Amanda Bynes was one of the truly dazzling stars of the noughties teen comedy world; delivering fun, quirky performances with warmth and humour.
Who could forget Amanda stuffing a tampon up her nose as tomboyish Viola in She’s The Man? Or rebelling against her stuffy, bigoted mother as romantic Penny in Hairspray?
Her characters were at once relatable and glamorously daring; with Amanda convincing a generation of teenage girls they too could be related to British aristocracy or become marooned on a deserted island with a hunky rockstar.
Amanda and her twinkly grin seemed destined for a life decorated with awards and red carpet dresses. Fans were therefore left shocked by her retirement from acting in 2010, at the age of just 24, due to mental health and substance abuse issues.
HOLY SHIT AMANDA BYNES IS BACK AND SHE LOOKS FUCKING GOOD pic.twitter.com/HbREY7O4BN
— kev (@camilasscontrol) November 26, 2018
what did Amanda Bynes do? THAT pic.twitter.com/MJwtzo0Zuf
— Hispanic Pixie Dream Girl (@mathewrodriguez) November 26, 2018
I am getting emotional over Amanda Bynes, how is your Monday going? pic.twitter.com/zTR4V3YzvB
— Taylor Banks (@MsTaylorBanks) November 26, 2018
Following her early retirement, Amanda became even more troubled; suffering a mental breakdown in 2014. Her erratic tweets around this time caused alarm among fans.
Now 32 years old, Amanda is making a comeback; featuring on the cover of Paper magazine for their annual Break the Internet issue.
Speaking with Paper after years away from the spotlight, Amanda spoke candidly about her struggles:
I just had no purpose in life. I’d been working my whole life and [now] I was doing nothing. I had a lot of time on my hands and I would ‘wake and bake’ and literally be stoned all day long.
Those who have read the Paper article have been amazed and delighted by how happy and healthy Amanda appears in the photoshoot; her golden glow now thoroughly restored.
OUR QUEEN IS BACK! Missed you Amanda Bynes! pic.twitter.com/KdZtBiHSDr
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) November 27, 2018
Pictures of Amanda Bynes shouldn’t have such an emotional impact on me but here I am pic.twitter.com/emQjBLhw9q
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) November 27, 2018
Amanda Bynes is making her comeback and I’m here for it pic.twitter.com/f7KdpL5aow
— ً (@hobeikaaa) November 27, 2018
Amanda revealed she had been sober for nearly four years, with her parents ‘really helping me get back on track’.
Amanda also admitted:
I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would, And I’m so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad.
Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter. But it’s definitely not Twitter’s fault — it’s my own fault.
Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did,’ she said, noting that she is done experimenting with drugs and doesn’t miss them at all.
When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realized what I had done — it was like an alien had literally invaded my body, That is such a strange feeling.
The future is now looking bright for Amanda, who has been studying at LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the last four years.
Going forward, she hopes to work as designer after making her long-awaited acting comeback.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.