Watching the dramatic exploits of Dawson Leery and his pals back in the day, it seemed a no-brainer that Dawson himself – or, as he's known in the real world, James Van Der Beek – was destined to rise the highest in Hollywood. After all, he was the star of the show! It was named after him! (That said, I was always on Team Pacey.) But sometime during his post-"Dawson's Creek" career, after he snagged his first big role in the 1999 football flick Varsity Blues, Van Der Beek's career drifted off, little by little, into indie movie oblivion. Yes, he scored a prime role in the epic-on-paper Texas Rangers, but that became one of the biggest bombs of 2001. And then he played the lead in Roger Avary's racy Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Rules of Attraction, a divisive film that earned its own solid cult following. But where, oh where, was Dawson Leery during the better part of the '00s? Answer: languishing in TV movies, direct-to-DVD pics, and – shudder – an Andy Dick film (Danny Roane: First Time Director).
In light of all that, this March marks a triumphant resurgence of sorts for James Van Der Beek, who stars in not one, but two theatrically released films in the span of a month. In Formosa Betrayed (released February 28 in select cities), he plays an FBI agent investigating a conspiracy of politics and murder in 1981 Taiwan; next week, he stars in the mystery thriller Stolen alongside Jon Hamm and Josh Lucas. (Stolen is available on VOD from IFC Films starting March 3.)
But enough about Dawson. The show was about more than just his drama -- it was about everyone's drama, too! Where have the other Capesiders gone in the years since The Creek? And whose star has risen the highest?