Where Are The Stars Of Dawson's Creek Now?

With '90s nostalgia trending these days, we couldn't help but think back on one of our favorite teen dramas from that time period: "Dawson's Creek," which aired from 1998 until 2003. The coastal-set series created by Kevin Williamson, which was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, brings us back to a simpler time. Plus, we loved that the show portrays its teen characters as intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken. And with the series streaming on Netflix, it's become popular with a whole new generation.

The show's cast largely consisted of relative newcomers who managed to carve out successful careers for themselves in Hollywood, with Michelle Williams becoming an Oscar-nominated film star, for one. Then there's Katie Holmes, who also achieved further career success and became one-half of the 2000s Hollywood power couple "TomKat" while married to Tom Cruise.

The cast of "Dawson's Creek" reunited in 2018 in honor of the show's 20th anniversary, making the cover of Entertainment Weekly that year. Of the reunion, Williamson said, "I run into James and Josh, Katie, Michelle, and I just get a big smile on my face. It's just a very, very special time in my life."

If we're wondering what Dawson Leery, Joey Potter, Pacey Witter, Jen Lindley, and the rest of the characters' real-life counterparts have been up to since leaving Capeside, we've got you covered. This is where the stars of "Dawson's Creek" are now.

James Van Der Beek is a dad of six who continues to appear on television

James Van Der Beek played the Dawson of "Dawson's Creek," with the show revolving around his family and social life. During Van Der Beek's time on the hit series, he starred in films such as "Varsity Blues" and "The Rules of Attraction" and made cameos in "Scary Movie" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." Since "Dawson's Creek," he's worked steadily, primarily in television, appearing on "Criminal Minds," "Ugly Betty," "Medium," "One Tree Hill," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Modern Family." From 2017 until 2021, he turned to voiceover work in the animated series "Vampirina."

Still, "Dawson's Creek" is what the husband and father of six is most known for (per People). "I remember loving the script," he told Entertainment Weekly (via Us Weekly). "I remember thinking everyone was amazing. All the actors were perfectly cast."

Mary-Margaret Humes, who played his mother on the show, was with him when he signed his first-ever autograph, as she told Entertainment Weekly. Even the actor admits that "walking around at that time was very tricky because one autograph could turn into a mob scene. So I walked around in fear of teenage girls" (per The Guardian). He's also fearful of hearing the show's theme song (Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait"). When he does, he said, "There's a part of me ... that still wants to go hide under the table."

Katie Holmes became a mega Hollywood star

On "Dawson's Creek," Katie Holmes played Joey Potter, Dawson Leery's longtime friend and one-time object of his affection. Holmes' acting career immediately was on fire after appearing on the show. During her run on "Dawson's Creek," she starred in "Disturbing Behavior," "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," "Wonder Boys," and "The Gift." Perhaps her biggest post-"Dawson's Creek" success was 2005's "Batman Begins." The actress is also known for playing former first lady Jackie Kennedy in the 2011 TV miniseries "The Kennedys" and 2017's "The Kennedys After Camelot." She starred in the 2019 film, "Coda," has begun directing, and, as of publication, has some upcoming acting projects in post-production.

Holmes also became known for her high-profile marriage to and divorce from Tom Cruise, for which she became regular tabloid fodder. Since then, she's made a quieter life for herself and daughter Suri Cruise in New York (via InStyle). In addition to Cruise, Holmes is known for her other romances with actors Jamie Foxx, Chris Klein of "American Pie" fame, and her former "Dawson's Creek" co-star, Joshua Jackson, whom she was rumored to have spoken about to Rolling Stone in 1998. In 2018, Holmes enjoyed reuniting with Jackson and the rest of the cast for the show's 20th anniversary. "I think we've all sort of seen each other over the years, but not everybody all together. And never for long enough," she told Entertainment Weekly (via Us Weekly).

Joshua Jackson dabbled in directing and producing in addition to acting in both TV and film

Joshua Jackson, who played Dawson Leery's best friend, Pacey Witter, values his time on "Dawson's Creek." "I enjoyed the fact that, being a kid at that time, playing a kid who wasn't an idiot or the precocious one, we never insulted the audience by dumbing us down in order to be believable teenagers," he told Entertainment Weekly (via Us Weekly). Unlike his former co-stars, prior to "Dawson's Creek," Jackson had starred in a blockbuster film: 1992's "The Mighty Ducks" and its 1994 sequel, "D2: The Mighty Ducks."

