‘Dawson’s Creek’: Is Michelle Williams Older Than the Actor Who Played Henry in Season 3?

For actor Michelle Williams, Dawson’s Creek was one of her earliest acting gigs. It was undoubtedly the one that put her on the map, leading to Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning roles. Her character, Jen, dated a few different men on the TV show, including Henry in season 3. Was she older than the actor who played him?

Michelle Williams starred in ‘Dawson’s Creek’

Michelle Williams in 'Dawson's Creek' (1998)
Michelle Williams in ‘Dawson’s Creek’ (1998) | Getty Images

Williams broke out as one of Dawson’s Creek‘s young stars when the series premiered in 1998. She portrayed Jennifer ‘Jen’ Lindley, who moved from New York City to live with her grandparents in Capeside, Massachusetts, at the start of her sophomore year of high school.

Jen immediately attracts the attention of her new next-door neighbor, Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek). Dawson eagerly pursues her, and they begin dating. But their relationship never really takes off beyond a few dates and the occasional kiss. Jen breaks up with Dawson shortly after he learns the truth about her past.

She was the youngest of the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ stars

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

RELATED: ‘Dawson’s Creek’: Which of the Main Cast Members Was the Youngest in the Pilot? Katie Holmes Says They ‘Grew Up Together’

When Dawson’s Creek began filming in 1997, the actor behind the titular character was 20 years old. Co-stars Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson were both 18 and about to graduate from high school. But Williams was actually about the same age as her character: 16. So it was even more formative for her.

“It worked out OK,” she told Natalie Portman in 2016 for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “It’s a hard sort of childhood to have — or like, a lack of a childhood to have,” Williams said of being an underage actor. She added that she feels “an extra sort of protectiveness” when she works with child actors as an adult.

Her character dated Henry Parker in season 3

After Dawson, Jen takes some time by herself. She goes out on a few dates in season 2 but primarily remains single until her junior year. In Dawson’s Creek Season 3, a freshman football player, Henry Parker, actively pursues Jen, though she turns him down several times.

Following repeated interactions in which Jen insists that they remain friends, the pair finally share their first kiss. Jen and Henry date for months before breaking up after the prom. They make up in the season finale. However, Henry breaks things off in season 4 after he begins attending a boarding school.

How old was Michael Pitt in ‘Dawson’s Creek’?

Actor Michael Pitt portrayed Henry Parker in Dawson’s Creek. (Despite the blue eyes and blonde hair connection, he’s not related to Brad Pitt).) Pitt’s best known for his roles in series such as Boardwalk Empire and Hannibal and films like Murder by Numbers and The Village.

By the time Williams and Pitt began working together, she was 18 or 19 years old. Pitt, portraying the 14-year-old Henry, was a few years older than his character. Given his April 1981 birthday, he was likely 17 years old when filming with Williams, making their age difference even less than their characters’.