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James Van Der Beek
James earned Hollywood popularity in the role as "Dawson" on WB's drama "Dawson's Creek", in which he debuted in 1998. James Van Der Beek Jr. was born March 8, 1977 to a cell phone salesman father and a former pitcher for the Dodgers and mother Melinda Van Der Beek, a gymnastics studio owner and former Broadway dancer. James has a brother named Jared who was born in 1979 and a sister named Juliana who was born in 1981. Van Der Beek was raised in his hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut. The oldest of three children, he was an honors student and excelled at football until an injury sidelined his budding career. In its own way the injury proved to be serendipitous, as it led Van Der Beek to take up acting. Following a casting trip to New York with his mother, Van Der Beek made his professional debut at the age of 16 in the Off-Broadway production of Finding the Sun, which was written and directed by Edward Albee. More stage work ensued, as did some television work (most notably in the form of a 1995 stint on As the World Turns).
Van Der Beek made his film debut in the 1995 comedy Angus, aptly cast as a golden-boy football quarterback. Another movie, the little-seen Claire Danes/Jude Law vehicle I Love You, I Love You Not, followed in 1997, but it was his starring role in Dawson's Creek], premiering in January of 1998, that gave Van Der Beek his big break. The show's success with critics and audiences alike propelled Van Der Beek and his fellow cast members into the limelight, and soon Van Der Beek secured his first major film roles, first in the little-seen Harvest (1998), and then in the football comedy-drama Varsity Blues (1998). The film's modest reviews were overshadowed by its financial success, geared as it was toward a new generation of teenagers eager to see their favorite actors in glorious celluloid. The film's enthusiastic commercial response, coupled with Dawson's continuing success, virtually guaranteed the young actor that no matter what the future held for him, his career had certainly gotten off to a very positive start.
Though to this point Van Der Beek's success had been built on the image of the squeaky clean, all-American small town boy, a pair of efforts following the millennial turnover signaled that the actor who had become the very personification of white-bred wholesomeness was determined to create a new, decidedly more edgy image for himself. Though his initial effort ended in mystery as the segment featuring Van Der Beek as a closeted high school homosexual was cut from director Todd Solandz's Storytelling (2002) shortly before the film's release, his efforts would be cemented later that same year with the subsequent release of The Rules of Attraction. Directed by Pulp Fiction collaborator Roger Avery (Killing Zoe) and based on a novel by American Psycho author Brett Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction found the former innocent plunged into a strange world of drugs and sexual deviance that left many Dawson's Creek fans up in arms. As college student/drug dealer Sean Bateman (who also happens to be the brother of American Psycho maniac Patrick Bateman) Van Der Beek essayed what was without question his seediest role to date. With his Dawson's Creek and Rules of Attraction characters existing on the most extreme polar opposite ends of the spectrum imaginable, Van Der Beek made it no secret that his acting coach recieved a hearty workout as the actor attempted to balance hiumself between the two projects.
James Van Der Beek married to actress Heather McComb in July 5, 2003. He lives in New York City for most of the summer - when his show is on hiatus or when he is not shooting a film. James enjoys watching football on weekends and still plays football with his friends whenever he has the time.
'Dawson's Greek' star James Van Beek returns
'Dawson's Creek' actor James Van Der Beek is to star in the pilot episode of a new comedy series called 'Three'.
The Hollywood Reporter says that 'Three' follows a pair of newlyweds and their recently divorced male friend.
The role of the husband will be played by Van Der Beek.
The actor, whose film credits include 'Varsity Blues' and 'Scary Movie', was most recently seen on Irish cinema screens in 'The Rules of Attraction'.
James Van Der Beek's' Rules of Attraction'
Dawson Creek heartthrob opts for a change of image on the controversial Rules of Attraction, while admitting that this is the final year for the TV show that made him a star, and he couldn't be happier.
