James Van Der Beek's 'DWTS' Career 'Wake-Up Call'

James Van Der Beek was looking for something to take his career in a new direction when “Dawson’s Creek” ended – but it wasn’t going to include spray tans and tangos.

The actor stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Monday, where he talked about his new show, “Friends with Better Lives,” and the reality show he passed on.

“That’s a wake-up call!” he said looking back to the time when “Dancing with the Stars” contacted him about appearing on the ABC series.

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The actor explained that his agents were reluctant to even tell him about the offer.

“[My people told me], ’We got an offer and we legally have to tell you that it came in [for] ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ We don’t think you should take it,’” he recalled.

The glittery-shirtless olive branch of an offer made James stop and think and he decided it was, “time to do some reinvention.”

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“I’ve been lucky enough to hang around for a number of years. One of the things I’ve got to do is reinvent and I’ve been having a great time,” he said of his career.

After turning down a slew of projects after “Dawson’s Creek,” he revealed he wasn’t being courted in the same way as before

“I was passing on a lot of things and wanted to play a certain type of role and when you pass enough, people stop offering after a while,” he told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “And I got to a point where I realized, ‘You know what? I’m going to start saying yes to things. If I haven’t done it before and it seems like it going to be fun, why not?’”

Adding, “I’ve somehow managed to stay out of jail, rehab and bankruptcy court and now I get to laugh all day.”

“Friends with Better Lives” airs Mondays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.

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