‘Dawson’s Creek’: Michelle Williams Felt Insecure About Her Lack of Screen Time and James Van Der Beek Had the Perfect Response

Michelle Williams first rose to fame on Dawson’s Creek. She appeared in six seasons of the popular TV show. But during filming, Williams questioned her acting abilities because she wasn’t part of the show’s main love triangle. 

Michelle Williams (Jennifer Lindley), James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery), Katie Holmes (Joey Potter) and Joshua Jackson (Pacey) in 'Dawson's Creek'
Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, and Joshua Jackson on Dawson’s Creek | Online USA via Getty Images

Michelle Williams played Jen Lindley on ‘Dawson’s Creek’

Williams appeared in 128 episodes of Dawson’s Creek as Jen Lindley, according to IMDb. She made her debut in the pilot episode which aired on Jan. 20, 1998. Williams’ character came to Capeside from New York. She lived with her grandmother — “Grams” to Jen — in an effort to curb her partying ways. 

Jen met Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson), Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), and everyone else in town but she spent a lot of time as an outsider. She and Dawson even dated briefly before parting ways and becoming friends. 

Despite not being part of the show’s main love triangle, Jen became a popular character on Dawson’s Creek. By the time the series went off the air in May 2003, Williams had become a star. 

RELATED: ‘Felicity’ Star Keri Russell Reveals a Joke Actually Led To That Infamous Haircut

Michelle Williams felt ‘not good enough’ on ‘Dawson’s Creek’

Williams reflected on Dawson’s Creek during a June 2012 interview with HuffPost. She explained it hasn’t defined her acting career because of something that used to bother her on set. The now-40-year-old recalled filming the series as a teen and feeling insecure about having so few lines.

“At times I felt, ‘What’s not good enough about me? Am I doing something wrong?’” she said. “Flipping through the script you’re only in three pages, ‘Oh, boy. OK.’ And maybe I had questions about why that was.”

Michelle Williams as Jennifer Lindley on 'Dawson's Creek'
Michelle Williams as Jennifer Lindley on Dawson’s Creek | Online USA via Getty Images

She then shared how Van Der Beek told her it was probably a good thing she wasn’t part of the show’s love triangle involving Dawson, Pacey, and Joey. 

“I remember him saying, ‘You’re going to be the luckiest of all of us. Because you’re going to be able to get out unencumbered. You’re going to be less identified with this show.’ And maybe he was right,” Williams said. 

Williams went on to become a critically acclaimed actor. She’s now a two-time Golden Globe winner and a four-time Oscar nominee. She’s starred in films such as My Week with Marilyn, Blue Valentine, and Brokeback Mountain

RELATED: ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Writers Once Explained Why Pacey Worked as a Stockbroker: ‘It Seemed Like the Right Job’

Jen Lindley died in the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ series finale

Williams’ character didn’t survive Dawson’s Creek. Jen died of heart disease after growing up to become a parent and art gallery curator. 

Dawson’s Creek creator, Kevin Williamson explained years later that Jen’s death marked the final “coming of age” moment. The characters had gone through high school and college and experienced the death of a parent, “but they hadn’t dealt with the death of someone in their circle,” he said at the ATX Television Festival in June 2015.

Watch Dawson’s Creek on Netflix and Hulu. 

RELATED: ‘Dawson’s Creek’: Were Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams Better Friends off Screen Than Joey and Jen in Season 1?