James Van Der Beek is best known these days for inciting Internet meme riots with 'Van Der Memes' and for the iconic role of Dawson in the teen drama 'Dawson's Creek.'
But in 1999, long before 'Friday Night Lights' graced our movie or TV screens, Van Der Beek starred as a backup quarterback in a classic Texas high school football movie called 'Varsity Blues.'
So no, Van Der Beek isn't a "real" football player, but he did play one on the big screen. And, he tells us, he's a huge football fan. Therefore, who better to ask about the upcoming Packers-Steelers showdown than Jonathan "Mox" Moxon himself?
Find out which team Van Der Beek -- whose new film 'The Big Bang,' a mystery thriller co-starring Antonio Banderas, was just purchased by Anchor Bay Films at Sundance -- is rooting for in this Super Bowl, his plans to make his infant daughter into a football fan and how much he loves a good Super Bowl party. Plus, he weighs in on Michelle Williams' Oscar nod and why there can never be a 'Creek' reunion.
Moviefone: I know you did 'Varsity Blues,' but are you a real-life football fan at all?
Van Der Beek: Yeah, huge.
Are you rooting for any one team this year?
I would love to see Aaron Rodgers [of the Green Bay Packers] win it. The way he handled everything and the aftermath [of replacing Favre] has been ... He's just been cool and collected and classy, and he's really come into his own. I would love to see him win a ring and really just get that monkey off his back for good. And I'm a huge Favre fan too. I wore number 4 in 'Varsity Blues' because I was a huge Brett Favre fan. I grew up playing football. I love football. That's why I wanted to do a football movie.
It's just a great sport. It's my favorite team sport that I'd ever played, and there's a lot of great drama around it. It's brutal. It's a lot more fun to play in a movie than it is to get beat up for real, that's for sure. They take some vicious hits.
Have you ever had a Super Bowl party?
Of course I've had a Super Bowl party! One year, I actually got to go to the Super Bowl in Atlanta, and that was fun. Yeah, we'll probably have people over. I've got a newborn so we'll probably have people come to us as opposed to going anywhere else. It's always an excuse to get together and to have football on all day.
Are you going to put your daughter in a little football outfit?
I don't have one, but my theory is that if I watch football with her, at this age, because she's four months old, I figure if I watch football now and she starts to get used to it, the sounds of it in the background, then it'll be comforting to her as she gets older and she'll like it. She'll like it being on in the house. That's my theory. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but a guy can dream, right?
Maybe she'll play.
Right? Well, I don't know that I want any of my kids playing real football. It's a rough sport, man.
Did you watch the Oscar nominations?
No, I actually ... I didn't even read about the Oscar nominations.
Oh, really? Michelle Williams got one.
Oh, good! She deserves one. This is her second. She's racking them up. Good for her.
I wanted to ask about the Van Der Memes site. What made you want to work with Funny or Die?
I saw what they were doing on their website and I thought it was funny. I went to a meeting and said, you know, "I want to play! Do you guys have any ideas?" So we talked about a lot of stuff and we talked about the crying gif and people, after meeting me, would say, "Dude, man, you're cool but before I met you, my girlfriend loved you so I hated you." That's how the 'Asshole for Hire' thing came into being. We threw ideas back and forth and they wrote it up and we went out and shot it and it was a lot of fun.
What do you think it takes to have something go viral?
Oh, God, I have no idea. I don't think anybody really knows. I think the goofier or the funnier the better and [laughs] I don't know. If I knew the formula, I'd be attaching ads to it and making money.
Someone asked Michelle Williams this week if she'd be open to a 'Dawson's Creek' reunion, and she said she would be.
Oh yeah? That's easy for her to say. Her character's dead. [laughs] Easy for her to say, 'Yeah, I'll do the reunion!' Her character's no longer! That's funny. You know, we kind of did that in the show, in the last episode, we flashed forward a couple years. I think because we all knew people would ask about a reunion episode and we'd get it out of the way before we all disband. So we already did flash-forward a number of years.
What do you have coming up? Would you want to do more comedy stuff?
I just love shaking it up all the time. I love trying different stuff. I'd be totally open to a comedy. I think I'll always have roots in the more serious stuff. I love to laugh and I love being a goof so I'd be open to doing a comedy. I'm developing a really dark comedy right now with some writers.
What is that about?
I can't talk about it too much because the lawyers are going back and forth right now and I don't want to jinx it but yeah ... I love satire, too. It's a very dark comedy. You can sometimes be even more honest and more brazen telling a joke than you can by playing it straight.
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