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Joshua Jackson Says He Felt ‘Imposter Syndrome’ Over His ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Salary, Was Paid Money He Didn’t ‘Deserve’

Joshua Jackson Says He Felt 'Imposter Syndrome' Over His 'Dawson's Creek' Salary
Joshua Jackson attending the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards Marechal Aurore/ABACA/Shutterstock

The struggles of teen stardom. Joshua Jackson opened up about how he developed imposter syndrome during his time on the beloved teen series Dawson’s Creek.

“I wouldn’t want to go back to my twenties again, that amount of angst,” the Fringe alum, 44, confessed in an interview with The Sunday Times published Sunday, April 16. “I would make more money doing four episodes of Dawson’s Creek than most of my friends’ parents made in a year.” Jackson played heartthrob Pacey Witter alongside costars James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams on The WB series, which ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2003.

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He continued: “That was the center of my imposter syndrome: ‘You’re trying to set me up to be a role model to kids, and I definitely am not, and you’re paying me all this money that I don’t deserve.'”

Jackson has gone on to achieve personal and professional success since his days in the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts. In addition to starring in shows and films such as Dr. Death, The Affair, Shutter and more, he married his wife, actress Jodie Turner-Smith, in 2019. The two became parents to their daughter, 2, the following year.

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The Little Fires Everywhere alum — who described his forties as the “best decade” of his life so far — went on to share his appreciation for how Dawson’s Creek offered a more realistic view of teen life than other series like it. “I think the secret to the show was that it didn’t talk to young people like they’re stupid,” Jackson explained. “Those characters and what they were going through felt real. We were trying to tell stories about those moments in your life and we were close enough to it in our own ages that we deeply remembered what that angst was.”

Joshua Jackson Says He Felt 'Imposter Syndrome' Over His 'Dawson's Creek' Salary
James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery, Katie Holmes as Joey Potter and Joshua Jackson as Pacey Witter in ‘Dawson’s Creek’ ABACA/Shutterstock

The Skulls star also revealed that the cast — which included Busy Philipps, Mary Beth Peil, Kerr Smith, Meredith Monroe, Mary-Margaret Humes and John Wesley Shipp — continue to stay in touch via a WhatsApp group chat, albeit, “It doesn’t get a lot of use.”

However, he said the group message was buzzing earlier this year when they celebrated the show’s 25th anniversary in January. “There was a flurry of texts,” Jackson noted. “It really centers around, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe that we all went through that thing together.’ It’s obviously such a formative point in all our lives.”

Despite his experience with imposter syndrome, Jackson’s time on the teen drama was a meaningful one. He cared about his character Pacey’s romance with Holmes’ character, Joey, so much that he convinced the show’s creator to change his original ending for the two.

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“I had a whole conversation with Kevin [Williamson] about this,” Jackson told Entertainment Weekly in May 2022 of learning that the former couple was supposed to end the show apart. “Like, ‘Look, I get it. This is the idea that you had in your head, but I’m just gonna ask you to watch the tale of the tape and this is the more interesting end for these characters.”

Prior to Holmes’ notable marriage to Tom Cruise from 2006 to 2012, the Batman Begins actress and Jackson previously dated from 1998 to 1999.

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