Amanda Bynes shocked the world when she appeared on the cover of Paper Magazine Monday (Nov. 27) after disappearing from the public eye in 2013, when she was hospitalized under a 72-hour mental-health evaluation hold.
The actress, in her first interview in years, opened up to the magazine about the breakdown she experienced at that time, which led her to act out on Twitter and in the media against those she loved.
Amanda recalled the time it all began, when she started smoking pot at the age of 16, which led to experimenting with other drugs.
“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,” she told Paper. “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.
“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,” she adds. “I definitely abused Adderall.”
Amanda’s reliance on drugs began to have an affect on her performance. The actress was filming Hall Pass in the spring of 2010, when things began to spiral.
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.”
Her feelings progressed while screening her movie, Easy A. “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,” said Amanda. “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.
“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 recalls. “If I was going to retire [the right way], 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.”
But those moments are behind the actress now. Amanda has been sober for four years and deeply regrets her actions of the past.
“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,” Amanda says. “Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter.” But, she adds, “it’s definitely not Twitter’sfault — it’s my own fault.”
The 32- year-old credits her parents for helping her get well. In the magazine’s interview, she shared some advice for others going through the same issues.
“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,” she says “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. 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.”
She adds, “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. Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did.”