James van der Beek doesn't seem to be in the mood for being interviewed. Perhaps having been in the spotlight for over 5 years in TV's Dawson's Creek he has a clear disdain for the spotlight. Wearing an unironed denim shirt that hangs loosely over his faded jeans, van der Beek, currently starring in the drugs ‘n' sex college satire Rules of Attraction, recalls the craziness that was once a part of his life at the peak of his television success. "It's absolutely bizarre and completely strange to wrap your mind around." He recalls having dealt with all of the unwanted attention by "just surrounding yourself with the right people and create your own life independently of what goes on because of that." That includes his upcoming marriage to actress Heather McComb whom he had been dating since 1996. "I don't talk about that much and it's pretty private but it's also what keeps my life real." Now 26, van der Beek has changed a lot since, as a fresh-faced 20-year old, he became an instant star as Dawson's Creek became a solid hit with a generation of teenagers searching for a television show that would speak to them. "When I first got really famous, I wasn't really in Hollywood, but in Wilmington, North Carolina," which was a blessing, he adds. "In retrospect I can say that I was lucky, that at the height of all this insanity, I was still going to work with a bunch of people, most of whom that just kind of happened into the industry and who were unimpressed with anything that had to do with fame."
As critical of his Dawson experiences, Van Der Beek also admits that he still learned a lot from working on the show. "The thing that comes immediately to mind in terms of what I learned, is just the technical process of filmmaking. I remember going from stage, which came naturally to me, and being on a film set and having all this stuff thrown at you. I've been making TV for 9 months of the year, 6 years in a row and there's no substitute for that to just be aware of finding the lines and the light and getting those kinds of technical skills down without them becoming a distraction." Given the clean-cut image van der Beek personifies as Dawson, it is no surprise that he chose the starring role in Rules of Attraction, based on Bret Easton Ellis' dark novel and says he was pleased, more than surprised "that Roger [Avary, director], had confidence in me to do it." The actor admits that "was also a lot of resistance to me taking the role". After all, this character is the very antithesis of his clean-cut TV image. The film Rules' casts a satirical eye on a surreal sex triangle between three students at a New England college: drug-stealing Sean (Van Der Beek), the younger brother of Ellis' famous 'American Psycho' character Patrick Bateman his bisexual friend Paul (Ian Somerhalder); and Paul's ex, Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon). Far from playing the nice guy audiences know from Van der Beek's television work, here he goes all out to play a character that can be defined as both unsympathetic and even repulsive.
The actor concedes that while it might be difficult to get into the skin of such a character, his job is, he explains, "to find some reason to love him a little bit. Not that you can excuse a lot of what he does in the movie, but certainly you've got to go beyond the whole notion of him being some kind of psycho or bad guy; you can't play him like that, but rather come up with a reason for why he does what he does." And being the young brother of the American Psycho, "imagine him having grown up in that environment." Rues of Attraction is a film that is already polarising audiences, and those who hate the film, of which there are many, argue that its characters and narrative have an inherently mean spirit. Van der Beek disagrees. "I think it's more just disillusionment and confusion and an inability to make sense of what's going on." While it can be argued that both. Van der Beek's character and those around him are cruel; the actor responds that "it's not my job to stand in judgement of these people. I feel sorry for them, because it's not a happy existence that they lead." Van der Beek argues that it is relevant to tell even the ugly stories "because these people exist, are out there and I think some of what they think and what they go through, exists in all of us. We all have an Id, we all explode, and we all have flashes of rage. It's all about how you process it, especially at a time in someone's life when they go to college and they're free for the first time to find themselves outside of their home environment. It doesn't matter what their parents or high school thought of them, they can come up with any definition that they see fit. Consequently it's a very experimental thing and people do not make good choices at that age." To Van der Beek, Rules of Attraction is "ultimately a movie about consequence. I don't think there was any attempt to make a movie that is representative of the majority of people's college experiences, but rather to zero in on three very specific people", argues the actor.
