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James Van Der Beek On Learning ‘To Take The Piss Out Of Myself’ — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

The "What Would Diplo Do?" star explains how he found new success by poking fun at his (and Diplo's) celebrity.

James Van Der BeekTVLine Portrait Studio, Day 2, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 21 Jul 2017

James Van Der Beek


He may still be best known as the star of seminal 1990s drama “Dawson’s Creek,” but these days James Van Der Beek is more often known for playing … James Van Der Beek. After all, he did star as himself in the critically acclaimed but short lived “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.” Now he’s having fun parodying another celebrity, the famed DJ Diplo, in Viceland’s new series “What Would Diplo Do?”

Van Der Beek is not only the star of the show, but he’s also the executive producer and showrunner. He and director Brandon Dermer first had fun with the world famous DJ in the web short “Day in the Life of Diplo,” an over-the top take on what Diplo’s life might be like. But then Viceland came to him about a series. Viceland creative director Spike Jonze knows a thing or two about playing with celebrity personas, having directed 1999’s “Being John Malkovich.”

What Would Diplo Do James Van Der Beek

“What Would Diplo Do?”


“The saw it as a series before I did,” Van Der Beek said. “In my infinite wisdom, I said, ‘This is not a series, guys,’ and then I saw that it was. Once I hit upon that ‘musical genius sucks at life’ thing. It’s parables through the eyes of a clown.”

At the recent Television Critics Association press tour, Indiewire TV editor Liz Shannon Miller sat down with Van Der Beek to discuss the star’s recent interesting career path. They started by talking about how meta things have become. Listen below!

“What Would Diplo Do?” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Viceland.

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