The same day the Internet was not very open to a Lena Dunham profile, it embraced one about Amanda Bynes. It’s been a while since anyone heard from Bynes, the child-turned-tween-turned-teen-turned-young adult star of Nickelodeon shows like All That and The Amanda Show, plus movies like What a Girl Wants. Bynes’ life turned rough in her mid-20s, when she dropped out of acting, descended into an Adderrall hole, and started saying wild things on Twitter, sometimes about Drake. But now, according to the aforementioned Paper profile — called, helpfully, “Break the Internet, Please” — she’s four years sober, attending fashion school, and hoping to get back in the game.
First off, she talks about how the turning point in her life was when she made She’s the Man, a cross-dressing comedy from 2004 that of course is a teen riff on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
“When the movie came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn’t like how I looked when I was a boy,” she told the magazine. She said watching herself with sideburns and short hair was an “out-of-body experience” that “really put me into a funk.”
2007’s Hairspray — the adaptation of the musical adaptation of John Waters’ non-musical original — was supposed to put her back on track. (Also, she’s quite good in it.) But around that time is when she remembers “reading an article in a magazine that [called Adderall] ‘the new skinny pill’ and they were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, ‘Well, I have to get my hands on that.'”
She bottomed out for good while making the 2010 Farrelly brothers comedy Hall Pass; reports claimed she was fired, but she says she quit. She then got into a too-comfortable routine of doing nothing; she’d “wake and bake” and “literally be stoned all day long.” As far as celeb drug stories, it’s far from the worst, though it’s still sad, with her “just stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting.”
But she’s cleaned up, is busy, looks healthy, and is both very open, not defensive, and even funny about her previous life — all a good sign.
Bynes did have one other revelation: She claims she’s responsible for making Channing Tatum — or at least being the first to recognize his gifts. She’s the Man was one of his first big roles, at least after being sixth billed after Aaron Carter in 2005’s Motocross movie Supercross.
“I totally fought for Channing [to get cast in] that movie because he wasn’t famous yet,” Bynes claimed. “He’d just done a Mountain Dew commercial and I was like, ‘This guy’s a star — every girl will love him!’ But [the producers] were like, ‘He’s so much older than all of you!’ And I was like, ‘It doesn’t matter! Trust me!'”
Anyway, Twitter has welcomed her back with open arms.