James Van Der Beek is a writer, actor and producer who launched his acting career on the New York stage at age 16 to rave reviews in an original work by Edward Albee. He made his big-screen debut the following year in the movie Angus, but is perhaps best known for starring in the hit films Varsity Blues, the cult classic The Rules of Attraction and as the title character in the series Dawson's Creek, which ran for six seasons and continues to syndicate around the globe.
Most recently, Van Der Beek co-created, wrote, show-ran and starred in Vice's first scripted series, What Would Diplo Do?, which scored over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. He portrayed Matt Bromley in the FX original series Pose from Ryan Murphy, which debuted to critical and commercial acclaim and was nominated for a Golden Globe®, Critics Choice and Gotham Awards, and won a GLAAD Award, AFI Award and a Peabody. Van Der Beek's other television credits include HBO's series Room 104, created by Jay and Mark Duplass; Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, Friends with Better Lives, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, among many others. He is also the voice of Boris on Disney Junior's hit animated series Vampirina.
Van Der Beek has done a variety of work on the big screen, including the cult classic Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and the independent films Backwards and Formosa Betrayed, for which he won a Best Actor Award at the San Diego Film Festival in 2009. Van Der Beek played opposite Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in Jason Reitman's Labor Day, and Alexander Payne's Downsizing with Matt Damon.
He's had several hosting stints including Saturday Night Live; the NewNowNext Awards on Logo; and has popped up in comedy skits on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Soup, The Daily Show and Tosh.0. Van Der Beek took over Funny or Die for "Van Der Week" in a series of videos for the popular website with "Vandermemes," "DILF Khakis" and "Asshole for Hire." He later re-teamed with them for "Indiana Home Shopping Network," which skewered anti-LGBT laws then in place in Indiana. He appeared in Ke$ha's music video "Blow," which has over 70 million views on YouTube, and he co-wrote and starred in the Power Rangers de-boot "Power/Rangers Unauthorized," produced by Adi Shankar and directed by Joseph Kahn. The dark, gritty short made its debut on YouTube, amassed 14 million views in less than 24 hours and won a Streamy Award.
Van Der Beek has returned to the stage several times in original work by Lanford Wilson at the Signature Theater in 2003 and in 2013 to star in playwright Joanna Murray-Smith's The Gift at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Born in Connecticut, Van Der Beek attended the prestigious Cheshire Academy on a full academic scholarship, started acting professionally in New York at age 16, and studied English and sociology on an academic scholarship at Drew University in New Jersey before leaving to pursue an acting career full time.
Van Der Beek lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Kimberly, and their five children: Olivia, Joshua, Annabel, Emilia and Gwendolyn.