After years of avoiding the spotlight — with the exception of some controversial Twitter posts — former child star Amanda Bynes is embarking on a comeback, and opening up about the problems that once led her to flee the film and TV industry. Bynes, 32, abruptly retired indefinitely from acting eight years ago after dropping out — without explanation — from the filming of the comedy Hall Pass. Speaking to Paper magazine, Bynes revealed how a drug addiction transformed her into a person she no longer recognized, and how she’s begun working to reboot her life now that she’s four years sober.
The decision to leave the set of Hall Pass, Bynes said, was largely influenced by what had become a debilitating addiction to Adderall and marijuana.
“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 [more] high [that way],” the actress recalled. “I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines or memorize them for that matter.”
While filming, she continued, “I remembers seeing my image on the screen and literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat because it was in the foreground or whatever and I remember rushing off set and thinking, ‘Oh my God, I look so bad.’”
Her feelings of anxiety about being unable to remember her lines and disgust with her own appearance ultimately led Bynes to abandon the production — and acting altogether. From there, she said, her mental state continued to spiral out of control. Her life, she said, became “just [being] stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting.” Her rambling, incoherent, and sometimes vulgar posts became fuel for tabloids — looking back, the actress said, her twitter activity leaves her “ashamed and embarrassed.”
Now sober, Bynes is finishing up an Associates of Art degree in Merchandise Product Development at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles with an eye on a career in the fashion world — and a Hollywood comeback to boot. Her current goal, she says, is to re-enter the entertainment industry “kind of the same way I did as a kid, which is with excitement and hope for the best.”
“I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it,” said Bynes. “So I just feel like it’s only up from here.”
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Read the full interview at Paper magazine.