Interesting Facts about Dawson’s Creek

Teenagers found a new obsession in the form of a fantastic teen show, when Dawson’s Creek made its debut on January 20, 1998. Kevin Williamson created this series, which was centered on a group of best buddies, living in the picturesque, fictional town of Capseside, Massachusetts. The series ran for six seasons and consisted of 128 episodes.

Poster of Dawson’s Creek Series

If you are a fan of Dawson’s Creek, you will love to know about its facts and inside things that we have mentioned in this article below:

Joshua Jackson Gave Auditions for Both Pacey and Dawson

Joshua Jackson auditioned for both lead roles of Pacey and Dawson. Initially, he read for Pacey, but the producers were interested in hearing Joshua read for Dawson as well. However, they gave him the role of Pacey. One of his competitors for the role of Pacey was the future American Pie star, Jason biggs.

Selma Blair Was Almost Cast As Joey

Before Katie Holmes auditioned and cast for the role that would make her America’s girl next door, Blair was much close to landing the role. The writers wrote Joe to be a tomboy, and according to Williamson, they were very close to cast Salma Blair, who acted excellently as Joey. But when Williamson saw Katie Holmes on tape with those beautiful two big eyes, he knew he had his Joey.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The Executive Producer Had To Fight For James Van Der Beek to Be Cast

The last role to be cast was Dawson. The auditions were conducted in Los Angeles, and the interesting thing is that James Van Der Beek sat next to the future Entourage star Adrian Genier on the plane, only to find out later that he was also auditioning for the role of Dawson Leery. After viewing the auditions, the head of Sony said that Van Der Beek didn’t have that star quality, which was required for the role of Dawson. But the executive producer, Williamson, argued and convinced that Van Der Beek could do it.

Just because of Williamson, they kept having Van Der Beek read the scene again and again. Finally, when Williamson had enough arguments on this topic, he yelled, “I wrote Dawson! I am Dawson! This is Dawson!” two days before filming was scheduled to start, James Van Der Beek was official Cast as Dawson Leery. This also means that Dawson was the favorite character of the producer, Williamson.

Source: The Daily Beast

A Major Company Pulled a Sponsorship during the First Season of the Series

The show was indeed the best thing ever happened to teenagers, but still, it caused controversy from the very beginning, at least for some sponsors. Although Dawson’s Creek seems to be pretty tame as compared to the shows shown on TV today, it was unsuccessful from stopping a major company from pulling a sponsorship during the first season of the series.

That major company was Procter & Gamble – they decided not to be a part of Dawson’s Creek because they thought that the majority of the content surpasses what they think is appropriate. One storyline that got them off the series was that of Pacey sleeping with his teacher, which was inappropriate but not so much compared to what’s happening on TV today.

Some of the Actors Were Older Than the Characters They Played

Television producers are known for assigning roles to older actors as high school characters – the same was the case with Dawson’s Creek. James Van Der Beek was only 20 years old, while both Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes were 19, during the beginning of the first season in 1997. Later on, in the second season, Kerr Smith and Meredith Monroe were added to the cast, and they were 28 and 26, respectively, during the production.

They both were much older than the characters they played. The only main character who was actually of high school age during the series was Michelle Williams. However, despite their older ages, everyone in the show acted so well that it really seems that “Age is just a number.”

Williamson Was As Obsessed By Steven Spielberg as Dawson

You must remember Dawson’s love for Steven Spielberg in the show that he had posters of his films in his room. As Williamson was Dawson, Dawson’s love for Spielberg came from Williamson’s direct childhood experience.

Unfortunately, it was very difficult to get the rights to all of the Spielberg posters that were hanged in Dawson’s room. Spielberg approved the use of his work after watching the pilot – but he asked them to remove a line about Jen that she is looking like Kate Capshaw (Steven Spielberg’s ex-wife).

