Dawson's Creek beauty Katie Holmes may not be in any hurry for the past-its-prime WB drama to come to an end, but her co-star, Joshua Jackson, certainly is. "I'll miss the guys, but I'm ready now for the next portion of my life," he tells TV Guide Online. "I'm 23 years old. I'm ready to have those nine months of my life back and be able to travel and do whatever it is I want to do."

Although the WB has yet to decide whether the teen soap will return in the fall for a sixth season, its Wednesday night companion — Felicity — has already been expelled. Jackson has a sinking feeling that Creek could be next on the Frog's hit list. "We all feel like this has been the mourning year and that the show is coming towards its end," he says. "So, if it ends this year, nobody will be shocked."

So, is it fair to say that the Ocean's Eleven star is praying for a pink slip? "There were certainly times when I went, 'Ugh. Maybe it's time for this thing to end,'" he confesses. "Last year was a tough year, and the year before that was a really hard year on the show because [Creek creator] Kevin Williamson left and nobody knew what was going on.

"But if it comes back next year, I know I can make it through another season," he adds. "I have enough experience and enough wisdom now. If I'm 24 when it ends, it's not going to kill me."

As it is, Jackson's iron-clad Creek contract has not prevented him from pursuing outside (and dare we say, more creatively fulfilling) work like HBO's acclaimed docudrama The Laramie Project (debuting Saturday at 8 pm/ET). Based on Moisés Kaufman's Off-Broadway play, Laramie focuses on the aftermath of the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard.

Jackson — who plays the bartender who served Shepard the night he was attacked — joins an all-star ensemble that includes Laura Linney, Steve Buscemi, Amy Madigan and Peter Fonda. The Vancouver native admits that he lobbied for a role — any role — in the movie. "I had to make my presence known," he winks. "I don't think Moisés knew anything about Dawson's Creek."