van Der Beek | Through a Creek Flows a River
an emily blunt interview
James Van Der Geek, er, Beek? Who's that I thought when they asked
me to interview him. So I ran out saw his new career shifting
film, The Rules Of Attraction. And I tell you, while the
film's not my cup-o-Joe this guy's a good actor. So I said sure-
out he's on a show called Dawson's Creek. Okay, yes I am being
funny. I have heard of the show. But I confess I have never seen
it. I'm a busy chickbabe who hasn't time for network television
viewing! I know only the MadTv parodies of his show. This gives
me a small chuckle when we sit down. I can only see the comedian
who plays him with a curly do hair do. I control my rising giggles...
having seen his show (in it's seven season I believe) I must be
(I'm guessing) refreshing to this falling-into-typecasting-hell
fellow. Having been exposed to him via this new film and his is
polar opposite of good guy Dawson, mega creep Sean Bateman I see
only the screen actor . A mighty good screen actor. Sean is a
mean sonnuvabitch that could give a monkey's buttocks about the
repercussions of what he says and does. Van Der Kamp, er, Beek
is also pretty brave. I mean his role in TROA doesn't exactly
paint him as the boy next door - well, my next-door yes - but
suburbia next door, hopefully not! It's a challenging role and
the fact that Sean is so completely void of compassion or moral
standing shows James' commitment to acting. A good role is a good
role after all, network good guy or not.
is one good-looking fella! He's tall, soft spoken and virile.
A white chocolate yumitini with a twist of purrfection folks!
Let's jump right in and mix it up with the Beekman:
James: How are you?
Emily: Peachy keen Mr. Squeaky clean! Okay, so you're kind of
a Polly Purebred image- why change your that SO dramatically with
the role of Sean Bateman?
James: [laughter] Changing your image is kind of a by product
really. It was the best unmade script I'd ever gotten my hands
on [laughter]. It was the most interesting, complex, most fascinating
thing I'd ever come across. And I met Rodger [Avery] and
I really liked him. I thought he was creative and totally capable
of pulling this off. It seemed like the perfect thing to do.
Emily: Hmm. No hesitation Mr. Dawson?
James: [laughs] NO!
Emily: You worried about what the Creek fans are going to think?
The young gal head over heels?
James: The bigger risk is staying the same. If you're going
to ask people to pay nine bucks to go see something you don't
want to give them the same thing they can get for free on TV!
Emily: How does this compare to your show work?
James: Completely different. A different process. You know Dawson
is a well-oiled machine at this point. The scripts are churning
out and you do the best you can on them. Where as Rules was a
total discovery. Through the whole process. It was shot completely
differently. You're not limited by what's "appropriate"
at eight o'clock on a network. Dawson's Creek you can tell a lot
of stories but there's certain things you just can't do.
Emily: Is this the end of the line for Dawson?
James: I have been told this is most likely the last year for
the show. Yes.
Emily: Oh, you sad?
James: It's always nice to excuse yourself before you're asked
to leave. [laughter]
Emily: How did you research this role?
James: You pull from everything! What you see, think feel- I mean
everything. That's what I love about being an actor. Any experience
you ever had s usable - pretty much. Really the character
was so well formed in the script and gave me so many options so
I really just took my cues from the script.
Emily: Wow, you do have a lot going on. The show. The film. A
wedding starring yourself and Heather McComb???
James: Yeah. I try not to get in the way too much with that.
[laughter] I'll help out... but honestly...-do I care what the
design is on the napkins (he's being funny- not mean)? I am excited.
I love it!
Emily: How did you propose?
James: Like anybody else
I said, "have your publicist
get in touch with my people!" [laughter].
Emily: [laughter] So what attracts you to people?
James: Hmm? Confidence? I don't know. I think that might just
be the point of the movie. Ya know? There are no "rules"
it's not like you can have a witness test to see what attracts
you. I think its something we all struggle with to a certain
the characters in this movie do and they come to their own conclusions.
It unfortunate the way it works out here. I think it's hard to
Emily: What are you hoping the reaction to the film will be as
far as your career?
James: Hopefully it will make people aware that I am willing and
able to do something different and hopefully create some opportunities
for me to work.
Emily: You think your Dawson fans will accept this bastard guy?
Are ya worried?
James: No. I mean, if they want Dawson they can still tune in
Wednesday nights and get him. This is something completely different
I mean do both.
Emily: I've never seen the show, but they told me the character
Dawson has a fascination with Steven Spielberg. Have you ever
James: Yeah! It was at a Lakers' game actually! I felt a hand
on my shoulder and it was Steven Spielberg!
Emily: And what did you do?
James: I said [does a goofy voice] "HI."
to meet you. He just came by to say hi.
Emily: You had to kiss Ian Somerhalder - that adorable Ian Somerhalder
- how'd you prepare for that? I eman Mr. Tough Guy and all making
out with a guy!
James: It was something that I really liked in the script. I loved
the way it was handled the neat split screen it was a great way
of throwing something like that at the audience. I thought it
was really different. It's completely unexpected. I had this fantasy
that no one would talk about it. That no one would be surprised
or shocked when it happened. I love that! Maybe people that don't
know anything about the movie and rent the DVD will be shocked
- but it's all over the place! [laughter]
Emily: Your on the new cover of OUT! Magazine right?
James: Yeah I got a call from my publicist they wanted me on the
cover of OUT! I said, "they know the character's not gay
right?" She said yeah. I said, "They know I'm not gay?"
she said yeah. I said they still want me on the cover? So I said
Emily: It certainly helps with prejudice and all that crap.
James: Yeah. I had no problem with any of it.
Emily: Great. It's nice because people can see that and say, "I
guess it's okay to accept other people." The world is bad
enough without all this hate.
James: Yeah if that happens! Great. Wow!
Emily: I see your name all the time at the check out on "those"
magazines. What's your favorite story they created?
I think my favorite tabloid headline was the one where I lost
my Game Boy on the set of Dawson's Creek and made the whole crew
stop and look for it! As if. Actually, my other favorite one was
where we had to reshoot an entire episode because my fly was down
and nobody noticed! Never mind the fact that it takes seven days
to shoot an episode! And that everything plays in a tight shot
anyways right? I thought that was great!
this guy has a great sense of humor and taste. He agreed to a
Blunt Interview after all. I never saw Dawson's Creek - true -
I'm not huge Tv person. Though, I never miss Vincent D'Onofrio
in that CSI show. I may not have seen his series but I can assure
you this guy has talent. Big screen talent. I am looking forward
to seeing his career grow. The Rules of Attraction was
okay - the cast does a great job - it's the plodding mean spirited
story that drags it down. But you do get to see some great young
actors ( Van Der Gurgle, er, Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel,
Ian Somerhalder etc. etc.- basically the whole WB kit-n-kaboodle)
exercising their skills. For that alone, perhaps, the more thespian
addicted of you should go and see it.