Van der Beek spent 2 years at university studying English and Sociology, before landing the gig in Dawson's Creek, and admits he found it easy to relate to the drug and sex-hazed world of Rules of Attraction, "to the point when I read the script I thought it was very honest and truthful. This is the kind of movie I wish somebody had made when I went to college", admitting that the film can be seen as almost a cautionary tale. "I have a sister that is in college right now and so this is DEFINITELY the kind of thing I would want her to see." As Van der Beek was required to shoot both Rules of Attraction and Dawson's Creek simultaneously, going from one character to another proved an interesting challenge for the actor. "It forced me to build Sean as the exact opposite of Dawson in just about every way," explains the actor. "With Dawson, I've been doing it for so long that it's almost like working on Rules was like swimming upstream and then when I got back to Dawson I kinda drifted," Van Der Beek confesses.
This is why he is happy to bid the show farewell after six years. "I've been told that this will probably be the last year even though we haven't been told officially." Van Der Beek says that he has no idea what the series finale will have in store for him, nor does he apparently care. "Honestly, in terms of the television show, my attitude is give ‘em what they want. I mean I've gotten everything that I could possibly want out of it, so I just want to give the fans a great send off that they'll enjoy and appreciate, which is the most important thing to me." Although it is television that established Van Der Beek as a star, the actor has been acting since he was a teenager. Asked if, with the TV show and some film work now behind him, he has gotten everything out of acting at age 26 that he intended to when he began, Van Der Beek ponders the question thoughtfully. "To me, it's a never-ending learning process. I've had different perceptions of what it would be based on different times in my life, but at least Rules of Attraction I KNOW was everything that I wished it would be, working on it and seeing the finished product. It was incredibly rewarding because it was something that I'd never done before." And Van Der Beek's timing was perfect proving that he could go beyond Dawson in its last year. "I obviously want to keep working, broaden my horizons and play a variety of characters, because Dawson is obviously not the only thing I can do."
Clearly for Van Der Beek, there is life after Dawson's Creek, and is currently wading through offers and preparing for his wedding. Dividing his time between North California and Los Angeles, the actor is undecided as to where he would like to raise his children. "I guess it depends on where I'm at in my career. If I'm at a point where I can afford to live outside of Los Angeles, where the kids can take advantage of four distinct seasons, then I'll do it. But at the same time you don't want to have to be pulling them out of school and be absent all the time. Maybe I'd better wait till we're ready to have kids before we worry too much about it," he laughingly concludes.
More fun stuff about James Van Der Beek
Was an English major at Drew University before leaving school to do "Dawson's Creek" (1998).
Was roommates with Joshua Jackson during the first season of "Dawson's Creek" (1998).
Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. 
He started acting because a concussion stopped him from playing football.
Was identified as dyslexic in kindergarden and learned to read in a special class. Later became an honors student.
He won a MTV video award for Varsity Blues (1999), and another for the best cameo with Scary Movie (2000).
The necklace that he wore on "Dawson's Creek" (1998) was made by one of his best friends.
Is a Dutch-American
Oddly, the literal translation of his Dutch surname means 'from the creek'.
Brother-in-law of Jennifer McComb.
Van Der Beek Wins Property Battle
Actor James Van Der Beek has walked away from his legal wrangles victorious, after a jury ruled a real estate agent misrepresented the condition of a home he bought four years ago. The jury in North Carolina's New Hanover County Superior Court ruled on Thursday that real estate agent Gwen Page misrepresented the condition of the waterfront home which Van Der Beek purchased in February 2000 for $826,000 while filming Dawson's Creek in the area. Jurors awarded Van Der Beek $123,000 - $20,000 more than he had sought. Van Der Beek says, "I'm just pleased with the verdict and I thank the jury for all their time and hard work. Even under the circumstances, it's really terrific to be back. It just reminds me how much I really miss the area." Van Der Beek asked for $103,000 in damages, including nearly $83,000 in repair bills for the water-damaged home and $20,000 to cover commission fees paid to Page and her co-defendant, Intracoastal Realty. Van Der Beek sold the home in December, seven months after his show ended.
Van Der Beek Weds
James Van Der Beek and fellow actor Heather McComb wed on a Malibu, California, beach on Saturday. The glamorous private ceremony was highlighted by an evening fireworks display. The Dawson's Creek actor wore Armani, while his 26-year-old bride - star of Apt Pupil - opted for a Vera Wang gown. Van Der Beek's uncle married the couple.
Van Der Beek Happy to See End of 'Dawson's Creek'
Actor James Van Der Beek is set to shoot the final episode of his hit TV show Dawson's Creek next month - and he's thrilled to see the back of it. The finale will be filmed on April 28 and Van Der Beek admits he's far from reluctant to be walking away from his long-running stint. He says, "I don't think any of us are sorry. We've had a great run, but everyone at this point is excited to have their life back. As terrific an opportunity as it's been to play Dawson, it's been kind of holding me back. I've had to live in Wilmington, North Carolina, nine months a year, and that's limited what I can do personally or professionally." Van Der Beek, who will now be able to set up home with his fiancee Heather McComb, is set to start filming independent flick Standing Still in New York this month.
Van Der Beek to Wed - Finally
Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek put his relationship on hold for a year - and then proposed to his girlfriend. The Hollywood star was so busy working on his new film The Rules Of Attraction and TV show Dawson's Creek that had to stop seeing girlfriend Heather McComb, 26, for a year. But when he came back to her, he made up for the break - by asking her to marry him. He says, "I had to put the blinkers on. There was just no time for us to get together. Then she said yes. We've now been engaged for a year and have settled on a secret date for this year. In a way our engagement is a protection for me. If you want to take advantage of all the temptations that come with being in a long-running TV show - you can. But if you're looking for something deeper than a one night stand it can be tricky. I'm always a little suspicious. Being engaged means I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'm not out there, available and looking for someone."
Van Der Beek Prepares To Say Goodbye to 'Dawson's Creek'
Actor James Van Der Beek has further broken the hearts of fans of hit teen soap Dawson's Creek, by insisting an announcement about the end of the series is imminent. Co-star Katie Holmes admitted she was ready to move on from the show last week and now Van Der Beek has confessed he too has plans to bid farewell to the show that made him a star. He says, "I've been told this will probably be the last season and I'm waiting for the official announcement. I'll miss it when it's gone but it'll be nice to move on, get married and do some more films." Van Der Beek is engaged to actress Heather McComb and the couple plan to marry next summer.
Van Der Beek Doesn't Care About Gay Rumors
Dawson's Creek pin-up James Van Der Beek is laughing off ongoing rumors of his homosexuality after starring in back-to-back movies with same sex encounters. The actor, who is engaged to Heather McComb, found his gay scenes in Todd Solondz's Storytelling cut from the finished film, but fans will be able to see him kissing his The Rules Of Attraction co-star Ian Somerhalder in the shocking new flick. And Van Der Beek insists he's beyond caring whether movie watchers think he's gay or not. He says, "Whether Joe Public who lives in wherever, Middle America, believes in their heart of hearts that I'm gay, it's not that important to me."
Graphic Scenes Make Van Der Beek Return to the Acting Studio
Dawson's Creek pin-up James Van Der Beek was so shaken by graphic scenes in his new movie The Rules Of Attraction, he had to seek help from his acting coach to get him through the project. The hunky actor had to deal with a student suicide, heroin abuse, gay lovemaking and a rape sequence in the film - an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' teen angst novel of the same name. And as he commuted between the film set in Los Angeles and the set of squeaky-clean Dawson's Creek in North Carolina, he admits he had all manner of problems coming to terms with his latest movie. He says, "It was an assault on my senses and my emotions. It will make a lot of people very angry. I don't think there's anything else out there like it."
