Just a few years in the past, Amanda Bynes was one of Hollywood's most beloved child stars. A huge name in Nickelodeon and in some of our favorite movies, Amanda Bynes was seen by many as the next big thing. We loved seeing her on The Amanda Show, What I Like About You and All-That. Her on-screen presence was intoxicating, her confidence was incredible, and she had really comedic talent which just couldn't be taught. In short, she was everything that a child star should be. So if she had all the tools she needed to succeed, then why did her career end in such a stunning, tragic way?
Well, there are plenty of things about her childhood that most people don't know about, or have simply forgotten. And these are the things that probably contributed most to her downfall. It's never easy to be a child star, and the challenges they face are a huge part of why so many young actresses and actors fall victim to unstable behavior and the many stereotypes that a child star goes through as they age. Here are 16 things that everyone forgets about Amanda Bynes' childhood...
16 She Was Body-Shamed As A Child Star
You might remember Amanda Bynes' early start as a child star, and the future seemed very bright for this young child. What became obvious right off the bat was that Amanda was full of all kinds of character and comedic talent. Even at a young age, she seemed destined for great things indeed. Her early start in shows and movies showcased this talent, and people starting talking about her in earnest for the first time.
But the entertainment world didn't always have the nicest things to say about Amanda Bynes. In one interview, Amanda herself recalled a moment when she was body-shamed after a movie she did at a young age. According to her the journalist referred to her as "puffy faced." Obviously, this must have hurt Amanda, and probably wasn't good for her mental health, either.
15 She Dated A 24-Year-Old When She Was 17
Amanda Bynes, being the attractive and talented young woman that she was, attracted her fair share of male attention. At just 17 years old, she seemed like a fully grown, mature woman, but of course on the inside, part of her was still a child.
That didn't stop Nick Zano, her 24-year-old costar, from dating her when she was just 17.
This pretty much sums up the phrase "barely legal." Was it healthy for Amanda Bynes?
Bynes herself refers to the relationship as a learning experience: "I learned so much from both relationships. Both of them helped me to get to where I am today. The first one was there to sort of have a negative effect on me, and then my second one helped me get back to where I was." Whatever happened, it was not looked upon favorably by everyone.
14 She Tweeted That Her Father Wasn't The Best To Her As A Child
Probably the biggest controversy of Amanda Bynes involved a tweet that she made in 2014. At this point in time, Amanda Bynes was no longer a child and was well into her twenties. But the claims that she made involved incidents which supposedly happened while she was just a child. These allegations involved her parents and were pretty shocking to say the least.
At the end of the day, she ended up retracting those statements, giving some vague and bizarre excuse about a microchip in her brain. Was there any truth to them? Did her father actually commit the crimes that Amanda had claimed he had? It definitely doesn't make you feel confident that Amanda herself is happy about her childhood. Amanda did tweet these things while she was admittedly heavily intoxicated, so only time will tell what the truth is.
13 Chelsea Brummet Says Amanda Was Cold And Insecure As A Child Actress
Sometimes, in order to really discover what's going on with someone, you have to ask the people who were around them. Chelsea Brummet, Bynes' costar, presents the perfect opportunity for an inside look into Bynes' troubled childhood. Brummet worked with Amanda Bynes on the movie All That, and she had some interesting stories to tell...
Chelsea Brummet admitted:
“I found her to be cold. I think, maybe she felt like, ‘Who are these people? This is MY legacy. But she also described Bynes as “really really nice," and that you could "tell she felt like this was her baby — like All That was hers."
Brummet also added, "Her persona … [it] felt like you’d shake her hand and she’d barely touch your fingers. She was closed off to everyone. You’d ask her a question and she’d give you a quick answer to end the conversation.” “It’s like she didn’t want you to know her,”
12 She Was Very Self-Conscious About Her Appearance
But that's not all Chelsea Brummet had to say about working with Amanda Bynes. Chelsea noticed that Bynes was extremely self-conscious, even for an actress. Image is everything to a celebrity, but according to Brummet, Bynes was taking it a little too far. She must have been under enormous pressure to be attractive, and that can't have been good for her mental health at such a young age...
Chelsea Brummet admitted that Bynes “Was always self-conscious," adding "On red carpets, if there was Lindsay Lohan or someone else, she would always look at herself and fix her hair. You could just tell she was self-conscious once her career started not being so great. I don’t think she liked not being in the spotlight and not being number one. I think she became so addicted to it, it became a lifestyle.”
11 She Was Being Typecast As A Young Actress
Being typecast is something that many actors and actresses have had to struggle with over the years. If you don't know what this means, you probably already know some actors who have been typecast. Think about those actors or actresses who always seem to play the same role, with the exact same personality. You're never quite sure if they're capable of doing anything else, because they never get cast in a role that challenges them.
But being typecast is hardly a bad thing. In fact, it can mean huge amounts of success and guaranteed repeat work, something that most actors can only dream of. But
for people who really want to push themselves to do bigger and better things, being typecast can be seen as a curse.
Amanda Bynes was undoubtedly being typecast, and she hated it. She wanted to do something different instead of playing the same old innocent best friend with a bubbly personality. But sadly, Hollywood never gave her the chance.
10 She Totally Missed Her Big Chance On A Movie Called Hall Pass
But did Hollywood really deprive Amanda Bynes of an opportunity to show her true acting skills? That's actually something which is up for debate. Because the truth is that Amanda Bynes did, in fact, have a huge opportunity to show a side of herself that no one had ever seen before, and this was a role in a movie called Hall Pass. Most people have never heard of this movie, and that's because it really wasn't very good. But Amanda Bynes was actually slated to play a starring role in the movie.
But for some reason, it never happened. Rumor has it that Amanda Bynes showed up on set completely unprepared, and shocked everyone with her total lack of commitment to the project. Whether or not this is true is unclear, and Amanda's representatives cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for her pulling out of the project. But whether she was fired or she quit, the truth is that this role would have been an amazing step forward for her. She would have played a seductive babysitter that tried to tempt a married man to cheat - a role that would have definitely defied her normal typecasting.
9 She Idolized Lindsey Lohan So Much It Was Dangerous
Definitely one of the most tragic things about Amanda Bynes' childhood was the fact that she completely idolized Lindsay Lohan. Whether or not she is willing to admit this is beside the fact. She clearly saw Lindsay Lohan's success and wanted what she had. It was probably a mixture of jealousy and admiration, and we've already mentioned how costars like Chelsea Brummet noticed her insecurity at being on the same red carpet as Lindsay.
Idolizing Lindsay, or even trying to follow her lead, would have been a very dangerous thing for Amanda to do.
She wanted the same adventurous, racy roles that Lindsay was getting, and she couldn't understand why Lindsay was getting to break out of her "good girl" shell and she wasn't.
The worry that many people has is that Amanda saw Lindsay's unstable path of alcohol and substance abuse, and saw that as the reason why she was getting more attention. Could it be that Amanda tried to follow this unstable path, seeing it as the path to success?
8 She Was Pushed Too Hard By Her Parents And It Was Costly
Without a doubt, the general consensus about Amanda Bynes' childhood was that her parents pushed her very hard to be successful, especially her father. This is a familiar story with countless child stars. Their parents seem to push their children to the point where acting no longer becomes fun, and instead becomes an overbearing presence on their lives, and a major source of stress.
The same costar mentioned before, Chelsea Brummet, also had something to say about Bynes' father.
She says Bynes' father “was controlling from the stories I heard on set," adding "She was always defiant with her dad, but she tried to hide things from her dad — she always seemed like she was trying to hide things."
She admitted "they would butt heads," and claimed that Amanda eventually confronted her father and took control over her career.
7 She Started To Hate And Resent Acting
In 2010, Amanda Bynes announced that she was quitting acting forever. Although she was an adult when she made this statement, it was undoubtedly something that had been eating away at her for many years, since her time as a child star. As she admitted during this turbulent time in her career: "If I don't love something anymore I stop doing it. I don't love acting anymore so I've stopped doing it."
Obviously, she would later go back on that decision and choose to act again. Rumor has it that she will be returning to acting in 2018. Perhaps that statement was just her trying to get publicity. But the more likely explanation was that the stress and competition of acting and trying to sell your image really got Bynes down. And in the end, she just couldn't handle it any longer.
