Amanda Bynes is ready to speak her truth.
It’s no secret that the former Nickelodeon child star has had her ups and downs in the Hollywood spotlight.
Between troubles with the police to erratic tweets that had more than a few followers shaking their heads, the actress appeared to be on a downward spiral for several years.
But in PAPER‘s annual “Break the Internet” issue, Amanda is finally answering the questions so many people wanted answers to—and she’s doing it on her terms.
For starters, the 32-year-old is proud to say she’s focused on her education at Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise. And yes, she’s pleased to confirm that she’s almost four years sober.
We compiled some of Amanda’s biggest confessions from her rare interview below. Get ready to hear from an actress ready to live her best life going forward.
She’s the Man’s Fallout: After starring in the box-office hit, Amanda says she had “an interesting experience” once filming wrapped. “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,” she explained. “I’ve never told anyone that.” Fortunately, she had the “most amazing experience” working on Hairspray with John Travolta and Zac Efron soon after.
The Truth About Hall Pass: Amanda says Adderall had an impact on her on-set behavior while filming the 2010 comedy. She admits she couldn’t remember her lines and didn’t like her appearance while filming. While reports surfaced that Amanda was fired from the film, she argued that she simply pulled out. “I did leave…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,” she admitted.
Twitter Apologies: While Amanda declined to go into specifics about messages she sent family members or celebrities on Twitter, she took responsibility for her actions. “I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would,” she admitted. “And I’m so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me….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.”
Drug Use: Amanda didn’t shy away from her past drug abuse. In her candid interview, the former child star admitted that she started smoking marijuana at 16. It progressed to doing molly and ecstasy. She also abused Adderall but “never got high from cocaine.”
“Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain,” she explained. “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.”
The actress continued, “There are gateway drugs and thankfully I never did heroin or meth or anything like that but certain things that you think are harmless, they may actually affect you in a more harmful way.”
True Diagnosis: Despite what you read in publications or what the TV psych doctor said on TV, Amanda makes it clear that drugs were the main cause of her odd behavior. “It definitely isn’t fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are,” she explained. “That was always really bothersome to me…Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.”
Amanda continued, “I know that my behavior was so strange that people were just trying to grasp at straws for what was wrong.”
Fashion Inspiration: When Amanda first enrolled in FIDM back in 2014, she admitted that the college intrigued her after watching The Hills and seeing Lauren Conrad attend classes. According to one of her advisors, Amanda is “an amazing student” and participates in class regularly.
Easy Out: After attending a screening for her movie Easy A, Amanda says she was “absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting” after watching her performance. “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me,” she explained. “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 would announce her retirement on Twitter at 24.
Her Acting Return: Despite everything she’s been through, Amanda says she wants to re-enter the business “kind of the same way I did as a kid, which is with excitement and hope for the best.” She doesn’t want to limit herself by sticking to one genre or one role. And through all her experiences, Amanda has come out fearless. “I have no fear of the future,” she shared with the magazine. “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.”
Pre-order Amanda’s “Break the Internet” issue online now.