James Van Der Beek's Favorites
Favorite Director: Steven Spielberg, but would also like to work with Stanley Kubrick, Oliver Stone or Milos Forman
Favorite Book: Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce
First movie he ever saw: E.T
Favorite Teams: New York Yankees and New Jersey Devils
Favorite Actors: Marlon Brandon, Tom Hanks and Tim Robbins
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite T.V show: The Wonder Years
Favorite city: New York
Favorite group: Dave Mathews Band
Favorite ice-cream: Vanilla
Favorite movie: THE SHAWNSHANK REDEMPTION
Favorite football team: Green Bay Packers
James Van Der Beek: One on One
Seems like Dawson's Creek golden boy James Van Der Beek burst onto the scene outta nowhere. But like most "overnight sensations," he's paid plenty of dues. This sexy blond twentysomething has actually been acting since he was a 16-year-old kid in Connecticut. (Back then, he'd make the audition schlep into the Big Apple with Mom in tow.)
His break came at 17, in Edward Albee's off-Broadway hit Finding the Sun. From there, the future teen dream went on to roles in the musical Shenandoah and indie films Angus, I Love You, I Love You Not (with Claire Danes) and, most recently, Harvest.
He's got looks. He's got talent. And he's a smarty-pants, having won an academic scholarship to Drew University and making the dean's list. So answering your questions was a snap.
What's it like starring in a hot new series? Who will Dawson end up with--Joey or Jen? And what exactly is a Van Der Beek? We've got scoop from his truly...
ktnb: What's it like to be walking around and have people you don't even know come up and talk to you, and ask for autographs?
It's quite strange. Flattering and exciting, but strange. I always feel so detached from the people who recognize me, because they know the Dawson persona. They don't know me at all. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think it was pretty cool, but I'm never quite sure how to react.
Q: How do you think mass-media phenom Steven Spielberg reacts to Dawson's small obsession with him on the show?
Rumor has it he saw the first episode and loved it. He also gave his blessing to use his name and image.
Q: Are you at all like your character?
I definitely relate to my character. He's a lot like I was at 15--innocent, idealistic, impassioned and often clueless.
Q: What's it like working with Kevin Williamson. Is he the kind of guy to play jokes on you and stuff like that?
Kevin is great--one of the nicest, most humble people I've met in this business. He picks on me constantly, and we joke around all the time.
Q: I was wondering about the origin of your name--and do you have any nicknames?
Van Der Beek is Dutch for "by the brook." When I played football, the coaches called me "Beek," and when I was the youngest actor in my first professional musical (and one of four Jameses), the older cast members dubbed me "Baby James." (They were all big James Taylor fans.) Most of them still call me that to this day.
Q: Do you feel any pressure competing with all the other young-adult shows out there?
As an actor, my main responsibility is simply to show up to work on time and be prepared. I can't afford to worry about the whole ratings game. It's not my job, and I really can't do anything about it.
Q: How do you feel about all the controversy surrounding the social issues on sex in the program?
I'm shocked that the show has been called controversial. The content is so mild compared with trashy talk shows that are on at 3 in the afternoon, and we deal so much more intelligently and responsibly with these issues than anyone on those shows ever does. I think our show is honest, and I'm not ashamed of anything that happens on it.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing for an actor or actress starting out in the business to know?
That acting is the most unstable, unreliable, heart-wrenching career to choose. If you can do anything else and still find fulfillment, do it. Should you find yourself cursed with the undying passion to act, then the most important thing is to keep your eyes and ears open. Ask questions. Learn from everyone you can. The minute you stop learning, it's time to quit.
Q: Who is your favorite director?
I'd love to work with Mr. Spielberg, or directors like Stanley Kubrick, Oliver Stone, Milos Forman.
Q: What do you do in North Carolina when you're not on the set?
