James Van Der Beek Chats About ‘CSI: Cyber,’ Being a ‘Smartass’ and Why He’s Crusading for the Flu Vaccine

James Van Der Beek is a man on a mission: in addition to shooting the newest CSI series CSI: Cyber, the father of three (is it possible for such endearingly baby-faced men to have babies of their own?) is on a crusade to promote the flu vaccine. While he’s tackling cyber crimes as a special agent in the FBI, Van Der Beek is also fighting against the flu with a video that’s as delightful as we’ve come to expect from the actor.

Celebuzz had a quick chat with Van Der Beek about the flu vaccine and his new show, which will also star Patricia Arquette, Luke Perry and Shad Moss (perhaps better known as Bow Wow). Along the way, we learned about the future of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, and how one of the greatest human memes in existence keeps such a good sense of humor about himself. 

Celebuzz: What made you want to get involved in the FluMist campaign this year?

James Van Der Beek: Last year, my kids got the flu. We didn’t get vaccinated…I was afraid, in the past, to get a flu vaccine because I was afraid you could get the flu from it. And then I found out that’s not true. I found FluMist Quadrivalent, which protects against four strains of the flu, and is a needle-free mist which gets sprayed into the nose. As a father of three kids, I thought, “Well that’s a much better option for us.” And we made this little video with the hope that people walk away a little bit more educated about what the flu is and what it isn’t, and how to prevent it.

CB: Right now you’re shooting the newest iteration of CSI, which is CSI: Cyber. You’re kind of switching gears from a string of comedies to a really action-packed drama. What do you think is the biggest challenge in doing this?

JVDB: I grew up doing drama, I kind of cut my teeth doing drama. I had a really fun foray into comedies for the last three years. But there was always this side to me to. It feels comfortable in a good way. It’s challenging physically, ‘cause they got me doing a lot of running around and chasing bad guys. They’ve kind of inserted this more action-driven character into this cyber show, to expand the world a little bit, which has been a lot of fun. It’s a great group of people.

CB: What’s the most exciting part of shooting it?

JVDB: Just getting to work on such a huge franchise, and being a part of something so big is a real treat, it’s very humbling.

CB: Do you ever bring your kids to the set?

JVDB: Well, we just started and they just started school. We’re only on episode two right now, but I will. I’ll have them come in.

CB: I wonder if there are any shows or films that you’ve been in that you think you might keep off-limits to your kids in the future.

JVDB: I’m sure there are. I’m sure I’ve played enough bad guys in the past – they don’t need to see Daddy doing certain things (laughs).

CB: Do you think it’s just gonna be a free-for-all for the kids in the future?

JVDB: By the time they’re old enough to know, if they’re still that interested in my old work, I think that’s a victory of some sort (laughs).

CB: That’s a good way to think about it. You have a great sense of humor about your public persona, especially with your role in Don’t Trust the B—- and your social media channels. Is this something that came with time as an actor, or did you always have a [good-natured humor about yourself]?

JVDB: I think I’ve always been a smartass, I think that’s the truth. And when I was going through it, the beginnings of fame, I think it would’ve been disrespectful to come out with that sense of humor (laughs). I was just getting used to it. But it’s always been how I kept sane, by not taking it too seriously. But now that enough time has passed, now I can kind of let everybody else joke.

CB: I noticed on your Instagram that you posted a picture with Krysten Ritter and asked the fans how they would feel about a Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 Christmas movie. I have to ask: was that just an idea that you tossed into the air?

JVDB: It’s an idea that we’re tossing. I don’t know how schedule-wise, we would make it happen. There’s not any script yet, but it’s something that we’re both totally open to. We had a lot of fun doing that show. Yeah, we’re both totally open to it.

CB: That would be great! I feel like there’s still so much conversation happening about that show, even to this day.

JVDB: That’s awesome, that’s really cool. I loved it, I had a great time doing it, and I loved Nahnatchka, who created it. We were just a really great fun, crazy, loony family that I’d love to regroup with at some point.

This Q&A has been edited and condensed

CSI: Cyber will air on CBS in spring 2015 on Sundays at 10pm ET.

To learn more about the FluMist Vaccine, check out the website here.