Amanda Bynes is opening up about how drug use derailed her acting career when she was "young and stupid" and how she's ready to return to the screen.
The 32-year-old actress has been working toward an associate’s degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California since 2014 and says those turbulent days of reckless drug use and uncensored tweeting as being far behind her. Still, the actress, now nearly four years sober and planning her return to acting, candidly discussed her darker days with Paper magazine for their third annual “Break the Internet” issue — darker days that began when she started smoking weed as a teenager.
“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,” she said, according to the magazine. “Later on it progressed to doing molly 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.”
However, she “definitely abused Adderall,” she said. She was able to get a prescription for the drug by convincing a psychiatrist that she suffered from ADD, but her drug use made her feel “scatterbrained” and unable to memorize her lines for the 2011 film “Hall Pass,” she explained to Paper. She ultimately walked away from the job, she said, in direct contradiction with reports that she’d been fired from the film.
However, it was her appearance in the film “Easy A” months later that ultimately led her to famously announce her retirement from acting via Twitter. Her performance, as well as her physical appearance, in the film left her “convinced” that retiring was the right move for her.
“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,” she told the magazine.
“I saw it and I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid,” she said. “If I was going to retire, I should’ve done it in a press statement — but I did it on Twitter. Real classy! But, you know, I was high and I was like, ‘You know what? I am so over this’ so I just did it. But it was really foolish and I see that now. I was young and stupid.”
What followed was an extraordinarily public fall from grace. Bynes began “hanging out with a seedier crowd” and isolating herself, she explained.
“I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me,” she told Paper.
Bynes has had frequent trouble with the law over the years. She was charged with a DUI in 2012 and was involved in a hit-and-run accident the same year. She faced reckless endangerment and marijuana possession charges the following year, after police say they caught her smoking in the lobby of her apartment building and she responded by throwing her bong out of a nearby window. She was then hospitalized and placed under a psychiatric hold after allegedly starting a fire outside a stranger’s property later that year. Bynes’ mother was granted conservatorship in 2014, and her mother will retain that position until 2020, according to Page Six.
Bynes’ lack of a filter on Twitter continuously made headlines during that time period, most notably when she famously tweeted about her attraction to Drake. However, her unrestrained tweeting is something she now regrets.
“I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would,” she said, according to Paper. “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.”
She issued a warning to anyone struggling with frequent drug usage.
“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,” she said. “It really made me a completely different person. I actually am a nice person. I would never feel, say or do any of the things that I did and said to the people I hurt on Twitter.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.