Cole Sprouse disclosed some of the psychological effects he's noticed and felt growing up in the entertainment industry. Cole and his twin brother Dylan have been immersed in acting since they were only eight months old when they were cast as Ben Gellar, the infant son of Ross on Friends. Only Cole would return to play Ben in later seasons as a young child. The Sprouse brothers also starred opposite Adam Sandler in Big Daddy at age six and had their own Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and a spinoff show, On Deck, which ran for three seasons each.

When On Deck ended, the Sprouse brother reached industry burnout and took a break to focus on their schooling, both attending New York University. After earning his degree in archaeology, Cole agreed to take one last audition from his manager. That audition was for Jughead Jones on Riverdale, with Sprouse now busy filming season 7. Growing up in the media spotlight is a daunting road to travel with the constant unwanted attention it brings and the vulnerable positions it puts children in, often leading to outright damaging childhoods. For example, Star Wars Episode I's Jake Lloyd was bullied so much as a child he quit acting altogether.

Related: Friends: Why Only Cole Sprouse Played Ben Geller

Sprouse knows about these struggles too well, as the now 29-year old opened up in a recent interview with The New York Times. The Riverdale actor likened fame to a "trauma" and said, "My brother and I used to get quite a bit of, 'Oh, you made it out! Oh, you're unscathed!' No." He noted that the industry was particularly tough on young women and that his female peers on the Disney Channel were sexualized from such an early age that it's hard to compare any child actor's experiences to another, but more often than not, they had it worse. Based on his words, it seems the idea of "making it out unscathed" is a false one. Sprouse goes on to say:

"I started acting when I was so young that I hadn’t actually attempted, as an adult, to think about if I really enjoyed performance... To be quite honest, as I have now gone through a second big round of this fame game as an adult, I’ve noticed the same psychological effects that fame yields upon a group of young adults as I did when I was a child."

Cole dylan sprouse as kids

He elaborates that fame isn't necessarily any easier to navigate as an adult, but at least he has a greater set of tools to cope with it now that he's older. Fame never seems to stop finding ways to rear its ugly head. When Sprouse broke up with Lili Reinhart, his Riverdale costar, it led to intense fan backlash and even hate mail. That level of scrutiny over what may have been a painful breakup would cause anyone emotional distress or similar trauma.

Being a child star was never an easy task, even before social media was as all-pervasive as it now is. Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are everyday struggles with former stars, and so is addiction. Drew Barrymore and Macauly Culkin are among two more high-profile stars who struggled with drug addiction during their youth. Bill and Ted's Alex Winter reported being sexually abused as a child actor, as has Corey Feldman, Eliza Dushku, and sadly far too many others. Although Cole Sprouse didn't divulge too much of the psychological effects growing up on TV has had on him, there's a small comfort in knowing that it hasn't wholly diminished his love for the job.

Next: Riverdale Season 6: Rivervale Explained (Is It An Alternate Universe?)

Source: The New York Times

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