at 5:18 PM

Oh, don't you people ever get tired of that old chestnut? Some of us actually care about the direction our society is headed. Some of us are disappointed that in order to see an enjoyable movie with decent acting and an intriguing storyline we have to endure gratuitous violence and language laced with a quotient of profanity and obscenity that most of us rarely hear in real life, and if we don't like it all that's left is kiddie fare. Not everyone who feels this way is necessarily religious. It's perfectly legitimate to be concerned. Save your apathy for your dope-smoking pals.

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cclawnj daxcess2 April 22 2014 at 5:09 PM

You're not a prude. Our society's going to hades fast, and you'd rather not come along for the ride. You get two big thumbs up from me, and, I'm sure, lots of others.

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kimcrdr April 21 2014 at 3:46 PM

I loved him in Dawsons Creek, I didn't like the show dont trust the B...... but I sure wish him and Katie would get together and do an updated version of Dawsons Creek, that would be GREAT!!

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lindersgray April 22 2014 at 9:20 AM

What phone call?

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cclawnj April 22 2014 at 5:07 PM

I enjoyed him in the Hallmark Christmas movie Mrs. Miracle.

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drhunter20 April 22 2014 at 6:46 PM

Varsity Blues great teenage football movie. Before Paul Walkers fame.

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LUCI LIONESS April 21 2014 at 3:52 PM

More white unfunny friends and their vapid lives. Seriously?

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3 replies
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