Teen star Amanda Bynes is back – sober and ready to act again af­ter her pub­lic break­down. Should we worry?

The Guardian - The Guide - - Film -

RRe­mem­ber Amanda Bynes? You might do from such teen come­dies as What a Girl Wants, in which she dis­cov­ers her dad is Colin Firth and comes to Eng­land to de-Englishize him. Or She’s the Man, in which she mas­quer­aded as a boy to play soc­cer and charm Chan­ning Tatum. Or be­fore that, Nick­elodeon’s The Amanda Show.

Al­ter­na­tively, you might re­mem­ber Bynes for her sub­se­quent, very pub­lic flame-out, in­duced by a toxic com­bi­na­tion of body-im­age anx­i­eties, child-star pres­sures and dan­ger­ously easy ac­cess to both nar­cotics and so­cial me­dia. Dur­ing the 2000s, print and on­line me­dia alike re­ported on Bynes’s es­capades and mis­for­tunes with rel­ish; many of them read like episodes from a stoner com­edy. Like her court­room ap­pear­ance for al­legedly throw­ing a bong out of her 36th-floor win­dow when the po­lice came call­ing (the case was dis­missed). Or the time she re­port­edly started a fire in a stranger’s drive­way. There were no charges brought against her but she did ac­ci­den­tally douse her dog in petrol and have to go into a store to rinse it off.

Bynes did give the press plenty of am­mu­ni­tion via her Twit­ter feed, reg­u­larly pick­ing fights with the likes of Drake and Ri­hanna, or com­ment­ing on her own ap­pear­ance and cos­metic surgery, and post­ing risque self­ies. All of which made for more “You won’t be­lieve what Amanda Bynes has done now!” sto­ries, even when it was clear the stoner com­edy was more of a sub­stance-abuse and men­tal-health prob­lem. By 2010, aged 24, her ca­reer was ef­fec­tively over.

But now Bynes is back. In a new in­ter­view with Pa­per mag­a­zine she seems in a bet­ter place: healthy, four years sober, study­ing fash­ion and mar­ket­ing, Twit­ter his­tory erased; full of re­gret and re­morse. “Ev­ery­thing I worked my whole life to achieve, I ru­ined it all through Twit­ter,” she says at one point. “It’s def­i­nitely not Twit­ter’s fault, it’s my own fault.” She could also blame the in­dus­try,

the press, or those of us who lapped it up. Per­haps his­tory will look back on the 00s as the worst time to be young, fe­male and fa­mous. Bynes was just one of a num­ber of ca­su­al­ties: Brit­ney Spears, Ni­cole Richie, Paris Hilton, Lind­say Lo­han.

Should we worry that Bynes has ex­pressed a de­sire to re­turn to act­ing? For one, this is not Drew Bar­ry­more in the 90s. It isn’t easy to put the past be­hind you. Bynes deleted her Twit­ter his­tory but it’s still on­line. She might well look to Lind­say Lo­han (last seen in Brit sit­com Sick Note, with Ru­pert Grint and Nick Frost) who has strug­gled to reignite her come­back. Fail­ure could be dam­ag­ing but suc­cess even more so, es­pe­cially if it brings back old vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and crav­ings, in­clud­ing me­dia at­ten­tion. We might also worry that Bynes is back on Twit­ter, post­ing a link to the Pa­per in­ter­view to her 3 mil­lion fol­low­ers. At least she is in con­trol this time.

Whole new ball game: Bynes in She’s the Man; and (be­low)What a Girl Wants Steve Rose

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.