James Van Der Beek's 'Dawson's Creek' haircut was inspired by Brad Pitt.

The 35-year-old actor won the part of aspiring film director Dawson Leery on the provision he chopped off his unkempt locks.

Making a late-night visit to a nearby salon, he happened to notice a picture of the 'Moneyball' star and decided to copy his blonde, floppy hairstyle.

He explained: I was rocking the pubescent Jesus look at the time. I even had hemp necklaces on--I was going through that period in my life.

''So that night, we raced around town trying to get a haircut for me. We went in, the question being: ''What kind of haircut do you want?'' We started looking through Entertainment Weekly, which was on the counter. We found an ad for 'The Devil's Own', the movie with Brad Pitt. They said, ''What about Brad Pitt's haircut?'' That's how I got my Season 1 haircut.''

James - who is set to play a spoof version of Dawson in new US sitcom 'Don't Trust the B-- in Apt 23' - admits he never watched the end of the long-running series because it got too ''stressful''.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, he said: ''I felt a real responsibility to people who loved the show, to make it the best it could possibly be and to give it my all. It just became too stressful to see how it turned out.

''I realised the healthiest way for me to do it would be to commit fully on the day when I was doing it and then let go of it. I never really watched the last bit of it.''