By Tim Stack
March 30, 2018 at 03:15 PM EDT
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To read more on the Dawson’s Creek reunion, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands today. You can buy the full set of five covers here. Or purchase the individual covers featuring James Van Der BeekKatie HolmesJoshua JacksonMichelle Williams & Busy Philipps, or the original foursome online or at Barnes & Noble. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Watch the full episode of Entertainment Weekly Cast Reunions: Dawson’s Creek, streaming now on PeopleTV.com or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

One of the most surprising things to come out of Dawson’s Creek is the friendship between costars Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps. It’s a shock because their characters, Jen and Audrey, didn’t really interact on the show, but the pair have become an inseparable force in real life, on red carpets, and on Philipps’ social media.

Their friendship was instigated after a mutual friend told Philipps she would love Williams when the Freaks and Geeks actress joined Creek in its fifth season. Says Philipps, “It was like, you know, how people say love at first sight? We had that thing. We had that friend connection. It was just an immediate: ‘Of course we’re drinking wine and smoking cigarettes and getting in bar fights.’ [Laughs] We just had an immediate love for each other that’s continued over the years.”

Marc Hom for EW

“When I met her, she was the coolest girl I had ever seen,” says Williams. “She had a nose ring. She wore her hair in braids. She wore overalls. And she had this attitude like, ‘I know who I am and don’t cross my line.’ I just thought, ‘I want to be this person when I grow up.’ She was my first real friend I ever had.”

Williams adds, “We were both really young, and we were both really messy, but it translated in different ways. Like mine made me kind of weak and hers made her kind of iron. But my memory of being with her then doesn’t have anything to do with the show or working, but it was on our time off. It was talking on the porch all night long and it was back when bread was still okay to eat [laughs]. It was copious amounts of bread. That’s what I remember: an endless conversation over multiple bread baskets.”

And the occasional bar fight in Wilmington, North Carolina. “I also defended your honor in a bar,” says Philipps to Williams. “A girl tried to start a fight with you, and I defended you.” Adds Williams, “But back then Busy had this really badass nose ring.  She would pull it down and people would know she meant business.”

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