Jackson starred in popular teen films during his "Dawson's Creek" years, including "Urban Legend." Since then, he's done many TV and film projects. From 2008 to 2013, he played Peter Bishop on "Fringe," followed by his stint as Cole Lockhart on "The Affair" from 2014 to 2019. As of this writing, he's set to star in an episode of TV's "Fatal Attraction." Jackson has also dabbled in producing (2008's "One Week," a film in which he also starred) and directing (a 2003 episode of "Dawson's Creek" called "Lovelines"). 

In addition to dating co-star Katie Holmes in the late '90s, he's known for his longtime relationship with actress Diane Kruger, from whom he split in 2016. In 2019, he married British model Jodie Turner-Smith (per Us Weekly). The two share a daughter, Janie, born in 2020. He told People in October 2022 that she is "very, very opinionated."

Michelle Williams became an Academy Award-nominated film star

Michelle Williams, who played Capeside newcomer Jen Lindley, is another "Dawson's Creek" star who achieved massive fame. Per a 2022 profile of Williams in The New York Times, Mary Beth Peil, who played her grandmother on the show, mentored the young actress. With Peil's encouragement, Williams pursued theater work in New York.

Her big-screen success began with 2005's "Brokeback Mountain," where she met the late Heath Ledger. The two became a couple and parents to a daughter before Ledger died in 2008, per The Times. Williams is now married to Tony Award-winning theater director Thomas Kail, per The Times. They have two children (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Williams' other films include "Manchester by the Sea," "All the Money in the World," and "The Greatest Showman." In late 2022, she played a version of Steven Spielberg's mother in "The Fabelmans," a retelling of the famed director's early life. Interestingly, Spielberg was a fan of Williams on "Dawson's Creek" (he watched with his kids!). "There's not a lying bone in her body of work," he told The Times.

Of "Creek," Williams "loved that we were able to get in there in those formative years for people," she told Entertainment Weekly (via Us Weekly). "That's why people, I think, are so connected to it. When something affects you while you were growing up, it kind of stays in there forever ... whatever reaches you in those moments really becomes part of you."

Kerr Smith is busy with his TV work and health and wellness business

During the second season of "Dawson's Creek," Kerr Smith joined the show as Jack McPhee. While his character was originally introduced as a potential romantic partner for Joey Potter, played by Katie Holmes, the character was given his own storyline. Smith's Jack later came out as gay and became part of a primetime TV first: During the Season 3 finale in 2000, his character kissed another male student (per Express). "Doing the first male-male kiss, I remember it was intense," the actor told Too Fab in 2019. "I'm glad we did it and it was part of history."

During his run on "Dawson's Creek," Smith starred in the popular teen thriller "Final Destination." Apart from starring in "Cruel Intentions 3" in 2004 and "Where Hope Grows" in 2014, Smith appeared mostly on TV in roles in "Charmed," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: NY," "NCIS," and "Criminal Minds." In 2010, he starred in the series "Life Unexpected," followed by 19 episodes of "The Fosters" as Robert Quinn from 2014 to 2018. Interestingly, in 2019 and 2020, he played the principal on nine episodes of "Riverdale," a "full circle" experience he spoke about with Entertainment Tonight, reflecting on his time playing a high school student on "Creek."

These days, Smith is also busy with his blog and the holistic health and wellness business he founded with his wife, according to the actor's website.

Meredith Monroe has appeared in various film and TV projects

Like her former co-star, Kerr Smith, who played her on-screen brother, Meredith Monroe arrived in Capeside during the second season of "Dawson's Creek." The actress reflected on her experience to Entertainment Tonight in 2018. "When I knew I got the job, I was still in LA and giddy with excitement," she said. "Then I remember getting on the plane to Wilmington, North Carolina, and I was like, 'Oh my god, this is real. Oh my god.' I started freaking out."

Of the show's 2018 reunion, Monroe told the outlet, "It was so great. It was like we didn't even skip a beat and a day hadn't even gone by." She even said that she and her former co-stars started a group text.

During "Dawson's Creek," Monroe starred in the films "Manhood" and "Full Ride" and, most notably, as Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1999 TV movie "Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" and its 2002 follow-up, "Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder." After "Dawson's Creek," she starred in "Criminal Minds" from 2005 until 2013 and "13 Reasons Why" from 2018 to 2020. She's worked consistently in both film and TV, starring in the movies "Wake," "Nowhere to Hide," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," and "Low Fidelity." On TV, she's appeared on "House," "Cold Case," "Bones," "Crossing Jordan," "Californication," and "The Mentalist," among others.

