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24 Hours to Live: James Van Der Beek

Dawson—Er, James Van Der Beek—is back on TV, playing himself on Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. Also? He’s about to die.

So how do you want to go?
As long as it has nothing to do with a stream, river, or any body of water that could possibly be called a creek, I’m good.

What current young heartthrob would you hand your teen-idol crown down to before you pass?
Well, Bieber’s got the hair he’ll be seriously rethinking in a few years, and those Twilight kids certainly seem disaffected enough. But Zac Efron’s the only one so pretty people want to beat him up, so I’d have to say him.

Will you be going to heaven or hell, and why?
I’ve always believed that each religion is a little bit right and a little bit wrong. As long as none of them are 100 percent right, I like my chances.

If you wake up in the afterlife and hear “I Don’t Want to Wait,” the Dawson’s Creek theme song, which way did you go?
Heaven, obviously. I love that song. Have it on my favorites list. Listen to it every day. Don’t you?

What’s the wildest thing you ever did while you were alive?
I was playing in a flag football game for charity and was told to cover Jerry Rice, with Joe Montana at quarterback. And there was a tiny voice in the back of my head that said, “You got this guy.” I didn’t.

You play an asshole version of yourself on Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. What actor would you like to portray you after you pass away?
The only way to really capture the essence of my life would be to do it with an all-black cast starring Don Cheadle.

Apart from plaid, what is one thing you’ve learned is impossible for women to resist?
A baby. It’s a twisted world.

You share life lessons on Apartment 23. What about real ones?
Don’t blow up at a Buddhist. You’ll look like an asshole and just confuse the Buddhist. Oh, and pot is not a performance-enhancing drug.

Your character shares a lot of on-set stories. What’s your most memorable real one?
When I hosted SNL, we shot a Cats spoof where I was stood next to Will Ferrell in a full-on cat costume. I just kept thinking, How the fuck did I wind up here?

While you were alive, what woman did you always want to sleep with?
Princess Leia. And not the one you’re thinking of. I’m talking about the white-robe-wearing, half-British-accent-talking one from the first movie.

When was the last time you had a Dawson-style cry?
When I looked at the current value of my real estate holdings.

Have you ever seen a Varsity Blues whipped-cream bikini in real life?
I’m taking that answer to the grave with me.

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