His father, Jim Van Der Beek, retired from baseball shortly after James' birth and took a job with a phone company as sales account manager.
James and his wife live primarily in Los Angeles. Both are attendees of the Kabbalah Center.
The necklace that James wore on "Dawson's Creek" (1998) was made by his mother.
There was a third story in "Storytelling" with Van Der Beek as a college student realizing his sexuality, which was subsequently cut out of the film.
James Van Der Beek won an MTV Movie Award in 1999, for "Best Breakthrough Male Performance" for his role in Varsity Blues. He won another one in 2001, for "Best Cameo in a Movie" for his appearance in Scary Movie. He was also nominated in 2000 for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for "Favorite Actor - Newcomer" for Varsity Blues.
James went to Cheshire Academy, which is a prep school located in Cheshire, Connecticut. He was an honors student in school.
In 1995, James Van Der Beek made his film debut in the movie Angus.
His other film and TV movie credits include Sex, Power, Love & Politics (2006), Danny Roane: First Time Director (2006), The Plague (2006), Eye of the Beast (2007), Football Wives (2007), and Final Draft (2007).
In 1998, People magazine named James Van Der Beek, one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World."
James Van Der Beek's acting debut was in a school production of Grease. He played Danny Zuko.
James Van Der Beek is six feet tall.
James Van Der Beek appeared in the off-Broadway play Rain Dance in June of 2003. He also performed in the off-Broadway production of My Marriage to Earnest Borgnine in 1997.
In 1999, James made $200,000 on Varsity Blues. In 2001, he made $3 million for his part in Texas Rangers.
James shares his birthday with Freddie Prinze Jr.
James is Dutch-American. Van Der Beek means "from the creek" in Dutch.
James enjoys sleeping, hanging out with friends, playing the guitar, and playing sports with friends.
It was discovered when he was in kindergarden that James was dyslexic.
In 1994, James received an academic scholarship to Drew University in New Jersey. He majored in English with a minor in sociology. While there, he made the Dean's list.
James' parents are Melinda Van Der Beek, a gymnastics studio owner and a former Broadway dancer, and Jim Van Der Beek, a pitcher for the Dodgers.
James is the oldest child in his family. He has a brother, Jared, born in 1979 and a sister, Juliana, born in 1981.
James: I'm kind of shocked that it's taken Hollywood so long to realize that so many great movie talents can come out of television. One of the reasons they do is that on TV you don't have the luxury of a film's big budget, and people have to compensate with creativity.
James: At a young age, acting was so inspiring and exciting, because to me it was play - make-believe, pretend. I remember one day during my freshman year of high school, when as usual I was obsessively listening to a cast recording: it may have been Jesus Christ Superstar. And I remember sitting there, totally absorbed, saying to myself, "I can do this."
James: (on his relationship with the "Dawson's Creek" cast) Sometimes it can be really stressful. But that's where it's important to have a close cast working together. On our show - Michelle, Katie, Josh and I get along really well. We all started together - and we back each other whenever we have any problems with the writers. So if there's unity amongst the cast then that reduces the level of stress and tension that can work its way into a long-running show.
James: I'm not about to talk about what's romantic in my life - I figure if you talk about it once - then that's an open invitation for everyone to dig into your personal life even further. So, I just keep my private life to myself. If people want to write anything about me, then can go ahead and do whatever they want. But they won't get a comment out of me, that's for sure. It's a free country and I can keep my mouth shut whenever I want.
James: I love New York City. Everyone is busy with their own lives - and no one is interested in some Hollywood celebrity walking past in downtown Manhattan.Thats why it's my favorite city. You can do what you want without attracting a crowd of curious onlookers.