James David Van Der Beek (born March 8, 1977) is an American actor. He rose to fame beginning in 1998 for his portrayal of Dawson Leery in the WB series Dawson’s Creek and for portraying a fictionalized version of himself on the ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. He currently stars in CSI: Cyber as FBI Special Agent Elijah Mundo.
Early life and stage career
Van Der Beek was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, the son of Melinda (née Weber), a former dancer and gymnastics teacher, and James William Van Der Beek, a cellular phone company executive and former professional baseball pitcher.
At the age of 15, he asked his mother to take him into New York City to get an agent and try his hand in professional acting. He made his professional debut in the New York premiere of Edward Albee’s play Finding the Sun at the Signature Theatre Company in which he played the role of “Fergus”. Both he and the production, which was also directed by Albee, received good reviews. Aged 17, while still in high school, he performed in the musical Shenandoah at the Goodspeed Opera House, and made his feature film debut with a bit part as a bully in the teen-oriented 1995 film Angus. The following year, he shot a small role on the independent film I Love You, I Love You Not.
He attended Drew University, on an academic scholarship, where he participated in an all-male a cappella group, but dropped out to pursue acting. He performed at the Vineyard Theater in New York in Nicky Silver’s play, My Marriage to Ernest Borgnine, and he played a supporting role in the independent film Cash Crop, which was originally shot in spring of 1997 and originally titled Harvest until released in 2001.
Television and film career
In early 1997, Van Der Beek auditioned for three television pilots. One of them was for the fledgling WB Network show Dawson’s Creek. Van Der Beek won the title role of Dawson Leery, and the show’s 1998 debut was a success that helped to establish the network and its cast, which included Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson. The series, shot in Wilmington, North Carolina, ran for six seasons and was syndicated worldwide.
In 1999, he starred in the teen football drama Varsity Blues, which held the number 1 spot at the U.S. box office for its first two weeks. He won an MTV Movie Award for his role. Around this time he was selected one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World,” and he appeared in several other films, including Texas Rangers, Scary Movie, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, playing himself playing Jay in the movie within the movie opposite Jason Biggs as Silent Bob.
In 2002, he played Sean Bateman (younger brother of American Psycho protagonist Patrick Bateman) in the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction, written and directed by Roger Avary. The film was an initial box office failure, but found a cult following on DVD. In 2006 he appeared on the Direct-to-DVD thriller The Plague, which was produced by Clive Barker and was panned by critics. After Dawson’s Creek ended in 2003, Van Der Beek returned to the off-Broadway stage, in Lanford Wilson’s Rain Dance. He completed an unproduced screenplay titled Winning. Since then, he made a few appearances on television, including a role on Ugly Betty.
In 2007, he guest-starred in a two-part episode of the series Criminal Minds, in which he played a fanatic religious serial killer with dissociative identity disorder called Tobias Hankel who kidnaps and drugs one of the main characters Spencer Reid played by Matthew Gray Gubler. In 2008, he made a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother. He has played the role of Simon, one of Robin Scherbatsky’s early boyfriends. This character has appeared multiple times and as recent as November 2013. In 2008, he began a recurring role on One Tree Hill as a film maker who was largely the satirical opposite of Dawson Leery. He appeared in an episode of the fifth season of Medium. In 2009, he portrayed real life kidnapper Anthony Steven “Tony Zappa” Wright in the Lifetime network television movie Taken In Broad Daylight.
In 2009, he won Best Actor at the 8th Annual San Diego Film Festival for his portrayal of FBI agent Jake Kelly working in Taiwan in the political thriller Formosa Betrayed, which also won Best Picture. The film was distributed theatrically in the United States starting February 26, 2010.
On January 5, 2010, TVGuide.com confirmed that Van Der Beek had been cast in a major recurring role on the television series Mercy. He played Dr. Joe Briggs, the new womanizing ICU chief who harbors a dark secret. He starred alongside Rhona Mitra, Josh Lucas, and Jon Hamm in the Anders Anderson thriller film Stolen.
In 2011, he portrayed Kesha’s nemesis in her music video for “Blow”.
He portrayed a fictionalized version of himself on the television series, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. The show debuted to critical praise, with Van Der Beek earning particularly good notices for his comic timing and brave sendup of his own image. The show was cancelled after two seasons but remains popular on Netflix and on the “Logo” channel, which picked it up in syndication. He played the character Simon in Season 9’s “Bedtime Stories” episode of How I Met Your Mother which aired in November 2013. On January 31, 2014, he appeared on The Talk. March 4, 2015, he began his role as Senior Field Agent Elijah Mundo in the newest installment on CSI: Cyber.
