James Van Der Beek, Kerr Smith Recall Dangerous Jet Ski Incidents While Filming ‘Dawson’s Creek’

James Van Der Beek and Kerr Smith are looking back at filming Dawson’s Creek and recalled some death-defying experiences they had on jet skis at the time.

This week, the two actors told People magazine at 90s Con in Hartford, Connecticut, that things would sometimes get a bit wild behind the scenes of the hit teen drama when they were filming in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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“A couple of the guys on the crew had boats and you know we had the guest stars come in and the writers come in every episode and we would take them out on the water on the weekends,” Smith, who played Jack McPhee, recalled. “We’d stop and eat crab in the morning yet. And we’d fill up the boats with whatever we needed. We would barbecue out on the island. We all had jet skis.”

He went on to remember one specific dangerous incident he had on the water, quipping, “I’m surprised I didn’t actually kill myself!”

“I don’t know if you guys know how the intercostal waterway works down in Wilmington, but there’s a lot of grassy area and when the tide is higher, it kind of becomes a race course. When the tides lower, it’s all mud,” the actor explained. “So, I used to go back there and get this thing up to 70 miles an hour on the water. And I remember one time, I hit a sandbar and I flew 100 feet over the handlebars and made some waves.”

Van Der Beek, who played Dawson Leery, also made some risky moves while on the water. He noted that although Wilmington “used to get hurricanes every year,” he would still try and catch some waves.

“What I [would] do is I would book the first flight out the next morning and I would get on my jet ski and would ride the hurricane waves,” he said. “When you rode the back of the toward shore, the way the wave was going, it was an optical illusion because you couldn’t see the shoreline but you were convinced you were going up and up and up and up. By the time the wave broke. I was convinced I was, like, 200 feet in the air.”

Their shenanigans definitely got them into “trouble” at times, as Smith recalled occasionally they would “hit the back jet on the ground” and “break the prop,” causing them to get “towed.”

Dawson’s Creek, created by Kevin Williamson, ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2003. The show also starred Katie Holmes, Mary-Margaret Humes, Michelle Williams, John Wesley Shipp, Joshua Jackson, Mary Beth Peil, Busy Philipps, Nina Repeta and Meredith Monroe.

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