Busy Philipps became known for Cougar Town and her longtime friendship with Michelle Williams

Busy Philipps joined "Dawson's Creek" during the show's fifth season as Joey Potter's college roommate after starring on NBC's "Freaks and Geeks." Since "Dawson's Creek," she has remained tight with her former co-star, Michelle Williams. Per W Magazine, the two have been spotted together on the red carpet multiple times over the years. Philipps stopped by "The Late Late Show with James Corden" where she reminisced about her nights out with BFF Williams while shooting in Wilmington, North Carolina. "It was in the 2000s when I was filming. I was 21," she said. "We would hit the bar scene. I'm really lucky that TMZ and the internet didn't exist. I probably would not be sitting here if it did."

After her stint on "Dawson's Creek," the actress starred in both film and TV, including most notably "ER," "Vice Principals," and "Cougar Town" for the series' entire run from 2009 until 2015. You also may have caught her in a bunch of popular movies, including 2004's "White Chicks," 2008's "Made of Honor," 2009's "He's Just Not That Into You," 2015's "The Gift," and 2018's "I Feel Pretty." She returned to TV in 2021 with the TV comedy "Girls5eva."

In 2022, Philipps announced her separation from husband Marc Silverstein on her podcast, "Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best." The two married in 2007 and have two kids together (via People).

Mary-Margaret Humes has become a Hallmark movie queen

Mary-Margaret Humes, who played Dawson Leery's mom, Gail Leery, on "Dawson's Creek" for all six seasons, had been acting since the early 1980s, appearing in TV movies and series such as "Knight Rider," "The Love Boat," "Night Court," "Matlock," "Blossom," "Diagnosis Murder," and "Murphy Brown." After "Dawson's Creek," she continued landing parts on TV, especially in Hallmark movies such as "Matchmaker Santa," "A Detour for Christmas," "Home by Spring," "Winter Love Story," "A Feeling of Home," and "Two Tickets to Paradise."

The actress, who is probably best known for her time on "Dawson's Creek," shared with Access Hollywood how close she had become with the rest of the cast during filming in Wilmington, North Carolina. On ATX TV's "Mother Knows Best: A Look at '90s TV Moms" panel, Humes shared that she had spoken with Katie Holmes and James Van Der Beek about ideas for a possible reboot. "I actually wrote, like, 190 pages of an idea for a crossover to a reboot. Whether it goes anywhere, I don't know. But there's certainly a lot of buzz about it," she said. "There's a strong possibility. I'd like to keep that hope alive for everybody, because the fans are clamoring for it and they want to live the simpler life like we had back in 1998."

John Wesley Shipp returned to soaps and entered the Marvel Universe

John Wesley Shipp is easily recognizable for playing Dawson Leery's dad, Mitch Leery, on "Dawson's Creek" opposite Mary-Margaret Humes, who played his TV wife. That is, until the show's fifth season in 2001, when his character was killed tragically in a car accident. 

Prior to "Dawson's Creek," the actor played superhero Barry Allen in "The Flash" from 1990 to 1991. He was also known for his roles on soap operas "As the World Turns," "Santa Barbara," "Loving," "All My Children," and "One Life to Live," which he later returned to. In addition to guest-starring roles on a variety of other TV shows, Shipp starred on the CW's "The Flash" from 2014 through 2022 and its Arrowverse crossover show "Stargirl." In a 2021 interview with "The Flash Podcast," he spoke about the possibility of his return for Season 3 of "Stargirl." "I would say that if that were to happen, that I would be very open to it," he said.

Broadway star Mary Beth Peil continues to appear on stage and screen

On "Dawson's Creek," Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil played Jen Lindley's grandmother, Evelyn Ryan, known better to viewers as "Grams." With the series streaming on Netflix, the actress loves the show's renewed popularity. "It's also the gift that keeps on giving," she told the Daily Beast. "People who were too young, or weren't even born then, can now see it on re-runs." 

Since "Dawson's Creek," Peil starred on TV's "The Good Wife" from 2009 to 2016. In 2020, she received a Daytime Emmy nomination for "After Forever" (via IMDb). In addition to her work on television, Peil appeared in the films "Mirrors," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Here and Now," "The Song of Sway Lake," and "Collateral Beauty." A celebrated theater actress, Peil returned to Broadway after "Dawson's Creek," starring in shows such as "Anastasia," "Nine," "Follies," and "The Visit," according to a 2017 New York Theater Guide interview.

In 2022, Peil's former co-star, Michelle Williams, paid tribute to her, crediting Peil's influence on her career (via Variety). "Mary Beth Peil was the first artist that I had ever met in my life," she said. "There was something different about her ... the way she asked questions, the way that she leaned into conversations, and how excited she seemed for every moment of every day on our TV set."

Per the Daily Beast, Peil, divorced from musician and teacher Jerry Kirkbride, has a daughter, a son, and two grandchildren.