Amanda Bynes Breaks Silence On Drug-Fuelled Breakdown
Amanda Bynes is finally speaking out in PAPER's annual "Break the Internet" issue.
With no topic off-limits in the candid interview with PAPER, Amanda tackled the good, the bad and the very ugly -- with the 32-year-old reflecting on her drug-fuelled past which lead to her very public breakdown four years ago.
After finding fame as a 12-year-old on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, the star soon starred in mainstream movies like Big Fat Liar and What a Girl Wants.
However, she revealed that it was her role in 2006's She's the Man, in which she dressed in boy's clothes for the character, that led to an "interesting experience".
"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 said adding, "I've never told anyone that."
She continued by saying that seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was "a super strange and out-of-body experience," candidly adding, "It just really put me into a funk."
Her body image only got worse after 2007's Hairspray, where Bynes said it was around that time she saw an ad for Adderall being advertised as the "new skinny pill".
"They were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, 'Well, I have to get my hands on that.'" So she soon went to a psychiatrist and faked symptoms of ADD to get a prescription -- something Bynes said she regrets now.
"When I was doing Hall Pass, I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [higher that way]. I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines," she confesses. "Or memorise them, for that matter."
She soon began to spiral, adding that while "literally tripping out," she saw a glimpse of the reflection of her arm "look[ing] so fat."
It was right then that she quit the movie (and was later replaced by Alexandra Daddario), saying it was a "mixture of being so high that I couldn't remember my lines and not liking my appearance," she said.
"It was definitely completely unprofessional of me to walk off and leave them stranded when they'd spent so much money on a set and crew and camera equipment and everything."
A few months later, she watched her appearance in Easy A and, after deciding she hated her appearance and performance, decided to quit acting announcing the news over Twitter.
"If I was going to retire [the right way], I should've done it in a press statement-- but I did it on Twitter," she said. "Real classy!"
She soon started “hanging out with a seedier crowd and I isolated a lot” during her dark moments. “I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me.”
“Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy,” Bynes said, “[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice.”
This was around the time the star began making headlines for her wild Tweets, something she said she's "ashamed and embarrassed" about now.
"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," she said.
"Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter..."
These days, though, the former child star is doing much better after being four years sober. She's studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and will be completing a Bachelor’s degree next year.
And as for her spiral into substance abuse, Bynes assures everyone that she's no longer interested in drugs.
“Those days of experimenting [with substances] are long over. I’m not sad about it and I don’t miss it because I really feel ashamed of how those substances made me act,” she says. “When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realised what I had done -- it was like an alien had literally invaded my body. That is such a strange feeling…Truly, for me, [my behaviour] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.”
But she issues a word of caution to anyone who finds them self in the predicament she did, saying, "Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did."
You can check out the full interview in PAPER's new issue.
Image: PAPER Mag/ Danielle Levitt