Does it bother you that some people will always see you as Pacey?
No. If I decided to retire from being an actor and move back to Vancouver because I just didn’t want to deal with all the public portion of it anymore, maybe then it would be annoying. But the truth is that I chose this profession and it has been extremely kind to me. And even though individual moments can be inappropriate, let’s say, if you have one or two characters in your life that leave a mark, that’s actually incredible. I’m not trying to live in that space in my life anymore, but it really doesn’t bother me at all because, when it’s all said and done, silly as it may be, I’ll have one or two things in my life that I can point back to and say, “You know what? For whatever it was worth that thing left a mark,” and that’s kind of what we’re doing here as actors.
And you remember it fondly, right? It’s not like it was a terrible experience.
I remember it really fondly. And I frankly remember it more fondly the older I get. Maybe that’s just the benefit of nostalgia, but I look back on that time and I realize that it completely changed my life. I was a struggling barely-actor living on my own as a late teenager with no job and really no future prospects and then, suddenly, I’m getting paid every week to go and be a performer, which I really wanted to do. I’m living in North Carolina in a protected environment where all of the negatives that can go along with that sudden success were kind of mitigated by being in this little environment with a pretty small family group of people. It got me through all of my late-teen, early-twenty awkwardness moments and set me up for a decent life. It would be hard to be bitter about that. [Laughs].
You’re jobless and the next thing you know you’re smooching Katie Holmes every week.
[Laughs] Yeah, that part didn’t suck. You took a bunch of kids who were a year or two apart from each other in age and stuck them in this place so I now have these people in my life who I would still consider friends even though I don’t see them all the time. It’s what college is for everybody else. You share this extremely unique experience that only you understand and all of use were just starting out. There was this beautiful moment for the four of us where everything was possible. It was a good time.