To many, James Van Der Beek is known as much for his ubiquitous crying meme as he is for his acting… and that's okay with him!
"I don't really hate it," he told Page Six when asked about the ugly cry meme that has become an Internet staple. "As an actor you travel and you do some roles and you put yourself into it and you try to be as sincere as possible and you never know what's going to stick."
The legendary meme comes from a scene in "Dawson's Creek," on which the actor starred from 1998 to 2003. It has been used in a myriad of ways over the years — all of which James loves.
"I think when anything sticks it's a compliment and I think it's used so hilariously," he said. "It's used to mock people, it's used for weird '90s quirks. I get a kick out of it actually when I see it."
Over the years, James has been a good sport about his Internet infamy. In 2018, the cast of "Dawson's Creek" reunited for Entertainment Weekly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show's launch. Naturally, the viral meme was discussed.
"I love it. It's my favorite thing about the whole show. It's hilarious to me that you can work for six years on a show … and it gets boiled down to three seconds. It's a perfect way-of-the-Internet," he said. "I feel like everybody on this show cried more than I did and I was the one who got caught in the loop!"
Ironically, the infamous scene — which occurred during a 2000 episode — wasn't even scripted.
"I remember being completely surprised by it because it was completely sincere," he told the Huffington Post. "The fact that it's being used to mock me now, I think it's so funny."