The romantic sports dramedy Backwards, now available on DVD, tells the story of Abi Brooks (Sarah Megan Thomas), who has spent her life trying to win an Olympic rowing medal, only to be named an alternate at the age of 30. Deciding instead to quit the team and move back home, Abi gets a coaching position at her alma mater, where her old boyfriend (James Van Der Beek) is the head of athletics, and struggles to adjust to life off the race course.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor James Van Der Beek talked about what made him want to help tell this story, being a big sports fan himself (even though he knew nothing about rowing, prior to doing Backwards), the challenge of playing a nice guy, how impressed he was with Sarah Megan Thomas (who also wrote and produced the film), and why he typically loves to shoot as many takes as possible. He also talked about the experience of working with Jason Reitman on his next film Labor Day, the success he’s found in playing a highly exaggerated version of himself on the ABC comedy series Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, being more fearless since having kids, and why he felt the hiatus he took from acting after the end of Dawson’s Creek was necessary. Check out what he had to say after the jump.