I'm teaching myself how to play the guitar. I'll read, write, or in the case of this show, catch up on my sleep. I'll also join in whatever pickup games are going on.
Q: Hey, James...boxers or briefs?
Q: As a fellow English major, I think the books people read tell a lot about who they are. What's your favorite book, and what do you think that says about who you are?
Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce. It's more a study in metaphor than a page-turning story, but I really identified with Stephen Dedulas. It was fascinating to watch him stumble his way to his true passion, having already discovered mine.
Q: What's up with Dawson and Joey? Will anything romantic happen?
It's one of those really strong bonds, but neither one of them are quite sure exactly where it lies. You can't really put it into words.
James Van Der Beek Talks About "The Rules of Attraction"
Based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, "The Rules of Attraction" stars a cast of young Hollywood up-and-comers including Shannyn Sossamon, Kate Bosworth, James Van Der Beek, Kip Pardue and Ian Somerhalder. For many of these young actors, their characters in "The Rules of Attraction" are distinctly different - and much darker - from anything they've done before.
The film tells the story of college students, their friendships, and their raging hormones. James Van Der Beek's character is one of the central figures in the film, and no one will confuse this performance by Van Der Beek with anything he's done on "Dawson's Creek."
Director Roger Avary admits that casting Van Der Beek was perceived by many as a surprising move. "'The Beek' is one of the coolest guys I've ever met, and has just the qualities I needed for my version of Bateman - not to mention the will to go there," explains Avary.
JAMES VAN DER BEEK (Sean Bateman)
Did you have any reservations about this dark material, or were you looking for something that was the opposite of your normal roles?
No reservations at all. It was one of the strongest scripts I'd ever read, one of the most complex [and] most fascinating characters I'd ever come across. I met with Roger [Avary] and just really thought he was very smart and very creative and completely fearless. [I] really thought he could pull off what he was talking about pulling off.
Sean is a very complex character. How would you describe him?
There's a huge difference between what Sean is and what he wants to be. He's very unhappy with his plot in life and what he feels is his fate, his destiny. He's constantly battling that and he's not quite sure how to fix it. At one point, he decides that it's love, it's this girl that's going to be his salvation, that's going to take him off the track that leads him to the office right next to his older brother, Patrick. He's a very conflicted guy and kind of tragic in that way. He's really terrified that his fate is already decided for him and that he's doomed.
Were you familiar with writer Bret Easton Ellis' work?
I had started reading "American Psycho" so I was definitely familiar with Bret. I just thought him one of those people that you're kinda glad is out there.
Did you like your character?
I had to find a reason to love him a little bit. You can't stand in judgment of your characters, not that you can excuse a lot of what he does. What did I like about him? There is that machismo, that defense mechanism. He's almost bulletproof in a way. I think anybody with an insecurity, which is everyone, appreciates the fact that it's much easier to be a predator than it is to be prey. Sean is definitely a predator. There is that strength to him, but all that's rooted in deep insecurity anyway. The fact that he doesn't care at all what other people think about him, that's kinda liberating. That's a fun quality to give to your character because then you just run on instinct, and primal instinct at that.
How is doing a film different from working on "Dawson's Creek?"
"Dawson's" is a well-oiled machine at this point. You're shooting about eight pages a day and when you're shooting a TV show, there's a pretty consistent look that the producers are expecting and that the editors are looking for. In our case, it's a master and then you get into a tight single right away. In film, you've got a bigger screen to play with. Because it's shot differently, the whole storytelling process is kind of different in terms of things can play in a master and a two shot. It gives you a lot more freedom, actually. And in film, you've got the time where if Shannyn has this completely out of the blue choice that she makes in the moment, you can run with it and you can take advantage of it, even if it's not what's in the script. In TV it's a little bit more of a machine because it has to be. You're making a lot of TV at a very quick pace so you can't stray too, too much.
What are your goals for after "Dawson's Creek" ends?
