Dawson's Creek

Dawson Leery | Pacey Witter | Jack McPhee | Joey Potter | Jen Lindley

Dawson Leery

Bio Character | Bio Cast | Pictures

Back to top Bio Character

The handsome and remarkably unassuming Dawson Leery, a budding film maker, idolizes Steven Spielberg.

An only child, Dawson is driven and very focused on his future film making career, yet sensitive to the evolving dynamics of his personal relationships.

The responsible role model, Dawson often agonizes dramatically over his life and his relationships, in spite of his very normal and seemingly perfect life.

This personality trait serves as a constant source of irritation for his best friend Joey.

Back to top Bio Cast

Much like the character he portrays, James Van Der Beek's dedication and talent surfaced at an early age. A mild concussion sidelined his school football career, and instead Van Der Beek found himself playing the lead role in a local children's theater production of "Grease."

He fell in love with the theater and continued to perform locally. Football resurfaced later, however, when he started last year in the film "Varsity Blues" as a Texas high school football player.

The film was a hit and Van Der Beek's performance cemented his reputation in the world of film as well as television, leading to his starring role with Dylan McDermott in this summer's highly anticipated Miramax film "Texas Rangers."

This John Milius-scripted Western follows a ragtag group of youngsters who band together after the Civil War, charged with the dangerous, ruthless duty of cleaning up the West.

"Dawson reminds me of myself at that age," says Van Der Beek. "I grew up in a small New England town and vacationed on Cape Cod, where the show takes place, and we both come from loving supportive homes. We also look alike," jokes the 23-year-old actor.

Says Van Der Beek, "Dawson is a burgeoning filmmaker, whose idealism and naivete have made the last couple of years of high school a real emotional challenge.

Now somewhat disillusioned, he's given up on his film aspirations for the time being. But that passion is still inside of him, waiting to be rediscovered, and I hope that this year it will be."

When Van Der Beek was 16, his mother, noting his intense interest in performing, offered to support his aspirations by accompanying him on daily six-hour round trips into New York City to test the waters.

At 17, Van Der Beek was cast in the off-Broadway play "Finding the Sun," written and directed by Edward Albee. Juggling the long commute for rehearsals and performances during the play's limited three-month run while attending high school, Van Der Beek credits the play as the defining experience for him as an actor - and he still managed to finish the school year second in his class.

His first screen performance occurred in the 1995 feature film "Angus" as an arrogant jock. In addition to "Varsity Blues," Van Der Beek also appeared in the earlier films, "I Love You I Love You Not" (Miramax) with Claire Danes and the independent feature "Harvest."

An excellent student, Van Der Beek received an academic scholarship to attend Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where he majored in English and made the Dean's List prior to beginning work in Wilmington, North Carolina on DAWSON'S CREEK

Back to top Pictures

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Bio's and pictures copyright Sony Pictures Television

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