Source: The Futon Critic

They Weren’t Allowed To Use the Word “Masturbate” In the Pilot

Although much is happening nowadays when it comes to television shows, back in the time, they weren’t allowed to say the word “Masturbate.” In the original script, Joey was to ask Dawson, “How often do you masturbate?” – But after reading the pilot, Standards and Practice said to them that they could not say the word “Masturbate” on TV. This is the reason why, in the final version of the episode, Joey had to say, “How often do you walk your dog?”

Source: PopMatters

A Deal with American Eagle

Due to the popularity of Dawson’s Creek, American Eagle had a deal with them. Due to this deal, the characters wore mostly American Eagle clothes throughout season three, and the cast also appeared in ad campaigns and promos for this amazing clothing line.

An Injury of an Actor Caused the Script of A Few Episodes to Be Rewritten

During the final two seasons of the series, Busy Phillips was added to the cast, who was a real party girl. Due to her love for parties and drinking, she ended up dislocating her shoulder, which resulted in the writers altering the script of a few episodes just to get everything sorted.

Budget Constraints

There is a limited budget, especially when you are working on the production of a TV show – the same was the case with Dawson’s Creek. When it came to the theme song of the show, they initially wanted Alanis Morissette’s song “Hand in My Pocket Playing” as the series’ official song. But later they found out that it was very expensive for their budget.

In the end, the producers happened to hear the song “I Don’t Want to Wait’ by Paula Cole during a network promo and found out that this song was much more affordable compared to that of Morissette’s.

Dawson’s Haircut in the Season 1 was inspired by Brad Pitt’s Hairstyle in The Devil’s Own

Van Der Beek was asked by the studio to change his hairstyle for the role of Dawson. The crew was paging through an Entertainment Weekly and landed on an ad for The Devil’s Own, and from there, the infamous Dawson’s haircut was born.

Source: The Daily Beast

Capeside High School Had Two Different Mascots

If you were sharp enough to see the details of the show very closely, you might have noticed that Capeside High School had two different mascots and different school colors in the pilot episode of Dawson’s Creek. You can see signs in some scenes saying that “Go Wildcats” with black and orange colors in the hallways. The reason behind this was that the school used in these scenes actually had Wildcats mascot. In other scenes, you can see the mascot as Minutemen with blue and yellow for the school colors, which would remain for the rest of the series.

The First Man to Have an On-Screen Gay Kiss on U.S. Television

We all know that Jack McPhee, played by Kirr Smith, was the first man to have an on-screen gay kiss on U.S TV, but do you the story behind that mysterious kiss? Actually, even the guy who kissed a man didn’t know that he was gay until Williamson unveiled this truth before him. The story behind this is kind of strange. Jack McPhee instantly became a love interest for Joey Potter, which means that he would get in the way of Joey and Dawson, making it as a couple.

No one (except for writer and creator of the show himself), including the cast knew that Jack was actually gay. Kevin Williamson knew from the very beginning that he wanted Jack to be gay, but he didn’t tell him because he didn’t want it to influence the writing of his character or his acting choices. So, when Jack got to know about this, it was a very big deal for him, but he did it with utmost sincerity, which ultimately ended up being a part of a historical moment for US television.

These were Williamson’s words at the ATX TV Festival:

I always knew I wanted Jack to come out of the closet, but I didn’t even tell [Kerr Smith]. Let the audience love him, then let’s have him come out of the closet and have Joey have to deal with that—and then that would eventually drive her back to [Dawson].”


Busy Philipps Was Excluded From the Series Finale

Kevin Williamson was the executive producer of the show until the end of the second season. When he returned to pen the series finale, one actress (Busy Philipps) wasn’t excited and happy because she was left entirely out of the episode that Williamson ended up writing to wrap up the series.

Busy Philipps played Audrey throughout the college years and was also a roommate of Joey. She did a total of 44 episodes during the final seasons of the series, so she felt that she deserved a spot in the series finale as well. Williamson excluded her from the series finale because he only wanted to write about the original characters that he created in the first place. Philipps felt disrespected and said that her feelings were hurt due to Williamson’s decision.

