Ready to feel old? It’s been 20 years since Dawson’s Creek was brought into our lives. It feels so long ago since that show was around, but it was an instant phenomenon when season one aired. They dealt with some serious issues that other shows wouldn’t even consider addressing at the time. Even the cast members had no idea that the show was going to be as popular as it was until it was a hit and when the fame came they didn’t know what to do with it.
Twenty years have gone by and all the characters have changed. Joshua Jackson is off doing Broadway and killing it on TV shows such as Fringe and The Affair. Katie Holmes married and divorced mega-star Tom Cruise and has managed to have a pretty decent career since the Creek. Michelle Williams fell in love with the legendary Heath Ledger and these days, her career is doing pretty well. James Van Der Beek had some issues when he first left the creek because he was typecast as the “good boy” Dawson, so roles weren’t as easy for him to come by. Still, he’s made a successful career for himself n Hollywood and has no complaints. It’s hard to believe how far out favorite Capeside characters have come. We have to wonder what was life like while on the show and what kind of things were going on? Check out these 15 behind the scene secrets of the cast of Dawson’s Creek.
15 Selma Blair Was Originally Supposed To Play Joey
Sorry, we just can’t believe that and we will not accept it. Sure, at the time Selma Blair was certainly very popular because of films like Cruel Intentions and Katie Holmes was a nobody but we couldn’t even picture Selma Blair playing the character. Kevin Williamson, the shows creator, really wanted Selma to play the part. That is until Katie Holmes sent in an audition video that pretty much blew their minds. “I really loved Selma until, of course, I got the infamous videotape from the basement of the Holmes family in Toledo, Ohio,” Williamson recalled. “When that video showed up, it changed my whole life.” It definitely changed his life as well as Katie’s. She was just a hometown girl from Toledo, Ohio and being on Dawson’s Creek changed her whole life. Holmes said this about her character,
“I was still a teenager, and it was nice to read a script that felt like it expressed things that I was still trying to understand for myself. The experience was very overwhelming because I was brand new.
It was my second job and I didn’t even know really, like, where to look.” We really couldn’t imagine anyone else playing that role.
14 They Weren’t Famous During Season One
It was kind of nice for the whole crew to be brought to Wilmington, North Carolina because it allowed the kids to be out of the Hollywood spotlight. At the time that they were filming season one of Dawson’s Creek, no one knew who these actors were especially since they were in a small town in North Carolina. So that allowed them to hang out all over town without being recognized and bothered. The cast members became a family in the process and were able to go out and party like teenagers do without having it splashed all over the magazines the next day. It wasn’t until season one aired that they were thrown into the spotlight. Showrunner Julie Plec said this about the relationship between cast members,
“That was something as soon as I got there that was presented to me like, ‘Oh, well, we all hang out and we’re all a family.’”
Plec wrote for the series in season two. This group was like the mayors of Wilmington. They could walk into restaurants and close down bars. It wasn’t about going to L.A. to the clubs and doing the Hollywood scene. It was about living in a small town and getting to know their community and having a really good time.”
13 Busy Philipps Liked To Party
There is always a party girl in the group and although Busy Philipps came into the club later on in the series, she became a regular character. Philipps has spoken candidly about her time on Dawson’s Creek and had no problem mentioning that some of her party behavior caused rewrites to happen on the show. Because they were in a small town and away from the cameras of the Hollywood scene the cast was able to let loose without it being splashed everywhere. Busy told Wendy Williams that one time, she partied so much, she managed to dislocate her knee while at a bar. That would definitely complicate things for a filming schedule.
She spent some time in the emergency room because of her partying ways and was told by doctor’s that she had to stay off her leg for a couple of weeks. If there was ever a time on Dawson’s Creek where Audrey was always sitting or was in bed, it was because the writers had to rewrite the script so that Busy could stay off her leg until it healed. She was exhibiting Lohan-like behavior, but the media knew nothing about it at the time.
12 Joshua Jackson Was Broke During Season One
At the time of filming season one of Dawson’s Creek the cast, for the most part, were nobodies and this was one of their first jobs or close to it. They weren’t big names that were rolling in the dough. Joshua Jackson had been a child star from The Mighty Ducks franchise, but he was by no means a major star. So, when he was filming Dawson’s Creek, he was completely broke and had to crash on the couch of James Van Der Beek’s apartment until the cheques started rolling in from the show.
“I didn’t have any money yet because the checks hadn’t cleared. So, I was kind of rescued by having somebody to sign up with. And then the high jinks happened afterward.”
James Van Der Beek added, “I am still guilty of letting the alarm clock go off 70 times — sorry.” The two were roommates during filming and they would often get together with the rest of the cast mates and have BBQ’s and go to the beach. It sounds like it would have been a blast to be there at the time. Once the checks cleared, Jackson was fine to spend his money as he wanted.
11 Sony Didn’t Want James Van Der Beek To Play Dawson
It’s hard to believe that there could have ever been anyone else considered to play our favorite characters. At the time Sony wasn’t convinced that Van Der Beek was Hollywood material and the creator of the show Kevin Williamson had to put his foot down, “Sony had flown me out. They had cast almost everybody else, but they were still looking for a Dawson. I read for a roomful of people, this quiet scene at the beginning of the pilot.
