Amanda Bynes Appreciation Post

In a new interview, the beloved teen-comedy star said she's been sober for three years and plans to return to acting after a seven-year hiatus.

by Lauren Oyler
Jun 9 2017, 5:15pm

Photo via Flickr user condoungtolua

Is it possible that the tide could turn on 2017? I don't want to speak too soon, but the second half of this week has been full of hope. On Thursday morning, former FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Donald Trump was a huge liar, incorporating a delightful "Lordy" in the process. Later that day, the leftist British politician Jeremy Corbyn led the country's Labour Party to obtain an unexpectedly high number of seats in Parliament in what was supposed to be an easy election for the ruling conservative government. Now, this morning, Amanda Bynes has announced she is sober and wants to return to acting.

How nice would that be! Bynes, a charming jokester who was like the Olsen twins if they were only one person and that person had a personality and was actually good at acting, last appeared in 2010's Easy A, after which she announced her retirement on Twitter and descended into drugs, several driving violations, and a bizarre social-media persona. After dropping out of the spotlight, she re-emerged on Twitter last August to say that she was happily enrolled in fashion school and doing well. Today, her interview with the gossip blog Hollyscoop—her first interview in four years—was previewed on Good Morning America, and she was refreshingly self-aware.

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"I actually wasn't being insincere. I was, like, saying, 'Murder my vagina!'" Bynes says, discussing her 2013 tweet, "I want @drake to murder my vagina." "I was serious, but I was also on drugs." When asked if she believes Blac Chyna "stole [her] look," which at its most disturbing included ill-fitting wigs and microdermal cheek piercings, Bynes replies, "I stole her look!"

Millennial women who grew up watching Bynes will recognize inklings of her blunt, just slightly wacky delivery in this interview, and it's just such a pleasant surprise. Though Bynes is most beloved for her role as the cross-dressing high-school soccer player Viola Johnson in 2006's She's the Man—it takes a true performer to make people sometimes forget that Channing Tatum was also in a movie—her short career was full of hits. From her sketches on Nickelodeon's All That spin-off The Amanda Show to her performance as the carefree teen rascal Holly Tyler on What I Like About You to her role as Colin Firth's secret daughter in 2003's What a Girl Wants (my favorite), she balanced scrappy adventurousness with common sense to always secure a happy ending (and a hot guy). Though her plots were often cheesy and she herself was girl-next-door cute, she managed to subvert standard teen comedy tropes with practiced physical comedy and gawky originality.

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Now Bynes says she wants "to do TV, maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I'm a fan of and maybe another TV show that I'm the star of it." In conclusion, this would be good.

Amanda Bynes
She's the Man
What a Girl Wants