On July 5, 2003, Van Der Beek married actress Heather McComb. They separated in April 2009, and on November 20, 2009, Van Der Beek filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized on March 31, 2010 and enforced on June 3, 2010.
He briefly dated a model named Kacey Aguilera but it ended very soon for an unknown reason.
On April 9, 2010, Van Der Beek announced via Twitter that he and his girlfriend, business consultant Kimberly Brook, were expecting their first child together. He and Brook married on August 1, 2010, in a small ceremony at the Kabbalah Center near Dizengoff Plaza in Tel Aviv, Israel, and she took his last name. They now have three children.
|1996||I Love You, I Love You Not||Tony|
|1999||Varsity Blues||Jonathon “Mox” Moxon|
|2000||Scary Movie||Dawson Leery||Uncredited|
|2001||Texas Rangers||Lincoln Rogers Dunnison|
|2001||Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back||Himself|
|2002||The Rules of Attraction||Sean Bateman|
|2003||Castle in the Sky||Pazu||Voice (English dub)|
|2006||The Plague||Tom Russell||Direct-to-video|
|2007||Eye of the Beast||Dan Leland||Television film|
|2007||Final Draft||Paul Twist|
|2009||Taken in Broad Daylight||Anthony Steven “Tony Zappa” Wright||Television film|
|2009||Formosa Betrayed||Jake Kelly|
|2009||Mrs. Miracle||Seth Webster||Television film|
|2010||The Big Bang||Adam Nova|
|2011||Salem Falls||Jack St. Bride||Television film|
|2013||The Magic Bracelet||Joe||Short film|
|2013||Labor Day||Officer Treadwell|
|2015||Power/Rangers||Rocky DeSantos||Short film, screenwriter|
|1993||Clarissa Explains It All||Paulie||Episode: “Alter Ego”|
|1995||As the World Turns||Stephen Anderson||3 episodes|
|1996||Aliens in the Family||Ethan||Episode: “You Don’t Have a Pet to Be Popular”|
|1998–2003||Dawson’s Creek||Dawson Leery||Main cast; 122 episodes|
|2006||Robot Chicken||Various voices||2 episodes|
|2007||Criminal Minds||Tobias Hankel/Raphael||2 episodes|
|2007||Ugly Betty||Luke Carnes||Episode: “Grin and Bear It”|
|2008, 2013||How I Met Your Mother||Simon||3 episodes|
|2008–2009||One Tree Hill||Adam Reese||4 episodes|
|2009||Medium||Dylan Hoyt||Episode: “All in the Family”|
|2009||The Storm||Dr. Jonathan Kirk||Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2009||The Forgotten||Judd Shaw||Episode: “Lucky John”|
|2010||Mercy||Dr. Joe Briggs||10 episodes|
|2011||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Rex Tamlyn||Episode: “To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap”|
|2011||Franklin & Bash||Nathan||Episode: “Bachelor Party”|
|2012–2013||Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23||James Van Der Beek||Main cast; 26 episodes|
|2012||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sean Albert||Episode: “Father Dearest”|
|2013||The Eric André Show||James Van Der BeekTeam Go! Member #2||Episode: “James Van Der Beek / Steve-O”Episode: “Lauren Conrad; Reese Witherspoon”|
|2014||Friends with Better Lives||Will Stokes||Main cast; 8 episodes|
|2015–present||CSI: Cyber||Elijah Mundo||Main cast|
Awards and nominations
- MTV Movie Awards
|1999||Varsity Blues||Best Breakthrough Male Performance||Won|
|2001||Scary Movie||Best Cameo in a Movie||Won|
- Teen Choice Awards
|1999||Dawson’s Creek||TV – Choice Actor||Nominated|
|Varsity Blues||Film – Breakout Performance||Won|
|2012||Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23||Choice TV Male Scene Stealer||Nominated|
- Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
|2000||Varsity Blues||Favorite Actor – Newcomer (Internet Only)||Nominated|
- San Diego Film Festival
|2009||Formosa Betrayed||Best Actor||Won|
- NewNowNext Awards
|2011||JamesVanDerMemes.com||OMG Internet Award||Won|