YM Interview

Dawson's Creek, the hip new show about high school, definatly goes where no high school show has gone before. Wannabe-filmmaker Dawson, the new girl he's crushing on, Jen, and Dawson's best buds, Joey and Pacey, all say and do the smart-ass stuff that would get the average 15-year old way more than grounded. That's why newcomers James VanDer Beek (Dawson), Michelle Williams (Jen), KKatie Holmes (Joey), and Joshua Jackson (Pacey) are perrect for thier parts; they don't have to do too much acting to pull off their Creek characters.

For example, Jen's mystery-girl rep, which scared off poor Dawson for a while, is not exactly alien to the 17-year old who co-starred in Species. "Playing Jen is like slipping on a second skin", Michelle says. "I certainly have a lot to draw apon;everybody's got a past."

Then there's Pacey, who lost his virginity to his English teacher. "He just does what he does and doesn't worry about the consuquences," says Josh, the 19-year old vetern of the three Mighty Duck movies. And Josh can relate, "At 15 I didn't take things seriously" he admits, "and I got kicked out of high school twice-once for attendence and once for attitude".

Maybe that's why James, 21, snagged the rold of Dawson over Josh, who's auditioned for it. Though the character of sweet, sensative Dawson may seem too good to be true, James says Dawson really is "a tragically nice guy, and so am I."

That leaves Joey, who's secretly sweating Dawson and was the first to find out about his mother's extramarrital affair. "I'm a tomboy like Joey" says Katie, 18, who played a partying prep-schooler in The Ice Storm. "But I'm a bit more shy."

All four Creekers spend a ton of time together during filming (most everyone else on the Willmington, N, set is much older) "We go to the same resturant every night and we order the same things," Michelle says. "We even have a tab." While sitting at their regular table, the talk inevitably turns to everyone's love life. James, who shares digs with Josh above the restuarant, is the serious romantic one. Once, he staged a nighttine picnc for his gf on an off-limits rooftop. "We just watched the stars" he says. His roomie, on the other hand, is not so smooth. "A good date for me is one where no one cries and no blood's been shed" Josh jokes. Not that he doesn't want to be sensative, "I'd like to be romantic, but I'm generally too oblivious." Lucky for him he's got Katie and Michelle around to clue him in. Though Michelle may be happy dishing advice, she is not romance-ready. "I'm still figuring out who I am" she says, "s a steady boyfriend isn't really what I want right now. Besides, I wouldn't know where to find the time."

No kidding, the cast spends so many hours on the set-sometimes pulling all nighters, that they have started to play pranks to keep them from going crazy. "When I have to cry for the camera, I can always count on Josh being off to the side mooning me" Michelle says. "I've seen that boys butt more times than I'd care to say." In fact, after a few stunts like that, it was time for Josh to get some serious payback from the entire cast and crew. "We were in a field, finishing the last shot of the day," he recalls, "I said my line and turned to walk away, but no one yelled cut. So I kept walking until I finally tured around and realized that everyone had left without me!"

Antics aside, the Creek crew's hard work is paying off. Everyone's talking about the show, which is freaking out the cast.

Katie copes by jetting home to Toledo, OH, where she hangs with her hometown buds. They go to coffehouses and rent videos. But first we have an argument over what to rent." she says. "I usually win 'cause I pout if I don't get what I want."

James, who dropped out of college to play Dawson, is fastening his seatbelt for the possible superstar trip. "I'd like to think I'm completely ready," he says, "but I have no idea what to expect!"