James Van Der Beek: Dawson goes all in as 'Mercy's' cocky doc

taylor-schilling-james-van-der-beek-mercy-320.jpgFor years former "Dawson's Creek" star James Van Der Beek has been carrying around the reputation for taking himself a little too seriously. But now the 32-year-old actor is learning to let go.

"A couple of years ago, I started saying 'yes' to things I was saying 'no' to, and I started having a lot of fun," Van Der Beek says. "I stopped caring 'should I or shouldn't I?'

"This thing on 'One Tree Hill' sounds like a lot of fun and games and I had a great time. I started to fall in love with being on a set again."

This goes a long way in explaining his more unexpected roles on "One Tree Hill," "Ugly Betty" and "How I Met Your Mother."

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 2, Van Der Beek brings this new "Why not?" attitude to NBC's "Mercy" when he joins the cast for a multi-episode arc as Dr. Joe Briggs, the new head of the ICU.

"I hope I am bringing a lot of fun to 'Mercy,'" says Van Der Beek. "I am having fun on the set.

"Briggs is brilliant, and he knows it. He's arrogant, cocky and a risk taker. He loves that rush. He's somebody at a poker game that goes all in; it gets his blood going."

-- Reporting by Jacqueline Cutler

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Photo credit: NBC