Amanda Bynes is on the cover of Paper magazine's annual Break the Internet issue, marking her first official magazine feature in over four years. In her candid chat, 32-year-old Amanda shows an honest, empathetic, and optimistic side while opening up about her early days in the acting business, her struggles with depression and substance abuse, and the advice she'd give to those facing similar battles.
The She's the Man and What a Girl Wants star famously announced her decision to quit acting in a 2010 tweet, and in 2013 went on some troubling Twitter rants while struggling with drugs. After facing legal trouble — including arrests and DUI charges — she got clean with the help of her parents, Lynn and Rick.
These days, a four-years-sober Amanda is working toward her associate of art degree in merchandise product development at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, where she enrolled in 2014. The assistant dean of admissions told Paper that Amanda is "smart," loved by her instructors, and "an amazing student." It's refreshing to see how well the star is doing, and how she picked herself back up after years of hardship. Read a few standout quotes from the piece ahead, and head to Paper for the full story and photo spread.
- On what happened after she decided to quit acting: "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. [I started] hanging out with a seedier crowd and I isolated a lot . . . I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me."
- On her sporadic tweets: "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. 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."
- On her advice to anyone who might relate to her experience: "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."
- On getting back into acting and looking forward to the future: "I have no fear of the future. 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."
Main image of Amanda Bynes is pictured at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards