James Van Der Beek


The inside scoop on the star of the runaway TV hit "Dawson's Creek" is given in a new, full-color, magazine-format biography.
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The inside scoop on the star of the runaway TV hit "Dawson's Creek" is given in a new, full-color, magazine-format biography.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
James Van Der Beek is the latest in a series of "Scene" paperbacks that promise to be the "ultimate celebrity resource." It is, in fact, more specifically for young teens who want to read about their favorite stars, in this case, one of the actors in the popular teen TV drama, Dawson's Creek. It includes what most adults would expect in such a publication, and what most teens would hope for--details of how he got his start in acting and what it is like to be such an overnight star. Also personal details are included such as his zodiac sign and birthday, essential information to the teenage girl who has a crush on him. Let the reader note, that the details were not authorized nor endorsed by Van Der Beek. "Scene" reads like a slick teen magazine, while not moving into the inappropriate, scandal, gossip talk and, in fact, remaining fairly harmless to the reader. The slick photos of Van Der Beek and his co-stars will invite some teenager to read, who might otherwise not! 1999, Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 12 up, $6.99. Reviewer: Kathleen Orosz—Children's Literature
VOYA - Sarah Flowers
Each title from the Scene series, published monthly, is essentially a fan magazine-each focusing on an individual performer popular with young people. Full-color photos are on every page, including several full-page pictures, and one double-page center spread. Each contains a "low-down" page in the best fan mag tradition: here's where readers learn about their hero's favorite movie, favorite pizza topping, and worst date. The main text is a summary of the star's life and career. A fold-out page in the back contains "The Scene Connection," a kind of flowchart connecting all of today's hot stars with one another via their movies, TV shows, and so forth-a sort of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for the younger set. I showed these four volumes to a number of people, including librarians and kids. Kid reaction, both male and female, was enthusiastic, especially among the fourth through ninth graders. Several younger ones camped out at the reference desk while they were on display there, devouring every page. One older teen turned up his nose when I showed them to him, but then said, "Oh, wait...Jennifer Love Hewitt...let me see that one." The librarians unanimously agreed that these titles would be wonderful as incentive awards or Summer Reading Club prizes, but not one would be willing to put them in the collection. As one said, "It's the kind of thing you buy for your teenage daughter, so she can cut out the pictures and put them in her room." Indeed, if these books lasted a week in a circulating collection without being stolen or destroyed, I would be amazed. Illus. Photos. Charts. Note: This review was written and published to address four titles-Brandy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, James Van Der Beek and Matt Damon. VOYA Codes: 3Q 5P M J (Readable without serious defects, Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689825460
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Scene Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.33 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kieran Scott
Kieran Scott
Kieran Scott is the author of the Non-Blonde Cheerleader series along with the He’s So/She’s So trilogy: She’s So Dead to Us, He’s So Not Worth It, and This is So Not Happening. She also writes the New York Times bestselling series Private under the pen name Kate Brian for Alloy Entertainment. She resides in New Jersey with her family.
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First Chapter

Reluctant Star

I'd like to think that I'm completely ready [to be a superstar], but I have no idea what to expect."
-- James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek never intended to become a pinup boy. He wasn't really sure about doing a TV show. He even questioned the Dawson's Creek producers when they wanted him to read for the lead part of Dawson Leery.

"I said, 'You understand that I'm twenty years old and the character's supposed to be fifteen,'" James says. But once he read the script for the pilot, he wanted to swallow his words. "I thought, Ooh, I really want to do this. I hope I didn't just talk myself out of a job."

As if anyone else could really be Dawson. James was the only person the producers wanted. They scoured both coasts for the perfect Spielberg wannabe and kept coming back to James.

Dawson's Creek and Scream writer Kevin Williamson reveals why: "We knew he was Dawson. He's very bright, but also very vulnerable. I like that because it keeps him fifteen years old." Three days after his final read, James landed the role every young actor in Hollywood was drooling over. Before he could blink, his life had taken a turn toward the insane.

"It's very funny to me that anyone would want to put my face on the cover of a magazine," James says. Anyone? Try everyone.

In the spring of 1998 James's face was plastered on billboards, teen mags, and even the J. Crew catalog. Girls were screaming, reporters were calling, and James was just trying to understand how he'd gone from a virtual unknown to the hottest guy on television.

When he saw his first billboard, James burst out laughing. "I didn't know how to deal with the hype," he says. I keep asking myself, 'How did I get here?'"

The question is easily answered: hard work, patience, perseverance...and an absolute love for his trade -- even if he does think it's pure torture.

"Acting is the most unstable, unreliable, heart-wrenching career to choose," James says. But as deflating as rejections are, acceptance, acclaim, and fame are equally gratifying. And at the moment, James is experiencing all the upsides of the biz.

From movie offers to star-studded premieres and MTV specials, James has taken advantage of his newfound fame. But don't expect this boy next door to let allthe attention go to his head. He may be "Dawson," but he never forgets that the show is an ensemble project, and he is fully aware that Dawson's Creek is a once-in-a-lifetime break.

"I had seen the career path of someone like Claire Danes, who was given film opportunities because of what she'd done on television," James says. "I thoughtit might be like My So-Called Life for me...[that it might] help me get a film I wanted to do."

Beautiful blue eyes, modesty, and the maturity to look ahead.

What more could you want in a superstar?

Copyright © 1999 by 17th Street Productions

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