James Van Der Beek is best known for starring as Dawson Leery in the high school drama series Dawson's Creek (praying this doesn't get a reboot like everything else) opposite numerous future stars like Michelle Williams and Katie Holmes. He's appeared in everything from Varsity Blues and the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B (where he played himself) to Criminal Minds and What Would Diplo Do? The man was even a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. After appearing in countless TV shows and films like Bret Easton Ellis' The Rules of Attraction, Formosa Betrayed, Texas Rangers, Scary Movie, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the stress of life in Hollywood was starting to weigh on Van Der Beek's family.
So James and Kimberly Van Der Beek decided it was time for a change. Like many people in the midst of the 2020 pandemic, they decided that life was too short to live somewhere that wasn't best for their family. They packed up their five children -- Annabel, Emilia, Gwendolyn, Olivia, Joshua, and four dogs -- Windsor, Able, Rocky, and Skye, and drove out to the Texas Hill Country. Is it me or is Texas trending lately? It seems like so many Hollywood stars are opting to live a relaxed life in the Lone Star State over L.A. or New York City.
The family of seven embarked on a 10-day road trip from their home in Los Angeles out to Spicewood, about 45 minutes north of Austin. Upon their arrival, James posted on Instagram explaining some of the events that led to their decision to move out to Texas...alluding to his early exit from DWTS among other traumas the family endured including a false diagnosis for his wife Kimberly.
"In the last ten months, we've had two late-term pregnancy losses, each of which put @vanderkimberly in the hospital," the actor wrote, "we spent Christmas break thinking she had a tumor (the doctor was wrong, thank god), a business colleague I hired hijacked the project and stabbed me in the back, I was prematurely booted off a reality dancing show I was favored to win in front of the whole world, and my mom died. And a shut-down. All of that led to some drastic changes in our lives, and dreams, and priorities... and landed us here. Overflowing with profound gratitude today."
The family definitely took advantage of finding as much space as possible. Apparently spending less leasing their new home as they did on their house in Beverly Hills, the new property has five bedrooms, a swimming pool, a trail to a nearby river, and more. It makes sense that it was previously advertised as a wedding and event venue. Not to mention, Willie Nelson's Lucky Ranch is just 6 miles down the road.
"The space available in Texas... where we're at it's expansive and there's a lot of space and I feel that for a big family... it was just really, really necessary for us," Kimberly explained in an Instagram Live according to People.
The family has been leasing their 36-acre property since they moved and plans on trying it out for a year. The massive compound includes multiple guest homes for family and friends which the Van Der Beeks plan on taking advantage of. One of the cabins was taken over by Kimberly's pregnant sister and apparently other friends plan on coming out as well.
"It's a very compound-like, village life that we're building here...We are trying it on for size. It's hard to tell what's going to happen next. I'm loving every moment and really getting myself comfortable here," Kimberly explained.
If you follow him on social media, you know that James Van Der Beek shares a lot of his personal life with his fans. His family found a silver lining playing in the snow during the storm that put many Texans out of power in February, and has been taking advantage of his beautiful new property flying kites with his kids and playing in the river. Now the big question is, has Texas charmed the Van Der Beek's enough to get them to stay permanently? We'll have to wait until their year mark this fall to find out!