James Van Der Beek Was Kind of Already on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in 2012


Something about this casting feels familiar. James Van Der Beek officially joined season 28 of Dancing With the Stars, but the actor has a bit more experience with the show than his fellow contestants.

James Van Der Beek Was Kind of Already on 'DWTS' in 2012
James Van Der Beek John Salangsang/Variety/Shutterstock

The Dawson’s Creek alum, 42, appeared on the ABC reality competition series in fictional form during season 2 of his sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Van Der Beek played an exaggerated version of himself on the show, which ran from 2012 to 2013. His character took the role to revitalize his career.

Dean Cain and former Dancing With the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff appeared in the multi-episode arc as the Supergirl alum, 53, faced off against his rival on the dance floor. In the made-up version of his stint, Van Der Beek found himself competing with his fellow actor for a bigger dressing room and swapping partners.

Fans found it hard to keep track of his progress since the network aired the episodes out of order in an effort to boost ratings. However, once he finally took his spin around the ballroom, Van Der Beek flubbed on live TV after being drugged.

The Varsity Blues star opened up to TV Guide in January 2012 about his preparations for the bit. “I went in thinking I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance. I’m a pretty good athlete; I could figure this out,” he said at the time. “After about three or four dance classes, I thought I was looking good, so we recorded it on an iPhone. I watched it and I was absolutely mortified. I look like a jock trying to fumble his way through it. It was horrible.”

Van Der Beek, who noted that he pitched the story line idea after being offered Dancing With the Stars multiple times, added: “I realized I really had to step it up, so many more hours of training followed until I got to the point where it was good enough for the jokes to work. It did not come easily.”

Hannah Brown, Lamar Odom, Christie Brinkley, Karamo Brown and Sean Spicer are among the other contestants who were announced as season 28 cast members on Wednesday, August 21.

Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET.

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