On Thursday, after playing a clip from “Dawson’s Creek,” British co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby introduced the actor by listing his former “Creek” co-stars’ impressive accomplishments, before asking, “But what happened to the main man himself, Mr. James Van Der Beek? Well, he’s here now and that’s what he looks like.”
As the screen split between a photo of Van Der Beek back in the day when he played Dawson and a live stream of the actor in the studio, the 40-year-old said, “I have been on television the last 20 years, just wanted to let you know.”
Schofield then admitted that their introduction was the result of their own lazy work, telling the actor, “We know that, but it worked better as a link.”
The rest of the interview was somewhat awkward, as Van Der Beek, who was there to promote the new show “Carters Get Rich,” clearly didn’t anticipate having to answer so many questions about “Dawson’s Creek” ― or at least not right off the bat.
Van Der Beek broke out laughing when asked if thought he’d still be discussing the show all these years later.
“No. I could not have imagined I’d be sitting across from a picture from 20 years ago,” he said, pointing to the cast photo on the screen behind him.
The co-hosts continued to pepper him with questions about a series that ended in 2003, and it was evident that the actor was becoming slightly annoyed.
Still, Van Der Beek made it clear that he was grateful for being on the show. “It changed my life. It was a huge opportunity,” he said. “I learned how to be on camera. I learned how to deal with celebrity. I learned how to deal with all kinds of things. It was a huge, huge break.”
The hosts tried explain that they were pestering him about “Dawson’s Creek” only because it was his first visit to the show. Willoughby noted, “We’re all very excited about it. ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was a part of my childhood.”
Some fans on Twitter actually seemed annoyed that the actor wasn’t more into talking about the WB show:
But Van Der Beek, who handled the entire interview like a professional, is allowed to be annoyed.
Few actors, regardless of any current success in their careers, can ever truly escape the power of nostalgia. Even the actor’s former co-stars like Michelle Williams — who, as the hosts noted in their intro, has been nominated for four Oscars, and whose character was killed off the show — is still asked about “Dawson’s Creek.”
When you’ve been asked about something for 20 years, it’s going to get a little old.
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