For five years, James Van Der Beek was famous for playing a Spielberg-loving aspiring filmmaker. Now, nearly two decades later, he’s pretending to be a real-life world-famous EDM DJ. It has been an eventful journey from Dawson’s Creek to What Would Diplo Do? for Van Der Beek — with a stopover playing himself on short-lived sitcom Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 in between — but he’s not the only former Capesider continuing to grace our screens.
Here’s a rundown of Dawson and his pals’ post-Creek highlights...
James Van Der Beek
After ugly crying his way into teen drama history, Van Der Beek has carved out a consistent TV career — and an impressively self-aware one at that. Dawson might’ve actually been one of the least interesting parts of the show that shared his name, but the man behind him has turned that role into a goldmine. Satirising himself and the reasons for his success, his part in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 proved the type of meta comedy few actors could pull off so knowingly and amusingly. And stepping into Diplo’s music-spinning, tweet-slinging shoes clearly comes with more than a healthy dose of familiarity.
When he hasn’t been turning his own TV background into essential viewing, Van Der Beek also popped up in medical drama Mercy, headlined thirtysomething sitcom Friends with Better Lives and helped keep America free from computer-based crime in CSI: Cyber, although all three series didn’t last long. Shorter runs in Criminal Minds, One Tree Hill and How I Met Your Mother also flesh out his resume, as well as one-episode appearances in everything from Ugly Betty and Medium to both Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Basically, if you’re ever having a chat to him, don’t ask where he’s been all these years. He’s been working, you should’ve been watching — and he has little time for anyone who thinks otherwise.
When Dawson’s Creek came to an end, Katie Holmes had turned her five-year stint as girl-next-door Joey Potter into a burgeoning film career thanks to roles in Wonder Boys, Phone Booth and Pieces of April. While playing Bruce Wayne’s love interest in Batman Begins continued that trajectory, a stint of couch-jumping romance swooped in and put the brakes on. Holmes’s big screen appearances might’ve been few and far between afterwards (the less said about appearing in Adam Sandler vehicle Jack and Jill the better), but they’re picking up — she features in NASCAR heist flick Logan Lucky and is among the cast of the all-female Ocean’s Eight.
If there’s one part Holmes is best known for post-Creek — other than her off-screen love life — it’s actually one that she has now inhabited twice. In 2011, she stepped into Jackie Kennedy’s famous shows in TV miniseries The Kennedys, then returned again in this year’s The Kennedys: After Camelot. Sure, it’s not quite in the same league as Natalie Portman’s portrayal in Jackie, but it’s a role every brunette American actress surely wants to play.
Before Joshua Jackson was Pacey Witter, he was The Mighty Ducks’s Charlie Conway. Afterwards, he has been Fringe’s Peter Bishop and The Affair’s Cole Lockhart. They’re both hefty roles, keeping Jackson on TV screens for most of his post-Creek tenure. And, they’re both great shows — the former is one of the most underrated sci-fi gems of the past decade, and the latter, which will start its fourth season later this year, is meaty in both the character stakes and the emotional melodrama.
In fact, all of that small screen success has meant Jackson’s resume doesn’t feature much filler, although horror movie Shutter and comedy Lay the Favourite were hardly memorable parts. Neither were road trip drama One Week or action-thriller Inescapable, but that’s OK — his one-episode appearance in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt more than makes up for them.
With four Oscar nominations to her name, including for Manchester by the Sea earlier this year, it’s safe to say the former Jen Lindley hasn’t struggled after Dawson’s Creek. Sticking to cinema, her resume reads like an actress’s dream, including her award-recognised work in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week with Marilyn, as well as three excellent films with director Kelly Reichardt: Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff and Certain Women.
I’m Not There, Synecdoche, New York, Take this Waltz... the list goes on. If there’s a dud spot, it’s Oz the Great and Powerful, the Wizard of Oz prequel nobody needed. The Ewan McGregor co-starring duo of Incendiary and Deception are also far from highlights, but they’re far from dull. And Shutter Island might have its detractors, but it’s an effectively moody thriller.
Like James Van Der Beek, don’t go saying that Kerr Smith hasn’t been busy since Dawson’s Creek. Name a short-lived TV show, and the actor once known for playing Jack McPhee probably starred in it. After a 10-episode role in Charmed, he featured in the main casts of one-season wonders E-Ring and Justice, and two-season series Eli Stone and Life Unexpected. More recently, he’s been popping up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters.
Since playing Andie McPhee in Dawson’s Creek, Meredith Monroe has added 50 film and TV credits to her resume. And if that seems much more than you might expect based on your viewing habits over the past two decades, there’s a reason for that. Monroe is a regular presence on screen, featuring in everything from House, Bones, Californication, Psych and Castle to Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Edge of Seventeen, but in bit parts. A 15-episode run in Criminal Minds remains her most significant post-Creek work.
Watch What Would Diplo Do? on Tuesdays at 8:30pm on SBS VICELAND. Missed the last episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand: