When Dawson's Creek kicks off its sixth — and likely final — season, viewers will see a new face gracing the opening credits. Freaks and Geeks alum Busy Philipps. And not to be vain, but the actress — who joined the WB sudser last season as Pacey's new flame Audrey — admits she's relishing the added visibility.

"I'm so excited because I totally got screwed on Freaks and Geeks," she tells TV Guide Online. "I never got my picture in the opening because they added me later on as a series regular. So, I've never actually had that. And regardless of what people say, that stuff totally matters.

"It was a contractual thing," she adds of her well-deserved Creek promotion. "I became a series regular, so they had to put my face up there."

And to think, Phillips was only supposed to be a momentary diversion in Pacey's life. "I really wasn't expecting that much," she confesses. "I was expecting, like, a gig — like I'd go in, do six episodes and leave. And then the first six episodes turned into 18, and I was just there the whole time. It's just crazy."

Although the 23-year-old Arizona native says she became "insta-buddies" with co-star Michelle Williams, some of her closest relationships were formed away from show's Wilmington, N.C., set. "I made a lot of local friends," she reveals, "which I think was something that only I was able to do, because I came onto the show and nobody in the town knew who I was. I have a couple of friends that work at the record store and another friend is a local artist. They're all really cool."