Teen-weep staple Dawson’s Creek premiered 20 years ago, and to commemorate the anniversary The Hollywood Reporter sat down with series creator Kevin Williamson for an in-depth chat. Fans of Dawson, Joey, Pacey, and Jen will find plenty to savor here, as Williamson dishes on everything from the show’s origins and casting process to its ending and the person he feels really should’ve ended up with Joey. (It’s Dawson, duh.)
One particularly fun tale involves the casting of Katie Holmes as the Creek’s resident sweetheart. It’s often been reported that Selma Blair came this close to scoring the role, but what’s more amusing is that Holmes almost lost it because of Damn Yankees, the musical she was starring in at her high school. According to Williamson, she “had a big part.”
The casting director came in with this tape from Ohio and wanted to show it to me. It was Katie Holmes in the basement of her home, reading with her mom as Dawson. She was sitting in a chair with her hair all around her and all you saw were these two big eyes. I just went holy shit, who is this?! What are those eyes?! Is this how they grow them in Toledo?! Can we get her on a plane today? I remember that she couldn’t come, and I got her on the phone and said, “You don’t know me but can you please come to L.A. because I think you’re Joey Potter and I really want to meet you.” She told me she was in the middle of doing her high school play, Damn Yankees, and said she had a big part in it and they wouldn’t be able to do it if she came to L.A. She said the show closed in two weeks. She wouldn’t let her classmates down. I didn’t know if she was even going to get the part, but we waited. When she walked in, she was all that and more.
There’s some other fun revelations, too, including a few of Williams’ regrets about the show. Among those is the Eve storyline, which pretty much fizzled out after she hooked up with Dawson, and the devolution of Andie, who morphed into a villain by the time she left the series. Williamson says they brought her back for the finale as a means of redeeming her, but her scene was cut when the episode ran long. He also still stands by the plot line in which Pacey had an affair with his teacher, but wisely concedes that it probably wouldn’t fly today. When asked if he has any regrets about the storyline, Williamson replies:
No! (Laughs.) The only flak we ever got was for that storyline. Jamie Kellner, who was the president of The WB at that time, didn’t say we couldn’t do it but he was the father figure who would come in and ask, “How long is this storyline going to last?” (Laughs.) We told him six episodes and he responded: “OK, that’d be a good thing.” (Laughs.) There was a lot of criticism about that storyline and he was having to take all the flak for it. But no, I wouldn’t change it because it served its purpose and it was based on a storyline from my own childhood. If I was writing the show today I probably would not have it in the story.
You can read the whole interview here.