Contributor D. Chandler
Four years ago, Amanda Bynes was sitting on top of the world. Her diehard fans adored her. Following an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine Bynes career seemed posed to grow. Then something happened, comedian at 7 to facing several year behind bars at 26; what ever happen to Amanda Bynes? Were there hints, clues that suggested we might be visiting the “Hair Spray” star in jail? It appears there were.
From the beginning of her interview in cosmopolitan the beleaguered actress explained that she often felt like she didn’t completely fit in. “Part of me relates to Perez Hilton because he’s an outcast,” she said of her former celebrity blogger friend. (The two often grab frozen yogurt and talk movies.) “I don’t have a lot of friends who are actresses. They’re catty, and they’ll cut you down. I like that Perez is proud of who he is and doesn’t care what anybody thinks.” This is how Bynes felt four years ago.
Amanda’s began with her career performing stand-up comedy at age 7. Next she starred in two Nickelodeon series and the WB sitcom “What I Like About You” before graduating high school (as a straight-A student, no less). She has dressed in drag (for She’s the Man), sung and danced (in Hairspray), and lent her sharp comedic timing to everything from the film Robots to the TV series Family Guy. She told “Cosmo,” “I’ve never been that girl [who] was auditioning to be the hot cheerleader,” says Amanda. “I was always the quirky girl. I’m much more comfortable being goofy than being the sex kitten.”
Along the way, she’s also found time for several side projects: becoming involved in charity work (she recently contributed her entire salary for the Lifetime movie “Living Proof” to cancer research and awareness) and launching her own clothing line, “Dear” by Amanda Bynes, sold exclusively at Steve and Barry’s stores.
While her early designs were sportier, Amanda describes the latest pieces as flirty, feminine, and bohemian. “I want to make cute, inexpensive versions of things you see on the runway,” she says. (Plans for a dear line of fragrance and makeup are also in the works.) Amanda credits her father, who “started off as a humble wood-shop teacher” before becoming a dentist, with keeping her centered and instilling a strong work ethic. “I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am,” she says. “Slow and steady wins the race, and I believe in paying your dues.”
She also told “Cosmo” that a cheating ex, an actor whom she declines to name, ended up breaking her heart. So much so that after the split, she moved back in with her parents for two months. “I was so hurt,” she admits. “I’m a confident person, but it killed me.”
But Amanda proved capable of bouncing back and that’s exactly what she needs to do now.
Four years after her Cosmopolitan interview, Bynes is going through a series of personal issues and public embarrassments.
Some say her problems trace back to June 19, 2010. A Saturday morning in Los Angeles Amanda tweeted to announce that she had decided to retire from acting at the age of 24. Here’s what she wrote: “I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I’ve #retired. I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it. If I don’t love something anymore I stop doing it. Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem. I’ve never written the movies & tv shows I’ve been apart of I’ve only acted like the characters the producers or directors wanted me to play. I like black men I’m very attracted to them just fyi.”
From the looks of her 2010 tweet, it would be better for a professional psychiatrist rather than the simple minded journalist to analyze a string of tweets declaring her retirement with an abrupt I’m attracted to black men tweet. For the life of me, I just couldn’t grasp the conflation of the two expressions.
Note that Bynes has not done a major movie since “Hairspray” in 2007 but did have a supporting role in “Easy A.”
Throughout 2011, reportedly, Amanda kept a low profile, especially since starring alongside Emma Stone in 2010’s “Easy A.” In fact, fans were shocked when — three months before the movie’s premiere — she announced she’d be retiring from acting at the age of only 24.
Wetpaint.com reported that it seemed as though Amanda took the vow seriously! On December 12, 2011, she was spotted out and about looking decidedly un-Hollywood. While grabbing a few groceries at Ralph’s supermarket in LA, Amanda sported unkempt hair, ridiculously large-rimmed glasses, and a completely makeup-free face.
Two years earlier, Amanda looked red-carpet ready at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
Then, like a time bomb, on March 8, 2012, Amanda’s life began to explode.
TMZ reported: “Amanda Bynes made a HUGE mistake during a traffic stop in L.A. yesterday … she blew off the cop while he was writing the ticket and drove away from the scene.”
The website conveyed that Bynes was originally pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving. The officer approached the car and collected all of Amanda’s information so he could write up the citation.
But Amanda didn’t feel like waiting around … and hit the gas before the cop could hand over the ticket for the actress to sign.
We’re told the cop decided NOT to pursue Bynes because he didn’t feel she was dangerous … and besides, he already had all of her information.
Later that day, Bynes rolled by the police station and signed the ticket. TMZ said that they were told that Amanda was not off the hook for leaving the scene early.
At the time, authorities looked into the situation and will decided Bynes would not be subject to further charges for her untimely exit.
For all practical purposes this incident stands out as the one event that lunched Amanda’s frequent encounters with LAPD.
The 26-year-old actress was next arrested around 3 a.m. on April 6 in West Hollywood. Authorities said her black BMW struck the rear corner of the sheriff’s vehicle.
Following the incident, Bynes stubbornly refused to take a Breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test, which is how she ended up having her license suspended, according to law enforcement.
Four days later, Bynes allegedly rear-ended a BMW and fleeing the scene, according to TMZ. It took some time before this case caught up with Amanda because there were not any witnesses.
In august, Amanda had a series of accidents, and in Sept. she was pulled over two or three more times by law enforcement.
After being pulled over for the last time in Sept. an officer decided to have the “Hair Spray” star’s car impounded for driving on a suspended license.
On Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, Amanda Bynes faced a very concerned judge, the honorable Elden Fox. Judge Fox officially charged Bynes with two counts of knowingly driving with a suspended license according to MTV.com. Fox’s actions came when he learned she had been pulled over by Burbank, California police officers near the Bob Hope Airport last Sunday morning for not having her paperwork in order, and then, shockingly, she was pulled over just an hour and a half later in the same area, obviously still without a license.
If convicted on both charges, Bynes could spend up to a year in jail.
Considering there’s also a DUI and two hit-and-run charges pending against her too, the ultimate sentence could be worse. And on top of it all, the actress is telling friends and family members she hasn’t done anything wrong, why then would she consider a public acknowledgement of wrongdoing in front of the court.
What does that mean?
It means she will serve time.
So as I mentioned earlier, Bynes displayed great ability to come back when her heart was broken in 2010. I’m betting that the actress will bounce back after a year of mounting problems, however, I believe Amanda will realized that she’s hit rock bottom once a judge sentences her to spend time in jail. Following some nights alone behind bars should sufficiently wake her up. Only then will the former child star finally get back to living the life she had before March 8, 2012,