The head of Sony said, ‘I don’t know, he didn’t walk in the room like a star.’ [The series creator] Kevin Williamson replied, ‘How do you want him to walk into the room? He’s a kid.’ So Kevin fought and fought and fought. I was in the waiting room and they kept bringing me back, asking for more energy, all in a two-hour waiting period.
Then Kevin kicked and screamed and put his foot down: ‘I wrote Dawson! I am Dawson! This is Dawson!’ They finally said, ‘Fine, but for the love of God, get the kid a haircut!'” That must have been a stressful time for Van Der Beek, but thankfully they gave him a chance.
10 A Few Characters Wanted to Leave the Show
Throughout the series, there were two deaths, one of Abby Morgan who fell off the pier and died and Mitch Leery, Dawson’s father who died in a car wreck. Monica Keena played Abby and she was traveling back and forth between North Carolina and Los Angeles for work and to see her boyfriend. It started to become too much for her and she asked to be written off the show. When it came to John Wesley Shipp who played Mitch, he just thought it was time for him to move on. “My fear going into the fifth season, if they were going to college, was that – after such a remarkable four years – the parents would recede into the background.
So that’s why they gave me the most beautiful and respectful send-off I believe any character has ever been given in television, with my last two episodes.”
Mary-Margaret who played Dawson’s mother on the show said it was hard to be on the show without Mitch. “When they killed his character off and we had to shoot the episode ‘The Long Goodbye,’ I just remember crying for eight days. I just couldn’t stop. But life goes on.”
9 Busy Philipps Didn’t Like Chad Michael Murray
Chad Michael Murray was brought into Dawson’s Creek when they went off to college and Joey Potter needed a new love interest. He was a bad boy who had originally scorned Michelle Williams character Jen, but Joey was always the one able to turn a bad boy around. Busy Philipps though despised the actor right from the beginning. If you have ever seen Busy in an interview, you will know that she doesn’t mind spilling the beans at all. She didn’t go into details however as to why she hated the guy, but they clashed all the time while on set. She mentioned being stuck on a plane on time with the actor and sat beside him, but she worried people would think they were together, “And I get stuck with this guy?” She was at The Paley Center for Media in 2009 and the fellow panelist reacted with shocked looks when she called Murray a bad word in public. Her response, “Don’t worry. I’m not real worried about burning bridges with CMM.” After the event, she went to Twitter and posted, “Just finished the Dawson’s Creek panel. Maybe I was too harsh on chadM2…Nah.” That’s actually pretty funny.
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8 Katie Holmes Stopped Talking to DC Cast Mates Once Tom Was In The Picture
After Dawson’s Creek ended the cast members remained close even though they didn’t see each other that often. But for Katie who suddenly found herself being swept off her feet by one of Hollywood’s leading men she may have allowed it to get to her head. Busy Philipps stated in an interview that once Katie started to date Tom Cruise she stopped talking to her friends from Dawson’s Creek.
“I just remember when (she started dating Cruise) I was like, ‘Are you on a plane in San Francisco with Tom Cruise? What’s happening?’ I left her several voicemail messages. And then I saw her three years later and she had a kid.”
We’re sure that when Katie went to the reunion, she had to answer some difficult questions, but considering how weird her relationship with Tom was, it’s possible that she was told to break contact with some people in her life. Even the Scientologists have been known to encourage actors to leave their past behind. Or maybe she just believed she grew beyond them. Either way, they seem to all be back in contact now.
7 Joshua And Katie Dated In IRL During Filming
You may not be aware that Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes dated in real life while they were on the show. They weren’t just lovers onscreen there were also things going on offscreen as well. Katie Holmes actually called him her first love which makes sense since she was only a teenager at the time. Jackson once said that Holmes called him after her divorce from Tom Cruise to talk. “Like any old friend, it was like, ‘Oh, hi how are ya? What’s going on? I had a kid,'” the Fringe actor said of his phone chat with Holmes. “It was very nice, actually.” At the time of their relationship, Holmes was very hush-hush about it.
“I had really good luck this past year and I had a really wonderful, amazing experience,”
said the actress. An interviewer asked her if it had anything to do with her relationship with Joshua Jackson. “I’m just going to say that I met somebody last year, I fell in love, I had my first love, and it was something so incredible and indescribable.” That’s totally sweet. Now, why can’t these two get back together and make it work? It just might be our high school obsession coming back.
6 Michelle Williams Was Insecure About All The Screen Time That Katie Got
Yes, there were two main girls in the series, but the show Dawson’s Creek was really about Dawson and Joey and their relationship over the years. The rest of the characters were just part of the story. It didn’t stop Michelle Williams from feeling insecure when she saw how much the show revolved around Katie’s character and not hers. “The show was primarily a love triangle between Dawson, Pacey, and Joey,” Williams told the Huffington Post in 2012. “For the most part. At times I felt, ‘What’s not good enough about me? Am I doing something wrong?’ Flipping through the script you’re only in three pages, ‘Oh, boy. Okay.’ And maybe I had questions about why that was. And I remember (James Van Der Beek) saying,
‘You’re going to be the luckiest of all of us. Because you’re going to be able to get out unencumbered. You’re going to be less identified with this show.’ And maybe he was right.”
