James Van Der Beek Defends Justin Bieber And Teen Idols, Says They Have It Harder Than He Ever Did

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JAMES VAN DER BEEK
James Van Der Beek talked to Vulture about fame and how difficult it is to be a teen idol now. | Katy Winn/Invision/AP

James Van Der Beek, forever Dawson Leery, spoke to Vulture as part of the site's series about celebrity culture in the year 1998. Though undoubtedly one of the biggest stars of that time, Van Der Beek candidly admitted today's teen idols have it far harder than he ever did ... though he once had to be escorted by a cop car to escape a teenage mob.

To the attention of one Justin Bieber:

Do you think that today's teen idols, like Justin Bieber, have it harder than you had it?

Absolutely, 100 percent. Those kids — No. 1, they’re so young. No. 2, they’re under such an intense microscope. And there’s a lot more money to be made off of them than there was when I was famous. I mean, I don’t know. I just don’t judge. It’s very easy. People love to judge. People love to be self-righteous. They get a lot of energy from that. Listen: Fame is not hard. Right? Being a soldier is hard, digging ditches is hard, coal mining is hard. But it’s tricky. It’s not something you can ever get any sympathy for, nor should you, and it’s not something you can really explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it. But it’s tricky because ... you’re the same. You feel generally like the same person, but the behavior of everyone around you starts to change.

The 36-year-old further adds, "You have to take a lot more responsibility for every aspect of your behavior, which is just difficult to do when you’re a kid."

For more with Van Der Beek, head over to Vulture.com.

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James Van Der Beek on Dawson's Creek and 1998