Ultimately, I'd love to be able to work in film.
Roger said you were so good, he could direct you to raise one eyebrow instead of the other.
I don't think Roger ever got that technical with me. It was more just kind of if you're in a take and something's going really well and somebody goes like that, you realize the camera's blocked, and you know to do whatever. Really, just being able to help other out actors too. I was very useful for that. Like knowing when a take was still usable and being able to backtrack, knowing what it would be cutting to.
You must have known a lot would be made of the kiss, but what has surprised you about people's reactions?
You know, I actually had this fantasy that people would guard it so it actually was a surprise. I really liked it in the script. I liked the fact that it was there. I liked how it was done in the split screen. To throw something like that at the audience I think comes - I really was hoping that nobody would talk about it and Lion's Gate would protect it. I even talked to Roger at one point because he put the script out on the Internet. I was saying, "Do you think maybe we should either leave it ambiguous or not put it out there, just so that it is a surprise when people - because I have a feeling they're going to cling to it." But there's no way to keep that cat in the bag, but everybody's been pretty cool about it. It's just so funny to me because it's something that happens so quickly in the script and really, from my character's perspective, it doesn't even exist. So, when it's the first question out of people's mouths, you just kinda wonder what their priorities or their issues are sometimes.
Your character goes off campus at one point. Did the scenes with Clifton Collins, Jr. feel like a different movie?
No, it all kinda felt like the same film. But that is the one time, except for the European trip, that people get off campus. Roger and I talked about this too, just that when you live on campus, eat on campus, sleep on campus and have class, it kind of becomes this little bubble society and perspectives get warped. Not that going to Rupert's house is a refreshing dose of reality, but we definitely talked about the difference between being on campus and off campus.
How did your college experience compare to the film's?
When I read the script, I thought it was really truthful. I thought the movie really zeroed in on the confusion of the time and a lot of the insecurities and questions and choices that people make and the perspective that they gain in this society that they're in a bubble. You start thinking the world is a certain way and forgetting that there's another world outside of the campus boundaries that has nothing to do with what is your world at the time.
Have you seen the finished film?
I saw it once on tape when they still had cartoon drawings instead of digital effects. I saw that once and then I saw it at the premiere. I probably won't watch it in New York at the premiere there. I don't want to watch it too much, but I really liked it. One thing I still want to do is see it with an audience that's not a premiere audience. I just want to see it play to real people, see what their reaction is.
What did you do to lighten the mood between takes?
It was a really fun set. Roger knew what he wanted, was organized, was a good guy and treated everybody with respect so it was really a great set.
How weird was it walking through a set full of naked girls?
I don't know if weird is the word I'd use, but everybody's agent showed up that day. "Hey, just wanted to come by, drop by the set." Oh really?
What was your creative breakthrough on "The Rules of Attraction?"
The scene that I did where I pull up in the car with Thomas Ian Nicholas. In the script, he says, "You're an a**hole, Bateman" and I get out of the car and toss the cocaine vials in. We had done the split screen shot that day which was like a huge technical challenge and we felt like we've gotten it, so I was just kinda riding on a high. It was the second or third day of shooting...I think it was the second day of shooting. Roger was saying, "You know, we can [play] with this a little bit." I said, "I was thinking about it last night. I wanna call him a pussy." He said, "Okay, all right." So, he just kinda said, "Do whatever you want." I think it was the "Hey, why don't you hit me? Come on." It freaked him out but Thomas was great actually. He really just rolled with it and didn't get into that like, "I can't let somebody else be more macho than me on screen." He was very cool about that and then the spitting. Everybody was just letting loose and not editing yourself and afterwards going, "Where did that come from?" That felt like kind of a breakthrough. I remember they brought in a TV monitor and were showing those dailies to other people, so that was kinda cool. I felt like I was doing something, like I was doing well at that point. It was very early on, so it was a fun experience.