James Van Der Beek Lands Pilot Lead, Is The Anti-Dawson His New Thing?

James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek has officially found his groove. After gaining cult status as wide-eyed optimistic teen Dawson Leery on Dawson’s Creek, now, later on in the actor’s career, it seems as if the sarcastic, cynical role is more Van Der Beek’s style these days.

The Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 alum has just been cast in CBS’s comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives, THR reports. The show is about a group of thirtysomething friends who each think the other has it better, from Friends writer-producer Dana Klein.

RELATED: 10 Things That Will Cheer ‘Apt. 23’ Star James Van Der Beek Up

Graduating from the teen drama that gave him his fame, Van Der Beek went on to another teen soap to play the opposite role of Dawson Leery: a cocaine-addicted jerk of a movie director on One Tree Hill. It was quite a different character, and one that he seemed to play well. He then portrayed a heightened, parodied version of himself in ABC’s recently canceled Apartment 23. In the new pilot, he will play Will Stokes, a partner in the gynecology practice at the center of the potential series. He’s a smart, sarcastic, and cynical guy who learns his wife cheated on him with his therapist. He believes nice guys finish last, and his gloomy pessimist expects the worst from everyone and everything.

Sounds like Van Der Beek has found his niche, and to be honest, we like him better this way. What do you think? Should Van Der Beek stick to his new formula of pessimistic, sarcastic roles, or do you want to see him go back to his wide-eyed optimistism? Let us know in the comments!

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[Photo Credit: Matt Sayles]

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