EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: John Wesley Shipp on his iconic role in Dawson’s Creek and much more! – WATCH

john wesley shipp

From today, we have something extra special in store for you. We’ll explore the minds of talented individuals who took on the challenge of portraying these unforgettable characters from the TV shows of the first years of 2000s that defined an era. We’ll uncover the secrets behind their performances, the journey of character development, and the impact they left on popular culture. We are joined by a star of the popular tv show “Dawson’s Creek”: John Wesley Shipp who portrays Mitch Leery, Dawson’s father, in the show. You could also may know him from many more projects as The Flash and Teen Wolf.

John Wesley Shipp Exclusive Interview

How did you approach the challenge of portraying such an iconic character from a 2000s TV series like Mitch Leery?

Shipp: Well, I wasn’t the original actor. They had cast a different actor because I was in Moab, Utah, doing a different project. So when they decided to go to series, they wanted to go a different way with the father. And so I auditioned with a bunch of other people and then they they cast me. When I saw what they had already filmed, I knew that it was going to be something very special. There weren’t shows that were written for young people that sounded like that. It sounded different. The kids had all these conflicting emotions, but they also had the vocabulary to be able to express them, you know? And I loved how it was shot in Wilmington, NC, and that the water, the Creek, was actually a character.

Were there any specific moments or scenes that you found particularly challenging or rewarding to perform?

Shipp: I thought the Hurricane episode was brilliant in the beginning, anything that shoots up to the level of pop cultural success that Dawson’s Creek did inevitably there’s a kickback and it becomes a joke, You know what I mean? It’ll become a punchline on late night TV. Then as time goes by, it assumes it’s proper place in the history of television shows for young people. But, you know, I remind people that first season we were the critically acclaimed. We were Editor’s Choice TV Guide in those days. And the hurricane episode where there’s a hurricane coming and Mitch finds out that Gail has been cheating on him and that whole episode was so brilliantly written by Kevin Williamson.

And it was so honestly, performed by Mary Margaret Humes, who just went right down into the depth of her pain. I mean, that was a character that had the potential for the audience not to like her very much, you know, but because Mary Margaret invested such truth and pain in her performance that she managed to keep. That’s very difficult. I mean, it was easy for Mitch because Mitch in many ways was the victim in that situation, but she did a remarkable thing, and I have to give her credit.

She made a woman who cheated on her husband a sympathetic. We understood almost plus the way it was written. I have to give Kevin all the credit in the world, the explanation that she gave when she’s sitting on the porch and I’m outside after the hurricane, how everything in her life was so perfect that she missed. She had everything she wanted and so she missed the wanting and so she ended up throwing a wrench.

john wesley shipp

How do you think the character you portrayed in Dawson’s Creek has left a lasting impact on popular culture?

Shipp: I’ve played good dads and in Teen Wolf I was a psychotic dad. I’ve played really awful dad. I always thought Mitch was OK. He wasn’t the smartest. I say he wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree, right? But he loved his family and he loved his son, and good parenting isn’t about making the right decision all of the time. Good parenting is about loving your child beginning and end. And I think that one reason people love the character of Mitch, and we’re so upset, you know, when he died was because whether I was punishing Dawson, whether we were disagreeing, whatever it was, Mitch was coming from a place where he absolutely adored his son. And he wanted the best and so that kind of dad still, it’s very moving to me that still as important to people.

I go to conventions, superhero conventions where I’m primarily representing The Flash. And so many people come up and talk to me about how much Dawson’s Creek meant and new people who were discovering the show for the first time.

I’ve been lucky in landing in different mediums, like I did daytime TV in the early 80s Guiding Light. And that was the beginning of the youth explosion in daytime. Kevin Bacon was my dressing roommate. Julianne Moore was my leading lady on As the world turns. So that was the beginning of a new way of doing daytime drama.

I landed in The Flash at the beginning of a new way of telling superhero stories for a mainstream audience. You know that we’re going to take these people seriously. We’re not going to make fun of them. There will be comedy, there will be action adventure but we’re also going to look at who are the man inside the mask and let’s try to get the audience to relate to him. Dawson’s Creek, which was a new way of telling stories for young people, so I’ve been fortunate to land in seminal moments in different mediums.

The interview with John Wesley Shipp has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video interview at the top of the article!

You can stream all of the episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” on Hulu or Amazon Prime Video.

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