Amanda Bynes Breaks Silence on Her History of Drug Abuse, Wild Tweets - NBC Southern California

Amanda Bynes Breaks Silence on Her History of Drug Abuse, Wild Tweets

With her experimenting days long over, Bynes hopes others can learn from her mistakes



    5 Reasons to Consider a Career-Focused MBA Program
    GC Images
    Bynes says she became increasingly fixated on her appearance when she was cast in 2007's "Hairspray."

    Amanda Bynes is clearing the air. And this time she's doing it in more than 140 characters.

    The 32-year-old actress is the cover subject of Paper magazine's annual "Break the Internet" issue. No topic is off limits as Bynes reflects on her drug-fueled past, sometimes in embarrassing detail.

    A former child star on Nickelodeon, Bynes went mainstream when she transitioned into movies, starring in hits like "Big Fat Liar" and "What a Girl Wants." But it was her role in 2006's "She's the Man," in which she dressed in drag, that led to an "interesting experience" after the shoot ended.

    "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. I've never told anyone that," she says. Bynes explains 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."

    'Late Night': Snoop Dogg Gave Anthony Anderson’s Mom a Joint

    [NATL] 'Late Night': Snoop Dogg Gave Anthony Anderson’s Mom a Joint

    Anthony Anderson tells Seth Meyers about buying his mom tickets to a Patti LaBelle concert, getting stuck in an elevator a few minutes before he was supposed to host the NAACP Image Awards and directing Quavo in an episode of "black-ish."

    (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019)

    Bynes became increasingly fixated on her appearance when she was cast in 2007's "Hairspray." Around that time, she recalls reading a magazine article that referred to Adderall as the "new skinny pill," as possible side effects of the stimulant include decreased appetite and weight loss.

    "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, Bynes says she visited a psychiatrist and faked the symptoms of ADD in order to get a prescription.

    In hindsight, Bynes regrets taking the pills, especially considering how it began to affect her work in the spring of 2010.

    "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 memorize them, for that matter."

    While "literally tripping out," Bynes caught a glimpse of herself on the monitor and thought her arm "looked so fat." Unhappy with her appearance, Bynes rushed off set, never to return. She decided to quit the comedy--it was a "mixture of being so high that I couldn't remember my lines and not liking my appearance," she says — but maintains she wasn't fired.

    "I did leave," she says. "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."

    'Tonight': Buttigieg on His 2020 Campaign, 'GoT' Predictions

    [NATL] 'Tonight': Mayor Pete Buttigieg Discusses His 2020 Campaign and 'Game of Thrones' Predictions

    South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg explains how he tracked down Jerry Seinfeld to make him accept a key to the city, reacts to Trump's nickname for him, breaks down his 2020 campaign platform and shares his analysis about who will claim the Iron Throne in "Game of Thrones."

    (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019)

    A few months after she quit "Hall Pass" (and was replaced by Alexandra Daddario), Bynes went to an "Easy A" screening and says she had "a different reaction than everyone else to the movie."

    Amanda Bynes: Then &Now

    "I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it. I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me," says Bynes, who revealed she began smoking weed at age 16. "I don't know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things."

    So, Bynes announced her retirement on Twitter at age 24.

    "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 says. "Real classy!" Admitting she was "high" and made a "foolish" mistake, Bynes adds, "I was young and stupid."

    Bynes, who says she "never liked the taste of alcohol," eventually began experimenting with drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. "[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice," reveals Bynes, who openly admits she "definitely abused Adderall." After she retired from acting, Bynes felt she had "no purpose in life" and lost her way. "I had a lot of time on my hands and I would 'wake and bake' and literally be stoned all day long." Bynes began hanging out with a "seedier crowd" and isolated herself from loved ones. "I got really into my drug usage," she says, "and it became a really dark, sad world for me."

    'Tonight': 3 More Seasons of Milo Ventimiglia on 'This Is Us'

    [NATL] 'Tonight': 3 More Seasons of Milo Ventimiglia on 'This Is Us'

    Milo Ventimiglia discusses the inspiring philanthropic documentary he filmed in Africa for Red Nose Day, the challenge of playing clean-shaven "war Jack" in Season 3 of NBC's drama "This Is Us" and what the future holds for the Pearsons in seasons 4-6.

    (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019)

    (Bynes never directly addresses her multiple arrests or rehab stints in the Paper article.)

    For a while, she would get high and tweet outlandish things--which, in turn, would generate hundreds of headlines. "I'm really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. 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 says. "Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter."

    With her "experimenting" days "long over," she hopes others can learn from her mistakes.

    "My advice to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse would be to be really careful because drugs can really take a hold of your life. Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain. It really made me a completely different person."


    If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is available 24/7, 365 days a year for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for free, confidential service.

    Doris Day, Legendary Actress and Singer, Dies at 97

    [NATL] Doris Day, Legendary Actress and Singer, Dies at 97

    Actress Doris Day died early Monday morning at her home in Carmel Valley, California. She was 97.

    (Published Monday, May 13, 2019)