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SYFY WIRE Jimmy Fallon

Joshua Jackson spills 'Dawson's Creek' special effects secrets on 'The Tonight Show'

How do you hit Joshua Jackson in the face with a basketball? TV Magic.

By Matthew Jackson
(l-r) Joshua Jackson and Jimmy Fallon

One of the joys of the internet is that, once in a while, fans will stumble across an old clip or photograph or story from one of their favorite things, and it gains some kind of astonishing new life. Sometimes it's an emotional moment from a movie we'd all collectively let fall by the wayside, or a behind-the-scenes detail we'd never noticed. And sometimes it's Joshua Jackson getting hit in the face with a basketball.

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Jackson was on The Tonight Show this week to promote his new series Fatal Attraction (a re-imagining of the 1987 film of the same name), and before they could talk about anything else, host Jimmy Fallon had to ask the actor about his recent moment trending on Twitter. This time around, the thing that kickstarted the trend was a brief clip from the beloved teen drama Dawson's Creek, dug up by filmmaker Jay Cheel (Cursed Films) in which Dawson (James Van Der Beek) angrily throws a basketball at his best friend, Pacey (Jackson). The ball hits Pacey square in the face with what looks like very violent force, made all the more violent because the ball then bounces off the camera.

Watch Joshua Jackson tell Jimmy Fallon about Dawson Creek's basketball scene:

According to Jackson, he was first simply grateful that he was trending on Twitter for something fun, and not some kind of rumor or story that would make his life harder. Then he got a chance to look closer at the tweets surrounding the clip, and was simply fascinated by the depths to which the internet is willing to go.

"There's like a forensic analysis of this 25-year-old TV show," Jackson joked to Fallon, noting that fans were doing everything from claiming it was all CGI to theorizing that he'd timed his dodging of the ball wrong and took a hit by accident. So, what really happened?

"This was just a beach ball painted to look like a basketball that got bounced off my face," Jackson said, though he did note that the ball hitting the camera was an accident that then prompted more takes of the moment. 

For more stories from Jackson -- including the time he met Margot Robbie at a Halloween party while wearing a Mighty Ducks jersey -- check out the clip above. 

New episodes of The Tonight Show air weekdays at 11:35/10:35c on NBC and stream next day on Peacock. Want more Joshua Jackson? Stream his Peacock original series, Dr. Death, right now.