Katherine Heigl Almost Cast As Jen Lindley On ‘Dawson’s Creek'

Dawson's Creek may have been a very different show if certain casting decisions came through. Katherine Heigl was in the run to play Jen Lindley.

A Very Different Creek

It's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else playing the 90s bad girl role in Dawson's Creek better than Michelle Williams, but Heigl was allegedly almost cast.

Steve Miner, who directed the pilot for the hit show, brought in the Knocked Up actress. He also directed Heigl in 1994 movie My Father the Hero.

"She looked slightly older at that time. Even though she was younger, I just think she was more mature. She gave a great audition, I remember we were all sort of like, 'Wow, she's good,'" said Kevin Williamson, the series creator.

In reality, Heigl is actually two years older than Williams, who was the youngest actor on Dawson's Creek. She's much closer in age to the other three core cast members. Williams ultimately got the part after performing a largely silent scene with her onscreen grandmother.

Williamson, who wrote TV horror show The Following and worked on the Scream series with the late Wes Craven, recognized her from sci-fi horror Species.

"She was the baby Species monster. But she walked in and she came across as an angel," he said.

Casting Maybes

The cast and crew reunited for a lengthy chat, which took in the entire series run, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere episode.

Among the other tidbits revealed over the entire course of their conversation, Williamson also discussed how Joshua Jackson, who played dreamy Pacey, was actually his first choice for Dawson.

When he met James Van Der Beek, however, he knew he was perfect for the role.

"He didn't look like a nerd but he was a nerd inside," he explained.

Elsewhere, Cruel Intentions actress Selma Blair was Williamson's first choice to play Joey. However, an audition tape he received from the then teenager Katie Holmes sealed the deal.

A 90s Classic

Dawson's Creek ran for six seasons on the WB from 1998 to 2003. It made stars out of the four core cast and established a new, hyper-intelligent style of teen dialogue for TV shows.

It also spawned the infamous "Dawson crying" meme and is referenced in movies such as Scary Movie and Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Although Heigl didn't land the coveted role of Jen, she went on to break out just a year later in another hit WB show Roswell.

She later starred in Grey's Anatomy. Her latest role sees her taking on the boys in another hit show Suits.

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