A Popular College Was Used As Worthington University

In the fifth season, we saw that Joey Potter ventures off to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend her fictional university (Worthington University). Actually, producers never saw the show going past the characters’ high school careers. They were having a problem finding a university for exterior shots, so they finally decided to choose Duke University, which is located in Durham, North Carolina – it was two hours away from where the series finale was filmed in Washington.

From Writing Great Horror to Debuting the Best Teen Drama

Kevin Williamson became popular in the film industry because of his script for the popular horror flick, Scream. The film was a big success that later went on to become a franchise. However, soon Williamson realized that he had no other horror story to tell, so he decided to write something from his own childhood experience, and ended up creating Dawson’s Creek. All this came to him when Paul Stupin read the Scream script and asked Williamson that if he had any other ideas for a TV show – this is where Dawson’s Creek came to life.

Jack’s Poem

Every viewer of the show must remember Jack’s poem that he read to his class, revealing he was gay. But no one might know that it was a real-life experience of the producer Greg Berlanti.

Dawson’s Creek Spin-off

Due to the massive popularity of Dawson’s Creek, the WB decided to premier a spin-off of sorts. The series was called Young Americans, which premiered in the year 2000. One of the main characters of the spin-off series was also featured on three episodes of Dawson’s Creek, who was an old classmate of Joey, Dawson, and Pacey’s who moved away for some time and came back to pay a visit.

The character was introduced in those episodes of Dawson’s Creek to promote Young Americans. Unfortunately, the spin-off didn’t gain much popularity and was canceled after eight episodes only.

Celebrity Guest Stars

Following are some celebrity stars that appeared on the show:

  • Seth Rogen
  • Jane Lynch
  • Julie Bowen
  • Scott Foley
  • Jensen Ackles
  • Hilarie Burton
  • Rachel Leigh Cook
  • Ali Larter
  • Oliver Hudson

Jens’ Death Was Written For a Lesson

The series finale jumped five years ahead, and the group of friends had to deal with the loss of Jen. This was for a lesson. Williamson explained the decision as:

“Dealing with the death of one of their own was the final thing that thrust them into adulthood forever. Dawson’s Creek was a coming-of-age story, and that was the idea behind that ending; that’s why we killed Jen because I wanted them to deal with the death of one their own as that final lesson.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Natural Disaster

Dawson’s Creek was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina – a beautiful coastal town, which was susceptible to disastrous things such as hurricanes. Unfortunately, a hurricane raged through one set of Dawson’s Creek that tore down the pier outside of the Leery’s home. The pier had become such an iconic part of the show that they had to rebuild it for filming to continue.

No Major Role for Parents

Parents play an essential role in any teen drama, and they also usually have their own storylines aside from the main cast. But this wasn’t the case with Dawson’s Creek – the show didn’t revolve around the parents.  John Wesley Shipp, who portrayed Dawson Leery’s father, did not like that where the show was headed after Williamson left. In John’s opinion, the parents were not getting enough importance, and they were being faded into the background.

So, when the main cast was going off to college, John Wesley Shipp felt that he would not renew his contract. He didn’t end the contract but set a really high price when negotiations came up, knowing that the creators won’t accept it. After this, they just decided to write off the character of Dawson’s dad permanently. John agreed to this and came back to finish the storyline.

Some More Interesting Facts:

  • Pacey wasn’t just a fictional character of the show. She was based on one of Williamson’s real-life friends, who was also named Pacey.
  • In the beginning, Katie Holmes refused to fly out to LA to meet with the creators because she was busy starring in her high school’s play, and she didn’t want to disappoint her friends. For this reason, the creators waited two weeks for her to get done with the school play.
  • In the original script, Jen’s grandfather was meant to wake up and be perfectly fine in Season 1, but the writers couldn’t find a way to include him in the story, so instead, they ended up killing him off.
  • Kevin Williamson left Dawson’s Creek after Season 2 to create the drama Wasteland, which was canceled only after one season.

When Dawson finally lost his virginity, James Van Der Beek brought champagne for the whole crew on the set.