James Van Der Beek got "burnt out" by acting.

The former 'Dawson's Creek' actor admits he tired of his profession and could no longer muster up any enthusiasm for new roles, but has rediscovered his passion thanks to a role in TV medical drama 'Mercy'.

He said: "I think I got really burnt out and just did not enjoy acting for a little while. I think time was the turning point...just time to kind of recharge and grow up a little bit. Now I'm having great fun."

James stars in 'Mercy' as Dr. Joe Briggs and says he is intrigued by the many aspects of his character's personality.

He explained to E! Online: "He might be a womaniser, he has dark secrets possibly, he might have a gambling addiction. He's somebody who is kind of self-righteous, and he's not at all precious with anybody else's feelings. He's got a goal; he goes for it, and he doesn't really care who he upsets. He's really playful in a way that almost borders nasty.

"He's somebody who just considers himself the smartest guy in the room and is right 90 percent of the time. So what happens in that extra 10 percent, when he's not right? What happens then?"