6 She Might Have Started Doing Illegal Activities To Counter Her "Good Girl" Image
We've already mentioned the fact that Bynes idolized Lindsay Lohan, and may have tried to follow in her footsteps. Lindsay Lohan represented the perfect transition from an innocent girl we all knew from movies like The Parent Trap to a hard-hitting, adult woman with plenty of raw, unfiltered appeal. This was the exact same transition that Bynes was trying to make. But how far would she go to replicate it?
Could it be that Bynes started to experiment with illegal substances to change the public's "good girl" perception of her? If so, it was a tactic that was doomed to fail.
Substances really started to mess with Bynes, and started her on a downward spiral that definitely did not benefit her career.
Although who knows, perhaps when she returns to acting, she will finally get her wish of being cast as the "bad girl."
5 When She Launched Her Own Fashion Line, The Company Went Bankrupt
You might have forgotten about Amanda Bynes' clothing line, called "Dear." Talking about this venture, Bynes stated:"I wanted a clothing line that made affordable fashionable, because it is really hard when you're in school and maybe your parents can't afford or won't let you get the expensive clothes and you still want to be wearing the hip thing. I think that it's now hip to have affordable clothes."
But as it would turn out, this would be yet another tragic chapter in Bynes' life. The company that was distributing this fashion line, Steve & Barry, went bankrupt not long after they started selling Amanda Bynes' fashion line. This would prove to be a major blow to Bynes' plans for success. Fashion was definitely not in the cards for her.
4 She Never Had A Real Childhood
Perhaps the most notable thing about Amanda Bynes' childhood was that it never really existed. Like most child stars,
Amanda Bynes never really got the chance to just be a kid.
This is hardly a new story, but it shouldn't be overlooked either - especially in the case of people like Amanda Bynes, who have struggled with mental illness and substance abuse. It's a vicious cycle that needs to stop.
Throughout her time as a child actor, Amanda Bynes was known as the perfect person to have on set. She was professional, on time, and never acted like a diva. She was kind to everyone, and didn't have a tantrum when she didn't get the biggest trailer. But could it be that acting like a professional for her entire childhood was damaging to her? In the end, that was probably the most damaging thing about her childhood.
3 She Might Have Felt Like Hollywood Didn't Want Her To Grow Up
There exists a huge gap between being a child star and being a successful adult actor or actress. Making the jump between this gap is one of the most challenging things to do in Hollywood. Some stars, like Elijah Wood or Leonardo DiCaprio, have made the transition into adult stardom with ease. Others, like Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus, seem to have struggled with it.
Amanda Bynes must have been under enormous pressure to find a way to still be relevant after she grew up. And for the most part, she was making the transition rather well before her downfall. But lurking in the back of her mind must have been the nagging feeling that Hollywood didn't want her to grow up. That once she stopped being that little girl we all knew and loved, the public would completely lose interest.
2 The Public Actually Wanted Her To Have A Breakdown
While it's true that the public may have wanted her to stay young forever, they also wanted to see something even more troubling. They wanted to see her crash and burn. Not everyone is like this, of course, but a pattern is emerging over the last few years. The public seems to cheer from the sidelines whenever a star completely loses it and has a mental breakdown.
We've seen it in the past with stars like Britney Spears, and when Amanda Bynes followed the same path, it could be said that the public was actually encouraging her.
It's one of the darkest aspects of humanity - the fact that people's failures are often more interesting and more appealing than their successes. Amanda Bynes was extremely connected to the public's opinion through social media especially, and she must have been painfully aware that people were actually praying for her to lose it all.
1 Some Of Her Attempts To Land More Mature Roles Failed
Part of the struggle of being a child actress for Amanda Bynes was finding a way to break out of her shell. But she didn't just rest on her laurels. Instead, she made an active attempt to go out there and show everyone that she was more than just a Nickelodeon child star - someone capable of much, much more. But in the end, all of these attempts completely failed.
One of the shows that she starred in was called Canned, and this was a show in which she played a Midwestern girl. It was one of her attempts to stray away from her typecast roles, but sadly this show got canceled and never saw the light of day. It's yet another failure in Amanda Bynes' career that she probably never got over. As she admitted during this time, “I’d love to do something that would shock people, something that’s against type." But this would never happen.
SOURCES: Dailymail.co.uk, complex.com