Dawson's Creek Guy Now in Serious Political Movie, and Coming to St. Louis

(Corrections Appended)

The heartthrob beat isn't one I normally jump into, but when it comes to stories about former teen heartthrobs, well they have just have more allure.

jamesvanderbeek.jpg
Oh hey, I'm James Van Der Beek.
That brings us to the case of James Van Der Beek, who, as you may know, is the smirking guy to the right there. He was Dawson on the beloved, wonderfully awful, unrealistically-literate Dawson's Creek. Now he's moved on to movies, sort of, and will be in St. Louis on Saturday for two reasons:

1. To throw out the first pitch at the Cardinals game (a 12:10 start against Milwaukee, FYI)

2. To attend a private screening of his movie Formosa Betrayed, along with several influential Taiwanese-American investors from the Midwest.

Wait, what's that last part, you ask? Well, Van Der Beek plays Jake Kelly, an FBI agent, in the movie. He's looking into the murder "of a Taiwanese-American professor at a Midwestern college in the early 1980s," says the movie's Web site.

But there's more: It's based on actual events on college campuses here, involving both Taiwanese and Chinese student-spies. The clash between Taiwanese citizens and the Chinese nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo began in 1947 and comes to a head in this film.

"Taiwanese-Americans have been waiting for this story to be told for generations," says Evita Huang, a spokeswoman for Formosa Films.

Apparently a large number of Taiwanese-Americans in St. Louis, Kansas City and other spots in the Midwest invested in the film and it's being shown as a courtesy to them on Saturday. Huang couldn't  characterize how much of a role Taiwanese-Americans living in St. Louis had in getting the movie made. She did say a "pretty good chunk" of investors are from the Midwest.

The film company is still shopping for distribution. Formosa Betrayed premiered on February 28 at the WGA West in Beverly Hills, an important date for Taiwanese-Americans and for anyone who cares about basic human rights. It was the anniversary of the "228 Incident," in which between 10,000 and 30,000 Taiwanese were killed in an anti-government revolt.

jvdbgrownup.jpg
Formosathemovie.com
I'm now a serious actor.
It appears that JVDB has clearly taken steps to remove himself from the days of Dawson's and Varsity Blues (which, if you forgot, included this memorable-then but very-awkward-now scene.)

"He auditioned and when he came in they were really impressed with how he took direction, how he took to the character," Huang says.

So much for that stereotype about former heartthrobs being egomaniacs.

We'll keep you posted when and if this film shows in St. Louis.

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