James Van Der Beek on Life During & After Dawson’s Creek

24 07 2009

“I was pretty burnt out after six years on a series. And I don’t know that I was really ready to jump back in. One thing that’s happened, I will say in the past year, year-and-a-half is I’ve really started to rediscover my passion for acting and for being a part of a story and in a leading role capacity. So it’s fun. I’m really having a good time right now.

I think really the only thing to kind of avoid burnout is a level of appreciation that I don’t know you can really come to without stepping away from it for a little while. The hours are so intense. And the opportunities kind of come so fast and furious that it’s almost impossible to really be able to appreciate them to the level that you should. I was doing movies during the hiatuses and doing movies during and then doing press and photo shoots and all that kind of stuff. You know, and it was a six-year run. Is there anything I could have done to avoid it? I don’t know. I mean, I think now that I’m older and can kind of have a little bit different perspective on it, I’d like to think now that I can probably handle it not be burned out for so long.

I think also it started for me at age 20. I wasn’t in the place of really being able to handle everything that was thrown at me. And I came out OK, but what I would say for anybody going through it: “Just focus on the work, keep good people around you. And don’t believe the hype either way, good or bad. Just really keep it all about the work and make sure the people you’re surrounding yourself with are just high-quality human beings and you should be OK.

The one thing that I kind of came out of my experience with is a real compassion for anybody else who goes through the same thing. It’s very easy to stand on the outside and judge and look at people making bad decisions and say, “What the hell were they thinking?” Having gone through and been in the eye of that storm I think I would try to judge a lot less than your average person looking at somebody going through a train wreck.”


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