She definitely sounded like she had some issues back then but again the show wasn’t about her character, it revolved around the story between two soulmates. Not that it hurt her career at all, she has had a very successful career in Hollywood since the show.
5 There Was A Website About Jen
Ouch. Now that had to hurt a little. When it came to the frenzy that was involved in all the stars becoming famous from the show, James and Katie often talked about having to sign autographs or people becoming obsessed with them and following them around. Michelle Williams never experienced that during Dawson’s Creek, however, in fact, it was the opposite. You may have thought that people were obsessed with Jen’s character because she was the hot blonde, but the crushes were all about Katie at the time. She wasn’t a fan favorite because fans saw her as the one that came to cause problems between Dawson and Joey. “There were no rabid Jen fans,” laughs the actress.
“Jen did not inspire big crushes or big fan love. In fact, it was the opposite.
I do remember a little website called IHateJen.com. It’s a hard thing to bear when you’re a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old girl and there’s a website dedicated to hating you and your character. It’s a struggle! It’s a funny thing when you’re developing your own identity and the identity of the character you play somehow becomes confused with your own. But now, I’m 37 and everything is fine.”
4 Busy Philipps Was Mad That She Wasn’t In The Series Finale
When Dawson’s Creek had their series finale, it was a two-hour episode that had the characters fast forward five years later. Even though Busy Philipps was part of the last season, she was written out of the series finale and she wasn’t happy about it. When asked if she would ever do a reboot of the show she said no. “No, I wasn’t even in the finale, I was barely on the show,” Philipps exclusively told Us Weekly at the Uplift Family Services at Hollygrove Gala in Hollywood. “I totally appreciate, though, that it means a lot to a lot of people and that they really love it!” She doesn’t exactly sound happy. It was noticeable to fans that Audrey was taken out of the finale.
In the end, Kevin Williamson wanted to stick with the original cast that was there before they went off to college. It was supposed to have a nostalgic feeling. While promoting her sitcom Cougar Town at the time, Philipps stated that she “felt disrespected.” At the time, she felt like she had been replaceable on the show though that might be taking it a bit far. She didn’t seem to have a probably coming back for the reunion with Entertainment Weekly.
3 Dawson Was Originally Going To End Up With Joey
Many fans were floored when Joey chose Pacey in the end as her one true soulmate (we were happy). It was actually a struggle for the creator of the show to decide who should really end up with Joey. It wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. When the writing was happening for the finale, Kevin Williamson had decided that it would be Dawson after all. “It was clear to us that it was she and Dawson would wind up together,” Stupin said. “Halfway through, Kevin calls me and says, ‘I changed my mind.'” Williamson then offered a deep-dive explanation of his reasoning. “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour…this isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started, but it evolved and it ended up as something else.
I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest, and real and say something about soulmates and what soulmates can be. That’s why we did it that way,”
he said, noting that all three combinations of Dawson/Joey/Pacey were soulmates. “When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”
2 Eve Was Originally Supposed To Come Out As Jen’s Sister
Remember Eve? The scandalous and scantily clad girl who was definitely not from the creek. At first, no one could figure out why they brought in such a girl to corrupt Dawson’s mind and body. If you remember it was also discovered in a Thanksgiving episode that Eve was, in fact, Jen’s sister and her mother had given her up for adoption. The original intention of the creators was to bring in a sister for Jen, but it just ended up not working out. The character of Eve didn’t go over very well with fans, to begin with. Could you imagine if eve would have been a regular character on the show? “Who’s Eve?!” Williamson said of the character played by Brittany Daniel. “It seemed like a good idea at the time!”
Stupin recalled of the controversial character who came from an idea of bringing in a sibling for Jen. “It seemed racy but potentially real,” he recalled of the episode where we saw inexperienced Dawson crashing his dad’s boat into a dock because he was with Eve. “I never want to hear the term ‘long con’ again,” Stupin recalled of the writer’s trying to correct the storyline. “All that other stuff was the filler we needed,” Fatore said.
1 James Van Der Beek Never Watched The Show
James Van Der Beek just wanted to make the show the best that it could be for his fans and he found it too stressful to watch it. He stated in an interview with The Daily Beast that he never watched it. “No, no, for me, I felt a real responsibility to people who loved the show, to make it the best it could possibly be and to give it my all.
It just became too stressful to see how it turned out. I realized the healthiest way for me to do it would be to commit fully on the day when I was doing it and then let go of it. I never really watched the last bit of it.
My wife had never seen an episode — until my mom found out and walked in a room with a computer playing the pilot and put it in front of her.” We can understand that, but he’s also stated that his wife never watched it either because she thought it was too weird. Apparently, she has only seen the pilot and she thought it was just too weird. “When she watched the pilot, she said, ‘That is not my husband. Who is that little boy!?’”
References: thedailybeast.com, digitalspy.com, ew.com, dailymail.co.uk, usmagazine.com
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