Picture the scene. You're a teenager, the sounds of Titanic are still ringing in your ears from the sixth time you've visited the cinema to see it, and floppy haired blonde heartthrobs cover your bedroom wall. You're in your crop top from Tammy Girl era and velvet hair scrunchies from Claire's Accessories are all the rage. If so, then you'll remember James Van Der Beek well, more commonly known to 90s teens as Dawson Leery.
It has been 25 years since Dawson's Creek first played onto our Channel 4 screens. A quarter of a century since we first tuned in to watch a group of close-knit friends come together for the usual coming of age dramas from first loves and kisses, to fights and climbing into each other's bedroom windows.
We were obsessed. And it seem fans can't get enough of how main character James Van Der Beek is looking now either with one declaring: "I feel old now – is it weird he still gives me goosebumps though?"
The now 46 year old was just 18 when he played long-suffering Dawson from the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts. Fans were glued to the screen each night to see if he'd ever truly get together with best friend and secret love Joey Potter, played by Katie Holmes, and watch as he had laddish fun with cheeky Pacey Witter, played by Joshua Jackson.
The show also starred Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley, who has a child in real life with the late Heath Ledger.
Fans were delighted to see on James's Instagram that he's a happily married husband to Kimberly Van Der Beek but more surprised to discover his large brood of blonde cuties.
The Connecticut-native who now lives in Los Angeles has six children – daughters Olivia, Annabel, Emilia and Gwendolyn, and sons Joshua and Jeremiah, all ranging from two years of age to 13 – told People magazine: "Fatherhood changes you from the inside out." He added that while it comes with a lack of free-time, but that it's a trade-off he's happy to make for his family.
The happily married couple met in 2009 in Israel before returning the following summer for a small and intimate spiritual ceremony. Their eldest daughter, Olivia, was born the following month.
The couple have also opened up on their pregnancy loss, having suffered several miscarriages over the years.
James starred on America's Dancing with the Stars in 2019, on the series that also saw Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband Lamar Odom dance his socks off.
He came fifth after being eliminated after his Cha-Cha-Cha to Jamiroquai's Canned Heat.
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