ET spoke with the former Dawson's Creek star just moments after the season 28 cast was revealed on Good Morning America on Wednesday, where he explained how he sort of manifested this new gig years ago.
Back in December 2012, Van Der Beek played a caricature version of himself on the comedy series Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. During season two, the actor competed in a faux version of Dancing With the Stars against Dean Cain (also starring as himself), who was paired with former real-life pro Karina Smirnoff.
"Way back when I was doing Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, I pitched this storyline where the fake me went on the fake Dancing With the Stars. So it's kind of come up since then," Van Der Beek, 42, explained to ET special correspondent Rachel Smith. "They offered again and I said, 'Oh man, wouldn't that be crazy?' And I was like, 'Crazy. I like crazy.'"
"I just love being on stage ... I love to dance, I love to move. It just seemed like the most fun thing I could possibly do," he continued. "I started out doing theater and I really miss that audience. So, I think I'm just going to let the crowd pull me through."
ET actually caught up with Van Der Beek in 2012, shortly before the faux DWTS competition took place. "The real me has never done Dancing With the Stars, but that doesn't mean the Apartment 23 me can't do it," he said at the time. "The Apartment 23 version of me is a kind of an attention whore. He gets offered Dancing With the Stars and immediately he takes it incredibly seriously."
"I'm pretty busy right now, but we'll see. It could be fun," he added, about the possibility of really doing the show someday. "I have been asked [before] but I've always been too busy working. I've talked to people who've done it [and] they said it's the craziest thing they've ever done, but it looks like it would be fun."
Van Der Beek told ET on Wednesday that while he's stoked to work with the entire lineup of celebs, he's especially excited to compete against Bachelorette star Hannah Brown. "I watched the last three episodes of The Bachelorette, she's so sweet!" he mused. "I was like, 'How are you doing?' I was just like, 'Can I give you a hug?' I just wanted to make sure she was OK."
Dancing With the Stars returns for its all-new season Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, hear from the all-new cast in the video below.