It’s hard out there for a pop star, says James Van Der Beek. And he should know. As Dawson Leery of hit 1990s show Dawson’s Creek, James experienced first-hand that specific kind of nonstop adoration — and it wasn’t anything like what Justin Bieber has to deal with, James says!

The Biebs came up during a recent interview with Vulture. “Do you think that today’s teen idols, like Justin Bieber, have it harder than you had it?” the interviewer asked.

“Absolutely, 100 percent,” James responded. “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.”

James, now 36, says he doesn’t judge what the world’s hottest young talent gets up to. He understands that while fame “is not hard” it is “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,” he explains. “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.”

Wise words from a man who knows a thing or two about pop culture infamy. What’s Justin think about all this? We’d ask, but he’s probably still recovering from that Gatsby-themed naked party.

Source: Vulture, Hollywood Reporter

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!