James has all the typical hang-ups of an actor who achieved success at an early age: insecurity, vanity, and validation measured in sexual conquests. With his best friend and all-too-willing partner (if not instigator) in crime, Chloe, James takes on the town as he prepares to shed his "Dawson" image once and for all and transition into his second act. Fun fact: In 2010 he flew to Chile to greet the rescued miners after finding out they asked only for food and "Dawson’s Creek" DVDs.
At age 20, James Van Der Beek burst onto the world scene as the title character in the hit television show "Dawson’s Creek," a groundbreaking cultural phenomenon that ran for six years, established the fledgling WB Network, and is now syndicated globally. On the feature film front, he anchored the sports classic "Varsity Blues," and subverted his teen idol image to great dramatic effect in Oscar winner Roger Avary’s "The Rules of Attraction," based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel.
Born in Connecticut to a professional baseball player and a former dancer, Van Der Beek grew up playing sports until a concussion sidelined him from football at age 13. He took the opportunity to do a play in his hometown of Cheshire, and fell in love with performing. He first began working professionally on the New York stage at age 16, with three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee in the NY premiere of his play, "Finding the Sun," which garnered rave reviews.
After more stage work and a few films, Van Der Beek took a break from acting to study English and Sociology on an academic scholarship at Drew University. It was toward the end of his sophomore year that he landed his big break on "Dawson’s Creek." The runaway success of the show and the subsequent movies he filmed during hiatus landed him on People Magazine’s "50 Most Beautiful" list, Premiere Magazine’s "100 most Powerful in Hollywood" list, earned him an MTV Movie Award (for "Varsity Blues"), and even got him a hosting gig on the legendary "Saturday Night Live," which provided a showcase for his before-then-untapped comedic chops.
Since the conclusion of "Dawson’s Creek," Van Der Beek has displayed an impressive dramatic range in numerous TV and film roles, portraying everything from a killer with multiple personality disorder in the two-hour "Criminal Minds"TV event; an FBI agent with an unshakeable moral compass in the independent film "Formosa Betrayed" (for which he and the film both won top prizes at the San Diego Film Festival); and an aging, balding former Mr. Teen Winnipeg on "How I Met Your Mother." Most recently he was seen in the NBC medical drama "Mercy" as Dr. Joe Briggs, and completed filming the feature "The Big Bang," opposite Antonio Banderas. Up next, Van Der Beek will be seen guest starring on the TNT series "Franklin & Bash"and as a series regular in the ABC comedy "Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23."