Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Dawson’s Creek’
The teen drama ‘Dawson’s Creek’ told the tale of a group of friends who lived in the sleepy seaside town of Capeside, Massachusetts.
Full of love triangles and angst, the show scored with its young target audience and become a network-defining hit for the fledgling WB.
See what the actors who brought ‘Dawson’s Creek’ to life are up to these days.
James Van Der Beek, Dawson Leery
Then: Van Der Beek played sensitive teenage film buff Dawson Leery. It was the big break for the-then 21-year-old, who had previously had a small role on the soap ‘As The World Turns.’ During ‘Dawson’s’ run, Van Der Beek played the lead in the movies ‘Varsity Blues,’ ‘Texas Rangers’ and ‘Rules of Attraction.’
Now: It’s always been a bit of a struggle for Van Der Beek to break free from his Dawson-type. His latest shot at redefinition may have been his most novel: The 35-year-old got good reviews for starring as himself on ‘Don’t Trust The B— In Apartment 23.’ Unfortunately the sitcom was cancelled by ABC after one season. He recently signed on to a CBS comedy pilot called ‘Friends with Better Lives,’ suggesting that the man-forever-known-as-Dawson is embracing his goofy side.
Katie Holmes, Joey Potter
Then: Katie Holmes became everyone’s sweetheart as Joey Potter, a girl next door with a whole lot of family baggage. She had made her acting debut the previous year in ‘The Ice Storm’ and went on to star in movies such as ‘Go,’ ‘Teaching Ms. Tingle’ and ‘Pieces of April.’
Now: Holmes is most famous of late for her marriage to and divorce from Tom Cruise. Free from his allegedly Svengali-like clutches (according to reports, Cruise forbid Holmes from doing a ‘Dawson’s Creek’ reunion), expect Holmes’ career to perk up again. She is set to star in the romantic comedy ‘Responsible Adults’ later this year.
Michelle Williams, Jen Lindley
Then: You surely remember Michelle Williams’ Jen Lindley character, the wild city girl who is sent to live with her grandmother in Capeside. (You may remember her early big screen appearance as the young alien Sil in ‘Species.’) She followed ‘Dawson’s’ with the comedies ‘Dick’ and ‘But I’m a Cheerleader.’
Now: Williams has found great success in the indie film world, scoring raves and awards for her work in films like ‘Blue Valentine’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ It was then she began dating the late Heath Ledger, who is the father of her child. After a two-year break from the movies, Williams will be in the Sam Raimi fantasy adventure ‘Oz the Great and Powerful.’ Next up for the 32-year-old is the lead in the historical drama ‘Suite Francaise.’
Joshua Jackson, Pacey Witter
Then: Jackson will always be remembered as Pacey Witter, Dawson’s snarky best bud turned sometimes romantic rival. The ‘Mighty Ducks’ alum was also in such ’90s teen classics (and some not-so-classic) as ‘Cruel Intentions,’ ‘The Skulls’ and ‘Gossip’ during his ’90s big screen heyday.
Now: Since 2008, Jackson has been starring on the sci-fi procedural drama ‘Fringe.’ He is in a long-term relationship with actress Diane Kruger.
Kerr Smith, Jack McPhee
Then: Kerr Smith’s Jake McPee character was notable for sharing the first gay male kiss in the history of prime time television. Before appearing on ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ Smith was on the soap ‘As the World Turns.’
Now: Smith starred in the CW drama ‘Life Unexpected,’ which ran in 2010 and 2011. He has also had roles on ‘CSI: New York,’ ‘Charmed’ and ‘Justice.’ Smith is set to appear in the movie ‘Criticized.’
Meredith Monroe, Andie McPhee
Then: Monroe played Meredith McPhee, Pacey’s love interest who struggles with mental illness and the death of her older brother. Originally a print model, Monroe had a role in the short-lived television adaptation of ‘Dangerous Minds.’
Now: Besides McPhee, Monroe’s best-known role was a recurring one as Holey Hotchner on ‘Criminal Minds,’ which ran until the character was killed off in 2009. The 44-year-old was last seen on an episode of ‘CSI: New York.’
Busy Philipps, Audrey Liddell
Then: On the fifth season of ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ Philipps was introduced as Audrey Liddell, Joey’s freshman year roommate at college. Prior to ‘Dawson’s,’ Philipps was “freak” Kim Kelly in Judd Apatow and Paul Feig’s beloved high school series ‘Freaks and Geeks.’
Now: Philipps continues to be, uh, busy with her role as boozehound Laurie Keller on ‘Cougar Town.’ The Illinois-born actress has also been on ‘ER’ and ‘Entourage.’ She is expecting her second child with husband, screenwriter Marc Silverstein.
Mary Beth Peil, Evelyn “Grams” Ryan
Then: As Evelyn Ryan, the strict grandmother of Jen Lindley, Peil was the only “adult” actor be credited as a series regular for all six seasons of ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ She had been exclusively a stage actress until 1992, when she appeared in the movie ‘Jersey Girl.’
Now: These days Peil is on ‘The Good Wife,’ where she plays the mother of Chris Noth’s character. She also continues to be a prominent stage actress.