As she hopped on a plane and jetted off to a life-changing role as Andie McPhee on season two of Dawson’s Creek, Meredith Monroe was understandably “freaked out.”
But two decades on from the beloved series, the 48-year-old actress reveals how when she arrived on the North Carolina set, show star Katie Holmes took her panic to a whole new level!
“It was so nerve-wracking,” Monroe reflected to ET while attending actor Michael B. Jordan’s MBJAM fundraiser for Lupus LA at Dave & Busters' in Hollywood, California, on Saturday. “When I knew I got the job, I was still in L.A. and giddy with excitement. Then I remember getting on the plane to Wilmington, North Carolina, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is real. Oh my god.’ I started freaking out.”
“Then I got there and Josh [Jackson] and James [Van Der Beek] were amazing, Michelle [Williams] was amazing, but Katie totally gave it to me,” Monroe continued. “She said, ‘Oh yeah, you know we had somebody come in last year and they were going to be a new series regular, but we got rid of them after one or two episodes.’ I was like, ‘What?’ She said, ‘I’m just kidding! What do you want to drink?’ and I was like, ‘Oh my god, my heart just stopped. Gimme a second!’”
Despite Holmes’ cheeky jibes, Monroe remained on the series, becoming a fan favorite as she portrayed the sweet girlfriend of Jackson’s character, Pacey.
While the curtains closed on Capeside in 2003, the cast -- which also included Kerr Smith, Busy Philipps and Mary Beth Peil -- formed tight bonds during their years filming together, so they were thrilled to reunite to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary with a cover story for Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.
“It was so great,” Monroe said of the epic get-together, which also included creator Kevin Williamson. “It was like we didn’t even skip a beat and a day hadn’t even gone by. It was a blessing. Throughout the years we would go in and out of touch [depending on] whatever was going on with people’s lives, but we definitely did reconnect with the reunion, so it’s been great.”
In fact, the cast has stayed connected after the photo shoot via text. “James, Josh, Katie ... we’re all in a group text,” Monroe dished, when asked which cast member she last messaged or spoke to. “We reconnected and now we have a group text going again, so that’s been nice.”
While Dawson’s Creek became a teenage phenomenon when it aired from 1998 to 2003, Monroe has recently been involved in another cult series hooking young viewers: 13 Reasons Why on Netflix .
Having appeared on Criminal Minds, Private Practice and Hart of Dixie since Dawson’s Creek wrapped, she most recently joined the second season of the Netflix show as Alex’s nurse mother, Carolyn Standall.
“I was so blessed with Dawson’s Creek and so blessed with Criminal Minds, then this came along and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, really? This is amazing’ because they’re all very important shows for different reasons,” she said. “They breed so much connection and communication and bringing up subjects that are hard to deal with, so it’s special to have been a part of all three of those shows. I think they’re all very pivotal.”
She’s currently waiting to hear if she’ll be back for season three, which is slated to premiere in 2019. In the meantime, the busy mom enjoyed an afternoon date with her husband, talent manager Steven Kavovit, to support Jordan’s second annual fundraiser, which raised more than $250,000 for Lupus LA, an organization that serves lupus patients and families throughout Southern California.
The cause has been close to Monroe’s heart for years, due to her longtime friend and Lupus LA chairman Adam Selkowitz suffering from the disease, which causes the immune system to attack its own tissue, resulting in pain, inflammation, fatigue, hair loss and rashes.
“He asks and I’m there whenever I can be,” Monroe said, revealing that a family connection has made her involvement even more personal. “It’s become very important to me and my mom was actually telling me that one of my great aunts was one of the first lupus patients. So, it’s a strange little alignment of stars that I didn’t even realize before.”
See more on Dawson's Creek, including what Williamson recently told ET about the chances of a reboot, below.
EXCLUSIVE: 'Dawson's Creek' Creator Kevin Williamson Teases Potential Revival
EXCLUSIVE: Busy Phillips Reveals How 'Really Fun' 'Dawson's Creek' Reunion Came Together
NEWS: Katie Holmes Pens Sweet Note in Support of 'Dawson's Creek' Co-Stars Who Were Left Out of the Reunion