James Van Der Beek Plays “Guess What You Said In 1999”

How one magazine’s decision to publish a false statement about his favorite ice cream flavor — mint chocolate chip, not vanilla — made a sick child cry.

James Van Der Beek has had quite the interesting career. While some may still identify him as Dawson — the dreamy lovelorn teen with Hollywood aspirations who had his own creek named after himself — most of us now recognize him as the funny and super-attractive adult he’s aged into. (Some might even say James has aged like a fine wine.) Now that he plays an eccentric, egomaniacal version of himself obsessed with Dawson’s Creek on Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, we thought it would be fun to make the man behind Dawson Leery guess what kinds of answers he gave to teen magazines over a decade ago, when he still was Dawson Leery — and he obliged.

BuzzFeed: Something we like to do here at BuzzFeed Rewind is to find a bunch of old quizzes and interviews from over a decade ago and make you guess the answers you gave back then. I have 10 of your “favorite things” that you gave as answers to teen magazines and now-defunct Angelfire and Geocities websites back in 1999. If you’re game, we’d like you to try and guess what you said back then.

James: Oh my goodness, really? (laughs) I wonder how many of them I actually said and how many they just made up. This will be fun. Let’s go.

BuzzFeed: Your favorite movie.

James: In 1999? So I have to figure out what I said in 1999?

BuzzFeed: Mmm hmm.

James: OK. Let’s see… Pulp Fiction?

BuzzFeed: It says here that you said Shawshank Redemption.

James: OK, that’s a great movie.

BuzzFeed: A very respectable answer!

James: Yeah, totally.

BuzzFeed: What was your favorite TV show?

James: Let me think back to 1999… The West Wing? The Wire?

BuzzFeed: Supposedly it was The Wonder Years.

James: Really?

BuzzFeed: Yes, so they say.

James: Interesting. I definitely watched The Wonder Years. I remember really liking The Wonder Years. I’m just surprised that I would have said it was my favorite show in 1999 because it hadn’t been on in, what, how many years?

BuzzFeed: Well in that case, you probably didn’t say it.

James: But in whoever wrote that article’s defense, it really made a nice tiny little sound bite even if I hadn’t said it was my favorite show, so why not make it up?

BuzzFeed: Who were your favorite actors?

James: In 1999. Let me think. Oh boy, well…if my favorite movie then was Shawshank Redemption, then was Morgan Freeman one of them?

BuzzFeed: No.

James: No? (laughs) Who did I say?

BuzzFeed: Marlon Brando, Tom Hanks, and Tim Robbins.

James: Oh, there we go! I picked the wrong Shawshank. Those are three very good actors, there’s no shame in those.

BuzzFeed: Next up, your two favorite sports teams.

James: Oh, probably Green Bay Packers and the New York Yankees, I would imagine.

BuzzFeed: Well, it says the Yankees and the New Jersey Devils?

James: No. That is total fiction. I don’t even like hockey. I’ve never been a hockey fan.

BuzzFeed: Moving on. What was your favorite “sweet treat”?

James: In 1999? Oh boy, I have no idea. In 1999… (laughs) No clue.

BuzzFeed: Vanilla ice cream.

James: OK, now this is one of those things that somehow ended up on my IMDb page that I never said.

BuzzFeed: So you’re going to officially debunk this ice cream rumor about yourself right now?

James: Again, why let the truth get in the way of a good sound bite?

BuzzFeed: So what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

James: Mint chocolate chip has always been my favorite. I actually went to — this is a horrible story — I went to a children’s hospital at one point and was visiting a kid and somebody had, like, prepped the kid [and said], “You and James can share James’ favorite ice cream.” So I sit down, and they had gone to my IMDb page — which, you can’t change those things, by the way, I’ve tried. I’ve desperately tried to take personal details that are completely untrue and they won’t let me. But what do I know? I’m just me, so, they know me better than I know myself.

So, I sit down with this kid and they say, “James, what’s your favorite ice cream?” and I say, “Mint chocolate chip,” and the kid’s eyes just start to well up with tears because they had prepared vanilla ice cream. I felt horrible. It’s all IMDb’s fault. IMDb made a sick kid cry.

BuzzFeed: That’s terrible.

James: Terrible! It’s horrible! It’s an such innocuous, stupid detail — when is that ever gonna blow up in your face?

BuzzFeed: Well, I am really sorry about your vanilla ice cream fiasco, and I’m sorry that I brought it up! Are you up for guessing a few more after that?

James: Yeah. What else have we got?

BuzzFeed: Your favorite city.

James: New York City.

BuzzFeed: Correct! I mean, apparently. Your favorite color?

James: Favorite color? I don’t have a favorite color. (laughs) I don’t have one.

BuzzFeed: It says your favorite color is blue.

James: Sounds good.

BuzzFeed: What was your favorite pastime in 1999?

James: Pastime? Um, playing sports? Playing baseball?

BuzzFeed: It says here “reading.”

James: Reading? Wow, I sound way too exciting for myself. Reading? Yeah, sure. I like reading.

BuzzFeed: What was your favorite place to hang out in Wilmington, North Carolina [where Dawson’s Creek was filmed]?

James: Um, my living room?

BuzzFeed: Nope! It says here “The Deluxe.”

James: OK, yeah. Maybe in ‘99 I probably could still go to The Deluxe.

BuzzFeed: Last question. You had two nicknames, supposedly, in 1999. What were they?

James: Beek.

BuzzFeed: Yup, that’s one.

James: Um…what was the other one?

BuzzFeed: It actually sounds like something an ex-girlfriend might have called you?

James: Oh no. What is it?

BuzzFeed: Baby James.

James: Oh no! I did a play when I was 17 and there were like, five James in that category, so I became “Baby James.”

BuzzFeed: So you got about half right.

James: Not as well as IMDb knows me, apparently.

BuzzFeed: I hope it was fun to remember 1999 and not horrible instead.

James: It was hard to remember 1999…but yeah, fun.

You can catch James every Tuesday night in Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 on ABC. Read part one of this interview here.

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