Amanda Bynes is setting the record straight and putting her best foot forward on the cover of Paper. The 32-year-old former-child star is opening up about her time away from the spotlight, and her new lease on life after getting sober four years ago.
In a cover story, which features the star stunning in a variety of chic outfits, with understated hair and makeup, Bynes reveals an extensive history with drugs that began when she was a teenager.
“I started smoking marijuana when I was 16. Even though everyone thought I was the ‘good girl,’ I did smoke marijuana from that point on,” Bynes told the magazine. “I didn’t get addicted [then] and I wasn’t abusing it. And I wasn’t going out and partying or making a fool of myself… yet.”
Eventually things progressed from smoking weed to taking ecstasy and molly. Although Bynes says cocaine was “never her drug of choice” she openly admits to abusing Adderall in a bid to lose weight.
While filming “Hairspray,” Bynes said she had been “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.'”
It wasn’t until she was filming “Hall Pass,” a film she later dropped out of, that Bynes said she began noticing the effects the Adderall was having on her mind and her perception of her appearance saying she “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.'”
Not liking her appearance is a reoccurring theme in her interview, with the actor admitting as far back as 2006 when she was filming “She’s the Man” she went into a depression for nearly six months because she was unhappy with how she looked on film.
Professionally, Bynes reached her breaking point during the filming of her last movie, “Easy A,” alongside Emma Stone, when she decided she needed to step away from acting altogether.
“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,” she said. “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. 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.”
After announcing her retirement, Bynes admits to being “stoned all day” and hung around with a “seedier crowd.” Soon, she was appearing in court for DUI charges and was hospitalized for a psychiatric hold, all while making headlines for her bizarre behaviour on Twitter– something the article notes is still a soft spot for the actor.
“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 told the magazine. “Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter…It’s definitely not Twitter’s fault — it’s my own fault.”
Bynes is enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, and isn’t ruling out a return to the big screen. For now, the star is hoping to clear the air on her troubled past, and silence the “armchair experts” who she says unfairly labelled her as having mental health issues.
“It definitely isn’t fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are,” Bynes said. “That was always really bothersome to me. If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don’t believe you. Truly, for me, [my behaviour] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.”
Having put the past behind her, Bynes is ready to move forward, and is looking to get back into acting “with excitement and hope for the best.”
“I think that’s kind of how I go about [life] now — like, what’s there to lose? I have no fear of the future,” she said. “I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it so I just feel like it’s only up from here.”