Why Michelle Williams Once Felt Insecure About ‘Dawson’s Creek’

When you think about the hit television show that was Dawson’s Creek, it might take a bit of time for Michelle Williams to come to mind. Though Willams was around from the very first episode to her (Spoiler Alert!) untimely death at the end of the sixth and final season, her role as Jen Lindley just isn’t top of the funnel when you think about her illustrious career. Perhaps that’s due to her four Oscar nominations or the fact that her screen time on the show, in comparison to her fellow Dawson’s Creek alum, Katie Holmes, was relatively low.

Dawson's Creek cast, Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, and Katie Holmes
Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, and Katie Holmes | Photo By Getty Images

Williams was one of four leads cast in Dawson’s Creek

Williams is fully aware that most people have to be reminded that she had a significant role in Dawson’s Creek. Despite, the show helping catapult her into superstardom, some of her biggest fans altogether forget that she got her start as the ultimate Capside outsider. But rather than take offense to this, Williams has learned to take it all in stride. “I take that as a great compliment. Not that I want to distance myself from having been on that show — it had huge value for me, professionally. Enormous value for me, personally. So, I don’t mean it like that at all. But I take it as a compliment that I’ve grown,” Williams said in an interview with Huff Post a few years back.

Fans often forget that Williams played Jen Lindley

But just why are people so quick to forget that Williams played a major role on Dawson’s Creek? It could largely be due to the tremendous body of work that she’s produced since. However, it’s likely also due to the fact that Williams was less associated with the show than her co-stars Joshua Jackson, James Van Der Beek, and the aforementioned, Holmes. As the show was centered around their relationships and friendships, Williams often had less of a storyline. Furthermore, at the time, Williams wasn’t receiving nearly as much attention as her co-stars.

Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley on Dawson's Creek
Michelle Williams | Photo By Getty Images

From Dawson’s Creek to Oscar-nominated movies

“I think I never attached very heavily to Dawson’s Creek. The outward value of it didn’t cloak me — it didn’t mean a lot to me to be on a TV show or to be well known. Any of that. I always had this idea of other work that I might like to do or things that I was interested in. And it was a really cool opportunity to have this stable, safe, kind of Monday through Friday job,” Williams recounted about her experience. Being less associated with the show allowed Williams to pursue other interests, like theatre and indie films, more freely.

The infamous Pacey, Joey, Dawson love triangle

But, Williams didn’t always have this attitude. Back when she was filming Dawson’s Creek she was feeling a bit insecure about why her role seemed to be more abbreviated than her co-stars. “The show was primarily a love triangle between Dawson, Pacey and Joey; for the most part. At times I felt, ‘What’s not good enough about me? Am I doing something wrong?’ Flipping through the script you’re only in three pages, ‘Oh, boy. OK.’ And maybe I had questions about why that was,” Williams confessed.

Michelle Williams and James Van Der Beek on set of Dawson's Creek
Michelle Williams and James Van Der Beek | Photo By Getty Images

James Van Der Beek’s spot-on advice

Ultimately, it was Williams’ costar, Van Der Beek, who made her see that being less associated with the show would pay off in the end. “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 shared. With four Oscar nominations under her belt and her recent Emmy win, we’d have to agree with Van Der Beek. Clearly, Dawson’s Creek was only the very tip of the iceberg for the talented star. We can wait to see what project Williams lends her talent to next.