BuzzFeed Celeb spoke to James Van Der Beek last week about what it’s like to talk about his character of the same name all the time (weird), Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 (crazy), and if there would be any more Dawson’s Creek reunions to look forward to in the new season (there aren’t).
BuzzFeed: We are loving the new season of Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23.
James: Oh, thank you! We’re doing a lot of fun things this season.
BuzzFeed: I am especially loving the plot line in which James discovers that the rest of his Dawson’s Creek cast mates hate him. Can you tell us anything about how that’s going to affect his mind-set for the rest of the season?
James: After the initial Dawson’s Creek reunion episode, we kind of left that [idea] behind and it gives us license to just go crazy [with James] and make up all kinds of crazy stuff on his résumé. Like the movie Love Monster, with a giant pink puppet.
BuzzFeed: Is there anything that the writers have pitched for James you would think is too crazy or are you game to do it all?
James: I’m game to do everything. They’ve yet to come up with an idea where I’ve thought, Ah, guys, that’s a little too insulting, you know. The only criteria [for me] is that we have to make sure nobody’s feeling bad or sorry for me. If you’re feeling sorry for me then you’re not laughing, and that’s no good. So as long as people are laughing, we’re golden.
BuzzFeed: What made you sign on to play this exaggerated version of yourself in the first place?
James: You know, this is the [same] kind of humor that was really how I kept sane during the Dawson’s heyday. These are the kinds of jokes I would make to friends of mine, privately. When you suddenly become famous at 20 [years old], it doesn’t make sense on any logical level. I was always the guy [that] if we ever didn’t get a table at a restaurant, I would turn to my friends and say, “Does she have any idea who I think I am?” So that’s always been my sense of humor, but it’s been more or less private up until now. So when this opportunity came along it just felt like a very good fit.
BuzzFeed: Is it weird for you at all to talk about yourself in the third person while referencing the show?
James: (laughs) You know, it was in the beginning. I would write these e-mails where we were just figuring out the first episode and second episode and I would be having these bizarre conversations about myself in the third person — or writing e-mails about myself in the third person, which is even more strange.
And now, for better or for worse, it just happens naturally. I just refer to him as “Fake James” or just “James,” and it seems to [help] — at least among the writers, thank god — [that] there’s no raising of eyebrows anymore. Because how else are you gonna talk about it?
BuzzFeed: There’s a bit of debate among watchers of the show as to what to call it. Don’t Trust the “B”, Don’t Trust the Bitch, DTTBIA23? When you talk about the show among your friends, what do you refer to it by?
James: I call it Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. When I say the word “B” I feel like I’m teaching a kindergarten class. I feel like, if the person I’m talking to can handle it the word “bitch” then I’ll use the word “bitch.” [“B”] just sounds really silly to me. [Personally] I either call it Apartment 23 or Don’t Trust the Bitch.
BuzzFeed: One last question about the season that I hate to ask, but I feel like I have to ask: Are there any more Dawson’s Creek reunions that we can look forward to?
James: I think we’ve hit our Dawson’s Creek reunion quota for season two.
BuzzFeed: So Mitch isn’t going to show up and guide James through any emotional turmoil this season?
James: (laughs) In the Apartment 23 universe, at least, I don’t think so, no.
Come back next week, when we ask James to guess the answers he gave as his “favorite things” in 1999!
- An NFL player paid tribute to Harambe, the gorilla who died at a Cincinnati zoo, on his cleats.